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Every Cameo You May Have Missed In Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse

"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" has a more star-studded cast than you might realize. Like its predecessor, 2018's "Into the Spider-Verse," the film is led by a fantastic performance from Shameik Moore as Miles Morales and Hailee Steinfeld backs Moore up with a great turn as Spider-Gwen. Since she played the character in the first film, Steinfeld also joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Kate Bishop, making her a double-duty superhero star.

The rest of the ensemble is arguably even more impressive. Mahershala Ali returns as Miles' Uncle Aaron, aka the Prowler, as does Brian Tyree Henry as Miles' father, and Luna Lauren Vélez as his mother, Rio. Though he has a smaller part than he did in the first film, Jake Johnson also reprises his role as Peter B. Parker. The new additions to the cast include Daniel Kaluuya as Spider-Punk, Issa Rae as a motorcycle-mounted Spider-Woman, Amandla Stenberg as Spider-Byte, and of course, the ever-talented Oscar Isaac as Miguel O'Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099.

But beyond the main cast, which is sizable in itself, "Across the Spider-Verse" is filled with cameos you might not have noticed on your first time through. A movie with an infinite supply of Spider-man variants provides ample opportunities to sneak in some surprise stars, and the Sony sequel does just that. Here are some cameos you may have missed in "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse."

Rachel Dratch

When we catch back up with Miles after Gwen's "Across the Spider-Verse" opening, he's late for a meeting with his parents and his school guidance counselor. They're all supposed to be chatting about his future college applications, but Miles is too busy battling The Spot (Jason Schwartzman) across Brooklyn. If you thought the guidance counselor's dry tone sounded familiar, you might be a fan of "Saturday Night Live," as esteemed alum Rachel Dratch is the voice behind the character.

From 1999 to 2006, Dratch was one of the stars of "SNL" alongside the likes of Will Ferrell, Tracy Morgan, Maya Rudolph, and her former Second City partner, Tina Fey. While she played a wide range of roles during her tenure on the show, Dratch is probably most famous for her Debbie Downer character and similar wry performances. The counselor in "Across the Spider-Verse" is a classic Dratch character, from the hilarious obliviousness to the scene-stealing vocal fry.

It's also interesting to note that, while obviously distorted and caricatured to fit the animated style, the school counselor bears a striking resemblance to Dratch herself. The "Spider-Verse" films typically don't go out of their way to create any resemblance between characters and their voice actors, but Dratch seems to have been a special case. Given how perfectly the counselor fits in her repertoire, it's not unlikely that the role was written with Dratch already in mind.

Donald Glover's Prowler

If you're a big Spider-Man fan, you probably already know about Donald Glover's complicated relationship with the character. Back in 2010, when Sony was casting roles for "The Amazing Spider-Man," the now-acclaimed multihyphenate put himself forward publicly for the leading role. Fans quickly rallied online on his behalf, and even Stan Lee threw his support behind Glover, but he was never given the opportunity to audition.

A year later, Miles Morales debuted on the pages of the "Ultimate Spider-Man" comics. While writer Brian Michael Bendis claimed that he conceived of the character before Glover's viral campaign, he was encouraged to push forward after all the online buzz. Glover eventually did join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a lowkey cameo version of Aaron Davis, Miles' uncle and the secret identity of the Prowler, in "Spider-Man: Homecoming." So it only makes sense that he'd reprise that role in "Across the Spider-Verse."

Glover's cameo is mostly played as a gag — a live-action character stuck in a cage in the animated world of Spider-Man 2099. But it's also a clear nod to the actor's long and complicated history with the modern "Spider-Man" franchise. The version of the Prowler that he plays here isn't the same as his "Homecoming" incarnation, as he actually has some of the purple armor that the character typically wears in the comics. This might also be because the "Spider-Verse" films, while loosely connected to the MCU, are separate entities in Sony's own cinematic universe.

Peggy Lu's Mrs. Chen

After scuffling with Miles around Brokklyn, The Spot vanishes by disappearing into himself. We next seem floating through his ... soul? Body? Which manifests as an open void. However, he's not trapped, as an endless stream of holes provides gateways into other universes. Most of the parallel worlds are animated, albeit in a variety of styles. But one portal takes The Spot to a live-action realm, right into the convenience store run by Peggy Lu's Mrs. Chen.

If you haven't seen the Tom Hardy "Venom" films, this scene was probably pretty confusing. Either that or it just read as a quirky gag in a movie full of them. But in (alternate) reality, Mrs. Chen is a mainstay of the "Venom" franchise. Her extensive experience with the titular alien antihero is why she's so completely unphased by The Spot's appearance. Lu even starred as Mrs. Chen in a web series promoting "Venom: Let There Be Carnage."

In addition to her work in Sony's superhero films, Lu has appeared in films like "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist" and shows like "Animal Kingdom," "The OA," and "NCIS: Los Angeles." She is set to return again as Mrs. Chen in the upcoming third "Venom" film.

