Spider-Man: The Animated Series star Christopher Daniel Barnes hopes to swing back into the animated Marvel multiverse in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, saying he would reprise his role from the beloved '90s cartoon "in a second." The 47-year-old actor recently admitted he's "getting kind of old" to voice the same college-aged Peter Parker from the animated series, but said he would be "honored" to return as an older Spider-Man in the Spider-Verse sequel set for release in 2022. The franchise-launching first film from Sony Pictures Animation teamed a rookie Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) with Spider-people from other dimensions, including worn-out mentor Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) and Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld).
"I've had the honor of playing like 30 different Spider-Men over the years, it's been incredible. I would do it in a second," Barnes said when asked about joining the big screen Spider-Verse during a virtual Wizard World panel hosted by Fandom Spotlite. "I mean, I love it, and it's a great honor every time they ask you to participate."
"They've had me come back with multiple roles as the villain," Barnes added, referring to roles as Spidey bad guys Electro and Wolf Spider in Disney XD series Ultimate Spider-Man. "And as the old saying goes, 'Die the hero or live long enough to become the villain.'"
Barnes previously voiced Spider-Man Noir — an older, darker spin on the quipping superhero — in 2010 video game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, where his character had little in common with the traditionally youthful version of Peter Parker. Like Spider-Verse, the video game brought together different Spider-Men from alternate realities.
"When I was done doing Spider-Man, obviously for many years — because I was very young when we did it — they called me back a few years ago and they said, 'We want you to be a part of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions,'" Barnes recalled. "I said, 'Of course I would love to, but I think I'm a little too old to play the sort of coming-of-age hero archetype that Spider-Man represents.' They said, 'No, this is a different character. This is Spider-Man Noir.' I often make this joke, they said, 'He's older, he's darker, he's bitter.' I go, 'Oh, so he's me!'"
The grim and gritty character made his feature film debut in Spider-Verse, voiced by Nicolas Cage. Asked about Cage's portrayal, Barnes said, "Everybody's take is different, everybody has something different to offer. As long as they're doing their best to be true to the character, that's all that matters."0comments
"[Actors are] just vessels for the fans to experience the archetype," he continued. "If you appreciate it, and if you love the character, and if you love the story, and the mythology, do your best to portray it and then interact with the fans that way. That's what it's really all about."
Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos (Justice League Unlimited, Avatar: The Last Airbender), Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 swings into theaters October 7, 2022.