Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse points at the MCU — says director

 (L, R) Miles Morales and Gwen (voiced by Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld) in costume in art for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
(L, R) Miles Morales and Gwen (voiced by Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld) in costume in art for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Mere strands of webbing tie the MCU and Sony's Spider-Man cinematic universe together, and a small string of connective tissue will apparently be affixed to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Just remember that Spider-Verse isn't classified as an upcoming Marvel movie — it isn't from Marvel Studios, nor is it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

So far, the two worlds have 'met' in the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies (oh, and that Venom 2 post-credits scene that seemed like it could have been something). But, interestingly enough, the new Spider-Verse film's director revealed that there will be another wink and a nudge.

Another? Yes, because in an earlier trailer, Spider-Man 2099/Miguel O'Hara (Oscar Isaacs) ranted about "Doctor Strange and the little nerd back on Earth-199999!" We've embedded that trailer in the clip below (fast-forward to 1:10). If that's not a reference to Spider-Man: No Way Home, we don't know what is.

As Digital Spy reports, co-director Kemp Powers told SFX that there's one more big moment for fans coming, stating "This isn't something where we did anything in conjunction with Marvel. Miles's universe, trust me, there's plenty to work with. That gag is one of many, and my favourite gag is one that people don't know about yet. But I think when they see it, they're going to be pretty stunned. It's a serious film, but it's also a film with a lot of fun in it."

So, if you weren't excited for all the comic book history fan service coming in Across the Spider-Verse, now expect some un-approved Marvel Cinematic Universe references. Because while Powers didn't directly say "MCU," saying that this gag was done without Marvel's involvement does basically tip their hand that it's tied to the Marvel Studios movies.

Analysis: MCU movies and Sony's Spider-Man movies are getting too complicated

Judging by Into the Spider-Verse's reception and success, this sequel doesn't need the MCU to be great. But with Sony's ever-increasing world of Spider-Man movies — Madame Web, Kraven and El Muerto are also coming — the company is building an increasingly complicated network of films that may or may not connect to each other. Remember Morbius losing its ties to old Spider-Man movies? We do.

We don't expect the MCU and Sony's world to share territory, but they have shared Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man for 6 movies (Civil War, both Endgames and the 'Home' trilogy).

Streaming makes matters more complicated, as Spider-Man: Homecoming recently hit Disney Plus, and none of the other Sony movies are there either. I'm not holding my breath on streaming cohesion, but I wish we weren't waiting for Madame Web to explain how Sony's cinematic universe works (which is what's expected).

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