Into the Spider-Verse 2 Recruits Issa Rae as Spider-Woman

Into the Spider-Verse 2 Recruits Issa Rae as Spider-Woman
Issa Rae, seen here in 2020, is joining the Spider-Verse. (Photo: Rich Polk/ESSENCE, Getty Images)

We don’t know what the sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is actually going to be called yet, but its first new cast member has just been revealed. It’s Issa Rae, best known for creating and starring in the HBO show Insecure, who’ll be voicing Jessica Drew, aka, Spider-Woman. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news.

Spider-Verse 2, directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, is expected to bring back most of the cast and characters from the first film but Spider-Woman’s addition adds a whole new dimension to it.

In the comics, Drew is a former Agent of SHIELD who’s not really a “Spider” hero in the way the characters from the first film like Peni Parker, Spider-Noir, or Spider-Ham are. Infamously originally created just so Marvel could avoid rivals capitalising on Peter Parker’s success with a female Spider-Man, Jess has had multiple origins over the years — but they all mostly revolve around her not being bitten by a radioactive spider. Instead being affected by spider-blood or through radiation in the womb. That then alters her DNA, giving her not-dissimilar spider powers, like bioelectric venom blasts and energy projection, pheromone manipulation, and wallcrawling. She’s usually a spy for various Marvel organisations, including SHIELD, as much as she is a frontline Avenger.

Which way the movie decides to go with her remains to be seen. In fact, everything with the movie remains to be seen. But you don’t cast Issa Rae as Spider-Woman without the role being significant — especially as she was expected to appear in the previously detailed Spider-Gwen spinoff alongside fellow spider-heroine Silk. We hope this is just the first piece of casting news to come from this highly anticipated project.

Written by Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and David Callaham, the sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is scheduled for release October 7, 2022.