Issa Rae has been cast in the role of Jessica Drew, the hero known as Spider-Woman, in the forthcoming sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This will mark Jessica Drew's first feature film appearance, after years of rumor and speculation that the character might headline her own movie, either for Sony or in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Created by Archie Goodwin and Marie Severin, the character originally had ties to Spider-Man in name only, but her Ultimate Universe counterpart was a clone of Peter Parker. Given the fact that Into the Spider-Verse takes place in a modified version of the Ultimate timeline, it seems likely the Drew onscreen will reflect the latter.
While a previous report suggested that Drew would be a key player in a planned Spider-Verse spinoff centering specifically on female characters like Spider-Gwen and Silk, this bit of casting news seems to hail from the "main" sequel. The Hollywood reporter, in their news break, said that Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld would be returning to reprise their roles from the first Spider-Verse film.
In the time since Into the Spider-Verse came out, Sony has announced a number of Spider-Man-related projects, including Venom and Morbius movies, and planned solo movies for Silk and Jackpot.
Of the handful of characters ever to use the name, Drew is the most synonymous with the Spider-Woman name. She was actually given her powers thanks to an infusion of an experimental serum her dad gave her to save her life, which was based on irradiated spider's blood. She would also undergo a process that ended up slowing her aging, but it also gave her other abilities, like harnessing bioelectric energy in the form of deadly venom blasts. She also gives off pheromones that have pleasing effects on men and the opposite effect on women.
Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings scribe David Callaham will write the project, with an assist from producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
As far as what's in store for the sequel, fans have been left to merely speculate, with even star of the last film Jake Johnson not knowing if he will be involved in the new sequel.
"I would really hope so," Johnson revealed to Fandom when asked about his character returning for the sequel. "I really loved playing Peter B. Parker. I literally recorded that movie for, I think it was over two years. People don't realize, most of ... with animation, you do two or three records and it's over. I lived with that character before anyone knew it was happening for so long. I loved the material. I got to record with Shameik (Moore) a lot who played Miles, and we got to bounce off each other. Shameik and I became buddies and we're still texting and in touch."
He continued, "I would love to see Peter, what happens to him. I would love to see, did he and MJ get back together? Did he become a dad? Is he still a superhero? Is he a dad and a superhero? But these are all as a fan now, because in terms of the inside I'm not at that table making decisions, but I would love Peter to come back."
Stay tuned for details on the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel before it hits theaters on October 7, 2022.