news ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Even Bucks the Usual Post-Credits Scene Trend

[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for both “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” and its post-credits, well, kind of scenes.]

At this point in our collective superhero-moviegoing lives, staying put through reams of post-film credits has become second nature (worth noting: it’s also just good manners, a sign of respect to the hundreds and thousands of people who made a film, but that’s a debate for another time). The movie isn’t really over until we get one, two, three, four, maybe even five zippy little additions and winking nods to what’s to come next in the grand ol’ churn of blockbuster franchises. (Heck, even the final “Guardians of the Galaxy” feature got two of them!)

But what if — and just stay with me here — a highly anticipated, already lauded, and distinctly original superhero feature did away with that ingrained expectation? To put it more bluntly: don’t worry about sticking around for post-credits scenes in “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” because there aren’t any.

Wait, what?

[One more warning: The following post contains spoilers for both “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” and its post-credits, well, kind of scenes.]

No, there are no post-credits scenes in the film, a break with the recent tradition of not just this particular genre, but even this mini-franchise (the first film included two post-credits scenes, one that paid tribute to both Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and one that introduced the Oscar Isaac-voiced Miguel O’Hara AKA Spider-Man 2099, who does indeed play a major role in the second film). This time around, no such luck.

And yet, the final credits of “Across the Spider-Verse” do still provide some very necessary context for what’s next for our Miles Morales, mostly thanks to a single line that tells us “Miles Morales Will Return in ‘Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.'” It’s the kind of note we’re used to seeing at the end of most superhero stories, a fairly obvious way to remind people, hey, these adventures certainly aren’t over yet!, but it’s of particular importance to “Across the Spider-Verse,” which ends on a hell of a cliffhanger and with a ton of loose ends.

One of the loosest of all? That “Across the Spider-Verse” is very much one-half of a planned two-film series. As I wrote in my review of the film, “The decision to split the sequel into two films seems to have been lost on plenty of fans. [Phil] Lord and [Chris] Miller announced the two-part sequel, complete with ‘Part One’ and ‘Part Two’ title addendums, back in December 2021. By April 2022, the two films had been renamed ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ and ‘Beyond the Spider-Verse,’ a move that seems to have caused the bulk of the confusion. Even in this critic’s well-attended screening, the end reveal that this story is very much not over was met with cocked heads.”

Spider-Man (Shameik Moore) and Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”Sony Pictures Animation

For once, that “will return” message seemed necessary (and welcome!) indeed.

As IndieWire’s Bill Desowitz noted in his interview with directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, “the producers and directors realized early on that there was too much story to pack into one film, so they split it into two parts and formed a trilogy. But the element they worked on the most was how to tell a complete story with a proper arc for the middle section in the tradition of “The Empire Strikes Back.”

“What questions are we gonna leave unanswered?” Dos Santos said. “In my personal experience, whenever there’s a trilogy, I tend to love the middle movies because you can be a little bit darker and you can push things a lot more narratively.”

For Spidey fans, that means this adventure is very much not over, and will wrap up with the release of “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse” on March 29, 2024. Perhaps that film will return to the world of the post-credits scene? Who cares, really, as long as they keep making entire films this good.

A Sony Pictures Animation release, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse″ is now in theaters.