Yuri Lowenthal Unpacks ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’ Ending and Teases Return of ‘Lovable Himbo’ Johnny in ‘Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers for major plot points and the ending of “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.” 

Yuri Lowenthal still hasn’t finished “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.” But the Peter Parker actor is finding a new way to experience his work: through his son. “Famously, I did like 3% of ‘Spider Man 1,’ which is so embarrassing. But we finished it together! A lot of the game was him holding the controller, things would get hot, and he’d freak out and throw the controller at me. I have yet to touch the controller once since I handed it to him for ‘Spider-Man 2.’” 

While it’s a blow to Lowenthal’s pride to watch his son favor playing as Miles Morales, he’s loving watching his work on the October 2023 release through his eyes. Last year, Lowenthal spoke to Variety about tackling Peter’s much darker persona in this story. Now, he’s opening up about the game’s ending and most challenging scenes as he gears up for the Feb. 29 release of “Final Fantasy VII Rebirth,” which sees his return as fan-favorite character Johnny. 

At the end of “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2,” there’s an implication that Miles will take over the mantle as the primary Spidey, seemingly representing the end of Peter’s journey. How did you feel recording those final scenes, and what do you think about what this means for Peter in future games? 

There have been some comments recently that were picked up to infer that that Peter’s out and Miles is in. While I think that Peter would love to believe that he can just turn it off and not be Spider-Man anymore and live a completely normal life, I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen now. 

I don’t know — I haven’t read a script yet. They’re probably still working on it. But I don’t think that’s the last we’re gonna see Peter. I think it’s a cool place to leave it. It’s a cool change for him. 

I think 100% he trusts Miles. Miles has really stepped up and he’s like, “Oh, maybe I can get a little break.” And I did get a vacation to Symkaria during the Miles game. Not much of vacation, but at least at least MJ got to learn to ride a motorcycle, which is awesome. 

We’ve got to talk about that sequence when MJ turns into Scream. What was your reaction when you first read that in the script? 

I thought, “Oh my God, what a great way to incorporate scream and keep it in the spirit of the way Insomniac tells stories.” And then as soon as I saw what it was going to look like, I was like, “Every single person who plays this is just going to stand up, and their head’s gonna explode. They’re just gonna start screaming!” 

That scene struck me as one of the more difficult moments to act — you’re fighting, but you also don’t want to hurt her, all while you’re having a very serious conversation about your relationship, filtered through the Symbiote’s influence. 

It was hard. It’s a bit akin to my relationship with Tara, my wife. We don’t fight about stuff, and so sometimes things bubble under the surface until they come out. MJ’s saboteur was talking to her, but there was also some truth in what she was saying. These are the things that she had always wanted to say, and thought, “Well, that might damage our relationship.” They were coming out like barbs all at once, and Peter had to face up to responsibility for some of those things. It was definitely layered. 

You brought up your wife, Tara Platt, who returns in this game as Yuri Watanabe, aka Wraith. What’s it like working with your spouse? 

It’s always fun to work with her. We don’t get a chance to work with each other all the time on every project, obviously. But when the stars do align, it’s always it’s always a lot of fun. There’s a cool relationship that Yuri and Spider-Man have in the first game, but she’s changed. 

She’s got different priorities in this game, and they’re very murder-y. So, it’s hard for Pete to reconcile that. Before he was like, “We’re playing by the same rules, right?” And now he’s like, “Yeah, I think she wants to kill all these guys.” It was great from an acting standpoint, hopefully from a story standpoint as well. 

You’ve got another exciting project coming up with “Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.” What can you tell me about Johnny in the game? 

I’m gonna be a little coy about it. Let us just say that they found an interesting way in this game to cram even more Johnny into it than they did last time, but he is still the same lovable himbo. I love him so much. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 


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