Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse did what every great sequel aims to do. It somehow surpassed the original installment of the franchise. It did so while introducing a ton of new characters and without sacrificing Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy’s story arcs. The script was written by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Dave Callaham who, in their own words, was “inspired by the work of thousands of writers and artists over sixty or so years.” Now, as part of Deadline’s Read The Screenplay series, you can read the entire 158-page script for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse for free.

Sony Animation

There are a few fun facts about this particular script. The writers named it “Whac-A-Mole,” no doubt due to the hundreds of spider-people in the movie. Not only did it include Spider-Man 2099 Miguel O’Hara, but also Spider-Woman Jessica Drew and Spider-Punk Hobie Brown. Even ’90s favorite Scarlet Spider Ben Reilly made the cut. And those are just the spider folk who had speaking lines! Animated films rarely get Academy Award nominations for their screenplays. However, we have a strong feeling that this coming year will be different, as Across the Spider-Verse showcased one of the best scripts of any film this year, animated or live-action.

The third Spider-Verse film was originally scheduled for release in March 2024, but it’s now off the schedule. This uncertain delay is probably giving the creative team more time to craft something worthy of the first two films. After that shocking conclusion for Across the Spider-Verse, and the unanimous praise for the film, they know they need to deliver a Return of the Jedi-style conclusion to that Empire Strikes Back cliffhanger ending. Hopefully, we won’t have to take too much longer to see Miles Morales and our favorite arachnid heroes again.