Issa Rae is the latest star to swing into the animated Spider-Verse, and it’s a “dream come true.” The Hair Love and Insecure star will reportedly voice Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman, in the sequel from producers and co-writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Rae joins returning stars Shameik Moore (Dope, The Get Down), who voices the Miles Morales Spider-Man, and Hailee Steinfeld (Bumblebee, Hawkeye) as the voice of Gwen Stacy, a.k.a. the Spider-Woman of another dimension. Reacting to news first reported Friday by The Hollywood Reporter, Rae confirmed her role in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 on Instagram:
“The way I have loved Spider-Man since the third grade,” Rae wrote on Instagram stories. “A dream come true.”
Rae is known for creating the YouTube series The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, where she portrayed the lead character J, and HBO’s Insecure, which Rae co-created with Larry Wilmore. Rae recently co-starred with Kumail Nanjiani (Marvel’s Eternals) in the Netflix original movie The Lovebirds and voiced a character in the Oscar-winning Sony Pictures Animation short film Hair Love.
Spider-Man franchise producer Amy Pascal revealed in 2018 that a planned female-centric Spider-Verse spin-off would feature the Spider-Gwen character (Steinfeld) alongside Cindy Moon, a.k.a. Silk, and the Jessica Drew Spider-Woman. Co-created by Archie Goodwin and Marie Severin in 1977’s Marvel Spotlight #32, the Drew Spider-Woman has yet to appear in feature films but led her own eponymous animated series that aired 16 episodes on ABC between 1979 and 1980.
Joaquim Dos Santos (Justice League Unlimited, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra), Kemp Powers (writer, One Night in Miami…, co-director of Pixar’s Soul), and Justin K. Thompson direct Spider-Verse 2 from a script by Lord and Miller (The Lego Movie) and Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984, Mortal Kombat, Marvel’s Shang-Chi).
The Oscar-winning Spider-Verse partnered Miles and Gwen with multiple Spider-People from other dimensions, including Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), Peter Porker, a.k.a. Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Peni Parker (Kimiko Green), and the moody Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage). A post-credits scene hinted the sequel would include the Spider-Man of the year 2099, Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac). Plot and casting details for the sequel remain under wraps.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 swings into theaters on October 7, 2022.
Photo credit: Marvel, Maarten de Boer/Getty