In the follow-up to the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld reprise their roles as Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. On a project as massive as this one, the Spider-Verse saga continues under the direction of another trio, directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, and boasts another insanely talented cast of voice actors, this time including Academy Award-winner Daniel Kaluuya as “Hobie” Brown, Issa Rae as Jessica Drew, and Andy Samberg. Before swinging into theaters on June 2, Moore and Steinfeld sit down with Collider’s Steve Weintraub to discuss their return to the Spider-Verse and how their characters’ relationship has “evolved.”
Now that Miles has officially taken on the responsibility of Spider-Man, he and Gwen reunite and journey through the Multiverse to join forces with the Spider Society. In a tangled web of superpowered Spider-People, Miles and the other Spiders find themselves facing a shared foe, but with so many powers and so many different perspectives, it’s nearly impossible to find common ground. With the safety of his loved ones resting, once again, in Miles’ hands, it all comes down to one thing, according to Moore: “figuring out how you wanna wear that mask.” Across the Spider-Verse also features Oscar Isaac, Jake Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, and Luna Lauren Valez.
In their interview, Steinfeld and Moore share what they learned while working on the sequel, from conquering voice acting obstacles to the importance of confidence and self-validation. Steinfeld weighs in on who would win in a fight, Hawkeye’s Kate Bishop or Gwen Stacy, and they tease new “hurdles” and “challenges” ahead for the Spider-duo. Weintraub also sneaks some theories for Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse that Moore coyly urges us to “advocate” for. You can check out all of this and more in the video below, or you can read along with the full transcript.
COLLIDER: Let me start by saying congratulations on this movie, it’s fantastic. I’m sure I’m joining the chorus of people saying the same thing. So, a few questions for you; first let me start with, if Gwen and Kate Bishop were to meet and actually get in a fight, who do you think wins?
HAILEE STEINFELD: I’ve thought about it. Who do I think actually wins? Wow. You know, so it seems as much as I thought about it, I don’t know that I have the answer. I think they’re both highly, highly capable, and skilled. I feel like between now and when it happens, Kate will be more experienced, right? They’re both very quick… [To Moore] Can you weigh in on this?
SHAMEIK MOORE: I love Kate, now, I love Kate.
STEINFELD: Do you have an opinion on who you think would win?
I personally think Gwen.
MOORE: I think so too.
I mean, the spider-sense is gonna be the thing.
STEINFELD: You’re right, you’re not wrong. Alright. Well, I guess we’ll find out.
Well, you never actually know. So, one of the things about the first film is the relationship between your two characters, and people loved it. What can you tease in the sequel about their relationship and what’s going on?
MOORE: It’s on you.
STEINFELD: It’s definitely evolved. Their relationship has definitely evolved. They are going through a very similar part of life in this and they really have each other, as they always have, to lean on and to confide in. Yeah, they’re facing some wild responsibilities this time around.
MOORE: Some hurdles, some challenges. But their relationship definitely, I feel, is– they’re already connected, but I think as they face these challenges, it really strengthens each nook and cranny as they get through it because when they get through it, they’ll really know they can count on each other in an entirely different way.
So what I learned after watching this film is these titles are very literal. The first one is Into the Spider-Verse, this is Across the Spider-Verse, and the third one is Beyond the Spider-Verse; when I think Beyond the Spider-Verse, I start thinking, is there any chance they’re gonna do like a small live-action bit because it’s not in the Spider-Verse? So I’m just looking at the two of you and wondering, is there any chance you will play a live-action version of your character?
MOORE: You saw the second one, right?
I have seen the second one.
MOORE: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I guess we’ll see [laughs].
STEINFELD: I’ll be honest, though, I never really thought of that before you said it, and that’s a great– I like that.
They’re very literal text!
STEINFELD: [Laughs] They are!
I didn’t understand it until I saw the second movie, and the second movie is Across the Spider-Verse.
STEINFELD: Right, so “beyond” can only mean one thing!
Listen, I have to ask you guys.
MOORE: I hope you ask them, and you advocate.
Oh, I have asked.
STEINFELD: [Laughs] You’re like, “Oh, trust me.”
MOORE: I hope you guys at home make sure they do [laughs].
I really do hope it happens because I think it would be awesome. What do you think would surprise fans of Spider-Verse to learn about the actual voice-recording and the making of it from your perspective?
MOORE: You know, honestly, I learned every day. Me personally, in my life, as I was saying a lot of these lines and taking in the message of it, I feel like I’ve been able to apply it. I’ve learned that Miles has some real heart, he has courage. I’ve learned that while we become confident, we’re learning every day and we can learn from everybody. It’s easy to want validation from people we look up to, or our lovers, or the people we respect the most, but it’s about having that self-validation and finding your moral compass, and following your gut and figuring out how you wanna wear that mask. I feel like that’s what I learned while recording it, that’s what I learned while watching it. And I hope that’s what they, the audience, learns, or feels, while doing the same.
STEINFELD: This whole process is wild, and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I think I may have had some misconceptions of voice acting before really diving into this. I think having the chance to go back and do it a second time, understanding the process this time around, there was a newfound confidence in having had the time to live with this character on the first film, coming back in, and really knowing how to use the space this time around. Again, I didn’t understand what it meant or what it looked like, and it’s exciting, so I’m hoping that everything that we did in that room translates to the screen and beyond.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is in theaters June 2. Check back with Collider for more interviews with the film’s creatives in the days leading up to release.