J.K. Simmons' J. Jonah Jameson

There may not be a more iconic superhero movie performance than J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. The Oscar-winning actor first played the Daily Bugle's cantankerous editor-in-chief in 2002's "Spider-Man," and he reprised the role in both of Sam Raimi's sequels. Since then, Simmons has played a different version of Jameson in the MCU, in which the character is more of a conspiracy-obsessed Alex Jones parody.

At this point, it's weird to imagine anyone else playing the part. So it should come as little surprise that Jameson once again embodies Jameson in "Across the Spider-Verse." Some of his lines are pulled directly from the Raimi films, including in one scene featuring a Lego version of the Daily Bugle in which he demands pictures of Spider-Man. However, there's also some new dialogue in the film. During Gwen's opening sequence, we see how she became blamed for the death of Peter Parker in her universe. A muddled mess of accusatory audio plays over her somber scene, and Simmons' voice can be heard referencing the mysterious Spider-Woman.

Given how beloved Simmons' Jameson is, it's a treat to see that he's willing to return to the role again and again. From the original incarnation to internet weirdos, cartoons, and Legos, Simmons simply is J. Jonah Jameson, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

The Lonely Island

A musical comedy group might not be your first pick to feature in a superhero movie, but then again, "Across the Spider-Verse" isn't a typical superhero movie. The protagonist is naturally funny, and music plays a huge role in the series, so maybe it shouldn't be all that surprising that two members of The Lonely Island appear in the film.

The first Lonely Island member we encounter is Jorma Taccone, who voices the strange, Renaissance-era version of the Vulture who battles Gwen at the beginning of the movie. Taccone previously voiced multiple characters in "Into the Spider-Verse," including the Green Goblin. Apparently, the comedian has a talent for playing comic book baddies. Who knew?

Later on, we meet Ben Reilly, aka the Scarlet Spider, who's voiced by fellow Lonely Island alum, Andy Samberg. Scarlet Spider arguably plays a larger role in the film, as he's part of the task force created by Miguel O'Hara to hunt down Miles after his escape. The character is pretty similar to the kind of comedic fare that fans of Samberg's work should be accustomed to — a boisterous, oblivious goof with a handful of pretty good laugh lines. Unfortunately, the two friends don't get to share scenes in the movie. But with Scarlet Spider still thoroughly in the mix at the end of "Across the Spider-Verse" and Taccone now having voiced three different characters across two movies, there's still hope for that in "Beyond the "Spider-Verse."

Taran Killam

As if there weren't enough "Saturday Night Live" alumni in "Across the Spider-Verse" already, stalwart straight man Taran Killam also shows up. His part isn't quite as large as those of Rachel Dratch, Jorma Taccone, or Andy Samberg, but he still gets a few goofs in, as you'd expect from a former "SNL" star.

Killam voices both Web-Slinger — a cowboy version of Spider-Man — and his horse Widow, who also wears a webbed mask. The two bizarre variants only really speak in one brief scene during Miles' introduction to the Spider-Society. Over the course of just a couple of minutes, he meets a huge number of strange Spider-Man incarnations, so you'd be forgiven for not noticing Taran's presence in the film. Later on, Web-Slinger and Widow join the stampede after Miles when he attempts to escape Miguel's grasp.

Though Killam is certainly most famous for his tenure on "SNL," he's done more and more voice acting in recent years. He's lent his talents to the animated "Star Wars" shows — "The Bad Batch" and "Young Jedi Adventures" — playing multiple characters in each. He also played the eponymous main character in the PBS Kids cartoon, "Nature Cat."

A couple of star animators

Cameos aren't just for actors, as the late Stan Lee himself could have told you. In addition to the various "SNL" alumni and Hollywood icons who sneak their voices into "Across the Spider-Verse," two acclaimed animators are also hiding in the background.

First, Pixar legend Peter Sohn makes a brief cameo as Miles' roommate, Ganke. The acclaimed animator recorded lines for the character during production on "Into the Spider-Verse," but those bits were ultimately cut, so it's nice to see him reinstated in the sequel. Sohn's career in film animation began with "The Iron Giant," and he's worked on everything from "The Incredibles" and "Finding Nemo" to "The Good Dinosaur," which he directed. He's also the director of the 2023 Pixar film, "Elemental." Throughout his career, Sohn has made a habit of voicing smaller characters here and there and his biggest such role to date is probably the robotic cat Sox in "Lightyear."

Later on in the film, during Miles' escape from the Spider-Society, we encounter a Spider-Man therapist voiced by animator Mike Rianda. Rianda gained widespread acclaim for writing, directing, and co-starring in the Netflix animated film "The Mitchells vs. the Machines," which was produced by "Across the Spider-Verse" writers, Christopher Miller and Phil Lord. Rianda also worked extensively on the beloved Disney cartoons, "Gravity Falls" and "Amphibia," as well as the Netflix adult animated series, "Inside Job."

