Issa Rae, known for her role in HBO's Insecure, has been cast as Jessica Drew, AKA Spider-Woman, in the untitled Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel.
This marks the first major casting news to surface about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2. Rae joins returning cast members Shameik Moore, who leads as Miles Morales/Spider-Man, and Hailee Steinfeld, who plays Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen.
It's been just about a year since the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel entered production, but we still don't have any plot details or release date. Thanks to a Variety (opens in new tab) report from April, we do know the sequel is being helmed by a trio of directors including Joaquin Do Santos (Justice League Unlimited, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra), Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami, Soul, Star Trek: Discovery), and Justin K. Thompson (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse production designer).
Elsewhere behind the scenes, Peter Ramsey, who directed the first Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, is returning as an executive producer. Producing duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are writing the screenplay along with David Callaham, who has writing credits on the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie, Wonder Woman 1984, and Ant-Man.
Despite nothing official from Sony on the story, Rae's casting as Jessica Drew opens up a world of possibilities. Miles and Jessica have fought together before, including in the 2014 Marvel Comics Spider-Verse event. And as Variety points out, bringing in Jessica Drew suggests we could see the oft-ignored Wundagore Mountain region from the comics, which is where Jessica grew up and was exposed to lethal levels of uranium. In an attempt to save her life, Jessica's father injected her with an experimental serum based on arachnid blood, inadvertently making a superhero out of her.
Again, it isn't clear whether Spider-Woman's origin story will play out exactly as it does in the comic books, or even whether her origin story is explained (although that's more likely), but it's always helpful looking back at comic book history for hints at where the story could go.
Find out where Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ranked on our list of the best superhero movies ever made.