Phil Lord teases fans will see Japanese Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2. This version of the character appeared in the 1970s live-action TV show, which aired 41 episodes during its original run.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a 2018 animated superhero movie starring Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, and Hailee Steinfeld. The film introduces Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, to mainstream audiences. It explores the idea of multiple universes, where several different versions of Spider-Man exist and have their own unique backstory. The movie was a critical and financial success, grossing $340 million at the box office and winning Best Animated Feature at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. The movie has been praised for its unique animation style and moving story, with many critics and fans calling it the best Spider-Man movie.
Last week it was announced that Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse will be getting a sequel, set to release in theaters in April 2022. This immediately led to fans speculating on what comic book story the movie might adapt or what versions of Spider-Man might be introduced. Twitter user Shannon Tindle asked if Japanese Spider-Man would somehow make it into the film, with producer Phil Lord responding that he has been designed. Japanese Spider-Man is a version of the character from the '70s TV show based (loosely) on the classic hero from the comics. It follows Takuya Yamashiro, a motorcycle racer who uses a bracelet to turn into "Supaidāman" and also control a giant robot. Eagle-eyed viewers can actually see an easter egg of the giant robot in Into the Spider-Verse.
He’s designed!— Phil Lord (@philiplord) November 5, 2019
Japanese Spider-Man is actually the first live-action adaptation of the character. This is due to Marvel's history of being very open about licensing their characters. There were several failed pilots throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s that starred Marvel characters, as well as some direct-to-video movies. After they went bankrupt in 1996, Marvel decided to sell the rights to their characters to different film companies, which led to three different studios (Disney, Fox and Sony) adapting their own Marvel superhero movies.
With the Japanese Spider-Man seemingly confirmed to appear in the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel, it seems very likely that other fan-favorite versions of the character might appear in the film. The first film's post-credits scene includes Miguel O' Hara aka Spider-Man 2099 and shows that he has the ability to travel between universes, so him and Miles Morales are likely to meet in the second film. There was actually a scene written for the first film that included Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey McGuire, who all played Spider-Man in their own live-action adaptations of the character. Even though the idea was eventually scrapped, it is possible that the writers might reconsider including these versions of the character again after the fans warm reception of the idea.