It may not feel like but it will be only a little over two years between the upcoming Spider-man: No Way Home and its immediate predecessor, Far From Home. Sure, a lot has gone down in the intervening time but maybe a bit of a pause was what the webslinger needed. However beloved a character is, zeal levels are going to be tough to maintain when they’ve been on the big screen ten times in the space of 20 years (excluding the six super-sparky versions in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).
This may explain the frenzied levels of anticipation for a trailer that was in a state of Definitely Being About to Drop for several months now. Rumours had it coming out in June before an awkward online leak of the unfinished trailer on TikTok had Sony’s legal team cancelling all leave and Tom Holland cryptically posting ‘You ain’t ready’ on his Insta Stories. We are, Tom. We really are.
Finally, the real deal has landed and spoiler-phobic Spidey fans can breathe again. While Spider-man: Homecoming (2017) was a high-school origin story and Spider-man: Far From Home (2019) had Parker wrestling with the onerous nature of his power and responsibility, this one sees his secret identity out in the open and a phalanx of old foes spat out of a multitude of timelines and into his life.
First, of course, Parker needs to clear his name after returning to Queens with the shadow of Far From Home’s London mishap hanging over him: a drone attack that Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) pins on him, with some help from a deepfake video that goes viral.
Jon Watts, the director of both Far From Home and Homecoming, returns for this one. Here’s what we know so far:
Who is in Spider-Man: No Way Home?
It’s Londoner Tom Holland’s third solo outing as Peter Parker, with Zendaya back as MJ, Marisa Tomei playing Aunt May and Jacob Batalon returning as Peter’s BFF Ned Leeds. Expect Tony Revolori and Broad City’s Hannibal Buress to pop up as classmate-stroke-school-bully Flash Thompson and Midtown High PE teacher Coach Wilson, respectively.
The most intriguing new addition – alongside JK Simmons’ shock-jock TheDailyBugle.net editor J Jonah Jameson (who cameoed in Far From Home) – is Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange. He adds the crossover connection to the wider MCU that Tony Stark once offered, as well as the key to the movie’s multiverse-spanning pyrotechnics. The trailer suggests that things spiral out of control once Parker, seeking to undo the events of the previous film, enters the Sanctum Sanctorum to seek help from Dr Strange. In an uncharacteristically careless move for the pragmatic magician, the spell is botched, rejiggering the whole timey-wimey thing to villain-unleashing effect.
Also exciting, especially for fans of the Netflix’s Daredevil, is the rumoured appearance of Charlie Cox’s blind superhero Matt Murdock, potentially as Parker’s legal counsel as he tries to clear his name post-London.
Will the Sinister Six be appearing in Spider-man: No Way Home?
Keeping track of Marvel and Sony’s goings on is as arduous as making sense of all of Marvel’s multiverse antics. The trailer hints at the resurrection of at least some of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s psychotic sextet of supervillains in this one: it concludes with an appearance by Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina, back after snuffing it in Spider-Man 2), while Willem Dafoe’s previously impaled Green Goblin is heard delivering his signature cackle.
In addition, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of Jamie Foxx’s return as the amped-up Electro back in October 2020. He was – spoiler warning – dispatched by Andrew Garfield’s Spidey when his power was overloaded with explosive results in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Should the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), Lizard (Rhys Ifans) and Rhino (Paul Giamatti) make an appearance, that makes six, sinister or not.
Here’s where it gets more muddled, though: Beginning with Venom, Sony – which previously scrapped its own Sinister Six spinoff teased in Amazing Spider-Man 2 – has seemingly been building toward a big villain team-up of its own. Jared Leto’s standalone Morbius releases next year, and the trailer teased the arrival of Michael Keaton’s OG Sixer the Vulture, who pulled villain duty in Homecoming and signals more crossovers between Marvel-controled characters and Sony’s rogues gallery. That film will be followed by a solo film about fellow founding member Kraven the Hunter, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the titular big-game killer.
That’s a lot of cross-studio pollination to look forward to in the future. But the biggest present question posed by the new No Way Home trailer is why – and how – are these particular previous villains back in this particular movie. According to The Sneider Cut podcast, the ‘No Way Home’ part of the title relates to those superbads rather than Parker himself. ‘The villains are coming out of these different alternate dimensions [and] they don’t have a way home,’ suggests the podcast’s host Jeff Sneider. Villains stuck in a kind of limbo returning to tear New York a new one? Sounds plausible.
What with Green Goblin’s pumpkin bombs and an avuncular ‘Hello, Peter’ from Doc Ock, the teaser trailer suggests that Spidey, like audiences, will have a lot to get his head around here, whether it’s leading to an emergence of the Six or one-off battles with interdimensional ghosts of Spidey past. Will any of it be half as horrifying as the idea of Happy Hogan dating Aunt May, though?
Will Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire be in No Way Home?
If the question here isn’t ‘will Spider-Ham be in it?’, you’re asking the wrong question. Still, if the idea of a trifecta of Spideys uniting on screen grabs you, the news is still a bit TBC. Garfield denied being in it on the Happy Sad Confused podcast in May, telling host Josh Horowitz: ‘I would’ve gotten a call by now. That’s what I’m saying’. Maguire has not commented so far.
Is this Tom Holland’s final outing as Spider-Man?
Certainly in a solo Marvel outing, yes. He’s 25 now, hardly a veteran by Spidey standards (Garfield was 31 when he shot his last web), but after No Way Home and another MCU film, Marvel and Sony’s co-production deal elapses. That leaves the fate of future Spider-man movies – and Holland’s involvement – up in the air.
Is it part of phase 4 of the Marvelverse?
It is! Sandwiched between Eternals (Nov 5) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Mar 25, 2022), it’ll offer some connective tissue to the latter, if probably not the former.
When is Spider-Man: No Way Home in cinemas?
Frothy, fun and crammed to the gills with big-screen spectacle, Spider-man movies tend to be the very definition of a summer blockbuster. This one, perhaps fittingly in a messed-up year, gets a rare spin in time for Christmas: it’s out on December 17 in the US and UK.
Will it be on Disney Plus?
Nope. This one remains a Sony franchise – albeit run in collaboration with Marvel, and therefore Disney – so there’s no prospect of a day-and-date release on Disney Plus. You’ll need to get to the cinema or wait for a PVOD release sometime in 2022. In the meantime, you can catch up with Spider-man: Far From Home on Netflix UK now.
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