Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to release in theatres on Dec. 17, and the anticipation for fans of the MCU could not be higher.
The first teaser trailer, released on Aug. 23, racked up 355.5-million views in 24 hours. This shattered the previous record held by Avengers: Endgame of 289-million views. A second trailer, released on Nov. 16, only added to fan frenzy for the film just one month before release.
Full disclosure: This article will feature spoilers for the MCU up to 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, as well as other past Spider-Man and Marvel films.
Spider-Man: No Way Home will be the final instalment of the Homecoming Trilogy and will be directed by Jon Watts. The film will once again star Tom Holland as Peter Parker, Zendaya as MJ and Jacob Batalon as Ned Leads.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Holland gives insight into the way those involved in the film saw it: “We were all treating (Spider-Man: No Way Home) as the end of a franchise, let’s say. I think if we were lucky enough to dive into these characters again, you’d be seeing a very different version. It would no longer be the Homecoming trilogy. We would give it some time and try to build something different and tonally change the films. Whether that happens or not, I don’t know. But we were definitely treating (the trilogy) like it was coming to an end, and it felt like it.”
Parker’s story in the MCU up to now has been far from uneventful. The webslinger fought on Team Iron Man during Captain America: Civil War, defeated Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, battled alongside The Avengers in a losing effort against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, was subsequently erased alongside 50 per cent of life in the universe and returned in Avengers: Endgame.
However, things seemingly turn for the worse at the conclusion of Spider-Man: Far From Home when Mysterio reveals Parker’s secret identity to the world, and frames Spider-Man for his own drone attack.
As shown in the first trailer, Parker will now have to deal with the world labeling him “Public Enemy #1,” and possible prosecution. Parker will enlist the help of fellow Avenger Doctor Strange, to cast a spell causing everyone to forget he is Spider-Man. This spell will seemingly open the Multiverse.
The multiverse, a collection of alternate timelines and realities, has been explored in multiple Marvel comics and films such as Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse.
With the release of the second trailer, the number of confirmed villains for the film has risen to five. All five happen to be reprising their roles from both Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy and Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man films. The confirmed roster consists of Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Electro (Jaimie Foxx), Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church) and the Lizard (Rhys Ifans).
Original Spider-Man director Sam Raimi praised Molina’s trailer appearance in an interview with Syfy Wire: “He looks great, the animation’s great. I’m assuming it’s not puppeted because when we did Doc Ock, we had puppets and animation for his octopus tentacles. But it was smooth and powerful and I loved his costume they kept (from the original). I think it’s gonna be a great movie.”
However, as any diehard fan of Spider-Man knows, there must be a sixth villain to round out an iteration of the Sinister Six. This could be Rhino, Vulture, Shocker or Scorpion, who are all still alive, or possibly even Mysterio.
The most anticipated theory among fans, however, involves Spider-Man himself. The speculation has largely been around both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield returning to their roles as alternate-timeline Peter Parkers, to team up with Holland’s.
Neither Maguire nor Garfield have confirmed their return. Garfield even heavily denied a ‘”leaked” set photo during an October appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon: “If they want to give me a call at this late stage in the game, I’m sitting here in my tracksuit.”
Following Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage’s post-credit scene, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) has also entered the MCU timeline. The anti-hero Venom could either be on Parker’s side or that unknown sixth villain.
According to Holland in a recent interview with Total Film, Spider-Man: No Way Home will have a much darker tone than his two previous solo films: “It’s dark and it’s sad, and it’s going to be really affecting. You’re going to see characters that you love go through things that you would never wish for them to go through. And I was just really excited to kind of lean into that side of Peter Parker… Peter Parker is always someone who’s looking up. He’s always really positive. He’s always like, ‘I can fix this. I can do this.’ Whereas in this film, he feels like he’s met his match. He’s like, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ That was an aspect of the character that I’d never seen before, and I was really, really excited to try to tackle.”
Anticipation and fan theories for the film will only continue to rise, but fans will have to head to theaters Dec.17 to see what happens to our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.