It’s hard to pick just one breakout character from 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, when just about all of them became fan favorites. But between the obvious star power of Miles Morales, the millennial relatability of Peter B. Parker, and the sheer wackiness of Spider-Man Noir or Spider-Ham, Gwen Stacy still stood out. And Gwen’s voice actress, Hailee Steinfeld, can attest to that.
“A highlight of playing this character has been connecting with so many people of all ages, young women specifically, through this one character,” Steinfeld tells Polygon. “I’ve had experiences through this film and through this character that I have not had ever in my life before with anything else I’ve done, and that’s pretty special.”
While full reviews of Across the Spider-Verse haven’t hit yet, critical reaction on social media is (unsurprisingly, given the success of Into the Spider-Verse) positive.
#SpiderManAcrossTheSpiderVerse lives up to the hype in every conceivable way!— Aaron Perine (@SumitLakeHornet) May 25, 2023
Miles Morales absolutely shines in his second Marvel movie adventure. Gwen Stacy takes her place at the head of this table too. Tons of heart on display in every corner of this one. pic.twitter.com/7SFbpOqhKA
#AcrossTheSpiderVerse is yet another milestone for animation. Yes it's gorgeous & visually mind-blowing, but this sequel surpasses the first for always putting Miles AND his family front and center.— Andrew J. Salazar (@AndrewJ626) May 25, 2023
Spider-Gwen also rightfully steps deeper into the spotlight, co-owning the film. pic.twitter.com/maYL97vAeg
Numerous reactions have mentioned that Gwen has a bigger role in the story, compared to Into the Spider-Verse, as Miles’ guide into the wider world of multiversal Spider-Persons seen in trailers. (Sony announced that it was developing an animated Spider-Woman spinoff film in 2018, featuring Spider-Womans Gwen Stacy, Jessica Drew, and Cindy Moon/Silk. But there hasn’t been much news of the project since.)
When Polygon asked what it was like to sink her teeth into a larger role, Steinfeld said that this time around, Gwen is “in a very interesting and complex part of her life. And she handles it gracefully, and as a Spider-Gwen would. I’m excited for people to see, and get a little more insight into, her world, this time around.”
Across the Spider-Verse will hit theaters on June 2.