Back when the first trailer for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was released, the trailer ended with an odd promotion. After the title card appeared, there was an advertisement for the PlayStation 5. While, in theory, it made sense for Sony to promote their console along with their most anticipated movie, the advertisement seemed pretty random. However, some people speculated that the reference was designed to generate more anticipation for the upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. This correlated with the inclusion of Insomniac Spider-Man in the background of the trailer. But as the release date for Across the Spider-Verse drew closer, people forgot about the video game references.
Spider-Verse was just released on June 2nd, 2023. In a movie filled to the brim with several references to the most obscure parts of Spider-Man lore, there were quite a few references to the character’s gaming history. Here is an overview of all the major video game references in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Warning: This article contains minor spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Gaming in the Spider-Verse
Fairly early in the movie, you can see Miles’ roommate, Ganke Lee, playing on a PlayStation 5. At first glance, it looks like he’s playing Spider-Man Remastered released on the PS5. But if you look carefully, you can notice some brand new animations, one of which being from Spider-Man 2‘s initial trailer of Peter launching someone into the air with his new iron spider arms. This has led many to believe that the directors and animators of the film snuck in footage of the upcoming Spider-Man 2 that we haven’t seen yet. This is simultaneously a great subtle detail, as well as a really cruel easter egg. Especially for people who are still hungry for more news about the upcoming release.
Miles later meets the many members of the so-called “Spider Society”. During the scene, there is a long shot of the many “multiversal anomalies” that they have captured. These include variations of characters such as Mysterio, Kraven, and even the Rhino. But in a passing shot, there’s a glimpse of a “video game guy”, and standing between two prisoners is the Insomniac Spider-Man from the video games. He only says one line, asking if the AI is “talking to [him]” as she talks about the video game villains from other universes.
On Twitter, Yuri Lowenthal, the voice actor for Spider-Man in the video games, confirmed that he actually voiced that line. It’s another incredible detail that just shows how proud the creators of the film are of the legacy of Spider-Man.
Yo, is that an Atari reference?!
Out of all the video game references in Across the Spider-Verse, the biggest deep cut comes from the aforementioned scene featuring Insomniac’s Spider-Man. One of the villains captured is a mess of green pixels that just looks like the video game equivalent of a stick figure. But in reality, this is actually a reference to the Atari 2600 Spider-Man game’s depiction of the Green Goblin. There isn’t a lot to note about the original Atari game. While undoubtedly nostalgic to many, like many Atari games, it doesn’t hold up at all in the modern day. But it’s still an incredible easter egg in a movie filled to the brim with them.
Beyond the Spider-Verse
The newest Spider-Verse has gotten well-deserved rave reviews across the board. I definitely recommend giving it a watch, if only just for the many references to all the far corners of Spider-Man lore. The new movie is just one piece of an ongoing Spider-Man renaissance. Spider-Man 2 is still set to release later this year. Plus, Beyond the Spider-Verse, the next movie in the series, will release next year.
Stay tuned to Final Weapon for more of our coverage of the upcoming Spider-Man 2!