While the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is still a few weeks away, Sony is expecting the animated film will be successful enough to buoy its own animated franchise within the overall Sony Spider-Man concern.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Voltron: Legendary Defender‘s Joaquim Dos Santos will direct the Spider-Verse sequel; which will continue the adventures of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) without the other Spider-Verse characters like Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) cramping his style. Meanwhile, Spider-Gwen will likely make her way to an animated spin-off centered on the women of the Spider-Verse, which will likely be directed by Dos Santos’ Voltron compatriot — and Green Lantern: First Flight director — Lauren Montgomery from a script by Zoo‘s Bek Smith.
The news is surprising not for Sony’s eagerness to franchise Spider-Man, they’ve tried that before, but for the appointment of Dos Santos and Montgomery. Both are distinguished television and direct-to-video animation talent finally making their leap to features. And outside of any more cynical elements behind Sony’s decision making, seeing them work with a feature animation budget is worth the price of any extra Spider-Man franchise movies we may have to endure.
Dos Santos will be a familiar name to fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, where he served as storyboard artist and later as a director. Montgomery was a constant director on the early DC Universe Animated direct-to-video features. Both also worked as storyboard artists on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. They later recombined forces as the executive producers of Dreamworks’ Voltron reboot on Netflix. Their pedigrees really make both projects more exciting as they have both proven to be fantastic animation directors with a deep love of story.
Naturally, any good feelings about this idea will evaporate should either of them walk away.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, meanwhile, opens on December 14th.