Zoë Kravitz

Zoë Kravitz played the famous Mary Jane in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," but because it's been five years since that movie was released, many may have forgotten. MJ has a small role in "Across the Spider-Verse," only really appearing in one scene to talk with Peter B. Parker about their daughter. But yes, even in that brief moment, it's still Kravitz.

In the time since the first movie came out, Kravitz has expanded her superhero repertoire by delivering a spectacular turn as Catwoman in "The Batman," starring opposite Robert Pattinson. It's nice to see that her DC ties haven't kept her from returning to the world of Spider-Man, though, and there's a good chance that she'll have a larger role again in "Beyond the Spider-verse" next year.

Though her part in "Across the Spider-Verse" is small, it's far from insignificant. MJ delivers one of the core monologues of the movie, explaining the inherent chaos of becoming a parent and the impossibility of being fully prepared for change. The relationships between parents and children are one of the main themes of the movie, so it's great to see Kravitz get such a relevant soliloquy, even though her overall role is diminished.

Metro Boomin

Acclaimed hip-hop and R&B producer Metro Boomin worked on the "Across the Spider-Verse" soundtrack, but that's not where his contributions ended. He also lends his voice to a new Spider-Man variant in the film that goes by the apt name of Metro Spider. The character appears briefly to deliver a quick one-liner during the Spider-Society chase, boasting an austere black and white costume that sets him apart from the crowd.

Metro Boomin's grungy production style leaves its fingerprints all over the soundtrack in the best way, imbuing action scenes and somber moments alike with a rich depth of audio intensity. The DJ made his fame producing radio hits like Migos' "Bad and Boujee" and Post Malone's "Congratulations," but he's clearly just as at home working on a sweeping cinematic score. He contributes hugely to the overall aesthetic of "Across the Spider-Verse," and it's nice to see that work rewarded with an onscreen cameo.

Live-action Peters, Captain Stacy, and Uncle Ben

While not exactly cameos in the traditional sense, "Across the Spider-Verse" does feature some visual nods to the live-action "Spider-Man" movies of the past. Both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield appear in archival footage, which mostly shows up during Miguel's multiverse exposition. As he explains the "canon events" that connect all Spider-Man variants, different instances manifest around him and Miles. These include the deaths of Uncle Ben and Captain Stacy as seen in the previous Sony films.

Because of the specific moments chosen, Cliff Robertson's Uncle Ben and Denis Leary's George Stacy also appear. It's particularly fun to see Robertson, who passed away in 2011. His version of Ben Parker remains extremely iconic and influential, and it only seems right to give him his flowers in a movie about the franchise as a whole.

"Across the Spider-Verse" stops short of filming any new material for Maguire or Garfield, and that's probably for the best. The movie gets plenty of live-action gags between the Donald Glover cameo and Mrs. Chen, and bringing the other Spider-Stars back would have been too similar to what happens in "No Way Home." The use of their footage here is tasteful, evoking just enough nostalgia without overdoing it.

A couple cartoon Spider-Men

As first shown in the trailers, "Across the Spider-Verse" features a staggering number of different "Spider-Man" variants. Some are core characters with key roles to play in the story, many are entirely new creations just meant as goofy gags, and a few are callbacks to specific moments in the wall-crawler's long media life.

Two of the latter appear during the Spider-Society scenes, both representing a different animated TV iteration of the webhead's adventures. The striking nano-suit from "Spider-Man Unlimited" — the sequel to "Spider-Man: The Animated Series" that ran from 1999 to 2001 — can be seen in Miguel's base chasing after Miles. Curiously enough, that show's main villain was the High Evolutionary, who also made his big-screen debut this year as the lead antagonist of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."

Also visible in Spider-Man 2099's HQ is the squat, round Spider-Man from 2008's "The Spectacular Spider-Man" cartoon. Just as he was in his own series, this particular variant is voiced by Josh Keaton in "Across the Spider-Verse." Of course, these aren't the only references hidden in the Spider-Society. One-off Marvel gags like the Bombastic Bag-Man and the Amazing Spider-Monkey also pop up, nodding to the quirkier corners of the "Spider-Man" comics.

Insomniac's video game Spider-Man

In addition to the different comic book variants and cartoon Spider-Men who appear in the Spider-Society, there are two characters pulled straight out of Insomniac Games' acclaimed 2018 video game. The PS4 versions of both Peter Parker and Miles Morales can be seen walking and talking through Miguel's base, and later on, the video game version of Peter even speaks. As you'd expect, he's voiced by Yuri Lowenthal here — the same prolific voice actor who plays the character in the PlayStation title.

This isn't the movie's only nod to the 2018 game either. When Miles bursts into his dorm room through the window at the beginning of the movie, his roommate is playing the game on their shared TV. The PlayStation "Spider-Man" has been hailed as a huge achievement for the franchise, and it spawned a half-sequel starring Miles himself. As such, it's only right that the game gets its own little cameo Easter egg in "Across the Spider-Verse."