Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'
The New Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer Brings In A Multiverse Of Villains

I'm overwhelmed.

by Ani Bundel
Originally Published: 
Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe did something genuinely remarkable with The Infinity Saga, as it's now called. Faced with the challenge of building a franchise without its two most popular character sets, the X-Men and the Spider-Verse, it set about turning B-listers like Iron Man and Captain America into household names. But even though the MCU has succeeded beyond anyone's wildest expectations, Spider-Man remains its biggest draw. That's why fans are hanging onto every fact about the franchise's upcoming project, Spider-Man: No Way Home, that they can.

Before the MCU even existed, Sony was the leading production studio in making Marvel films. The release of the original Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire as the titular webslinger in 2002 was arguably the moment the superhero craze of the last two decades took off. (Meanwhile, the failure of 2006's original Spider-Man 3 is supposedly what inspired Marvel to start its own studio.)

But even though the MCU has thus far treated current star Tom Holland as *the* canonical Spider-Man, sweeping the older franchises under the rug, fans haven't been so quick to let go. Moreover, the recent rumors point to a film that will tie all three Spider-Man versions to appear on the big screen thus far into one happy family.

However, despite the hype, Holland has insisted the rumors aren't real. But with the multiverse already introduced in the recent Disney+ series Loki, it seems like some crossover from the original Spider-verse was inevitable. Here's what's known so far:

Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer

Spider-Man 3 began filming in October 2020, a delay from the original summer start date due to the Hollywood shutdown of 2020. But even with the delay, fans had an idea where the new film is headed, thanks to a Spider-Man 2 DVD/Blu-ray bonus scene.

The extra scene builds on Spider-Man 2's post-credits sequence that revealed one of Spider-Man's most famous nemeses, J. Jonah Jameson. But bringing back the angry newsman devoted to exposing Spider-Man as a conspiracy-spewing YouTuber wasn't why fans got excited. The return of actor J.K. Simmons, who played the same character back in Sony's original Maguire-led Spider-Man trilogy, was the real draw.

At long last, the first full trailer arrived on Aug. 23, 2021. In addition to Jameson, it confirmed a second arrival from the original Maguire days would also be back: Doc Ock. And it also promised these crossovers from the Maguire version of Spider-Man are due to multiversal madness created by Doctor Strange.

The second and final full-length trailer for the film arrived on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. Unlike the first trailer, this one allowed fans a good look at the overarching plot and the numerous villains Peter Parker will face. But the final moments, which recreate a famous moment from one of the earlier Spider-Man iterations, left fans asking again if there are more cameos to come.

Spider-Man 3 Title

Marvel Studios

At this point, the secondary titles for Holland's run as Spider-Man have a well-established "home" theme: Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home. With the next film slated to arrive in Christmas 2021, fans anxiously awaited Marvel and Sony's announcement of the full title for Spider-Man 3.

So when Tom Holland posted the first official photo from the set along with a title card, fans went wild... until they looked again and realized Holland was trolling them with Spider-Man: Phone Home, aka the famous phrase from ET: The Extra-Terrestrial.

Holland wasn't the only one who got in on the game. Co-stars Jacob Batalon and Zendaya were quick to post their own troll-titles as well: Spider-Man: Home-Wrecker and Spider-Man: Home Slice.

Luckily, fans saw the humor straight away, and it wasn't long before the real title was revealed. Sadly it wasn't Spider-Man 3: Snoopy Come Home or Spider-Man 3: Home Is Where The Heart Is.

Instead, it was far more ominous, reading “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

Spider-Man: No Way Home Cast

Marvel Studios

Fans already know the main cast of the current Spider-Man was signed for a potential trilogy of films. Holland will be back as the titular Peter Parker and Zendaya as his love interest MJ Watson. Jacob Batalon has confirmed he'll return as Ned, Parker's BFF. Marisa Tomei will also be back as Aunt May. And Benedict Cumberbatch is the crossover character from the MCU to the Spider-Man films in this installment, reprising his role as Doctor Strange.

J.K. Simmons' cameo appearance in the sequel's bonus content signaled Sony was comfortable carrying over actors from previous big-screen versions. But even so, fans were surprised when sources told The Hollywood Reporter Jamie Foxx would return as Electro, a role he played in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the two-film series which starred Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man that fell between Maguire and Holland.

But though Electro currently remains unconfirmed in reprising his villain, the official trailer did confirm a different return: Alfred Molina as Doc Ock, the villain from Maguire's Spider-Man 2.

But bringing back characters from previous Spider-Man series may only be the tip of the iceberg. Marvel and Sony remain tightlipped at the possibility, but multiple reports claim both Maguire and Garfield have signed onto the new Spider-Man 3 film, possibly with Kirsten Dunst and Emma Stone as Mary Jane from Maguire's trilogy and Gwen Stacy from the Garfield films, respectively.

Neither Marvel nor Sony have confirmed anything. But Holland insists these rumors are false. Speaking to Esquire in February, he explained: “They will not be appearing in this film... unless [the producers] have hidden the most massive piece of information from me, which I think is too big of a secret for them to keep from me. But as of yet, no. It’ll be a continuation of the Spider-Man movies that we’ve been making."

(Elite Daily reached out to Marvel and Sony for comment on these reports, but did not hear back.)

Spider-Man: No Way Home Plot Details

Marvel Studios

As usual, Marvel and Sony are keeping all details under wraps as best they can. And Holland freely admitted to Esquire his reputation as a spoiler generator means he's gotten false information before:

In [Endgame], Robert Downey Jr.'s funeral scene, for the longest time, I was under the impression that it was a wedding. I'm 100% sure that they're still tricking me.

If the above casting rumors are correct, it would change the direction of the Spider-Man live-action franchise to something far more akin to the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Featuring a young Miles Morales accidentally meeting other Spider-Folk (including an older Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman, and Peter Porker as Spider-Ham), Spider-Verse was a massive box office smash. It even took home an Oscar for Best Animated Film.

But the new trailer shows that Sony and the MCU are probably not planning to follow the cartoon version's plot. However, even if Holland is correct that the entire Spider-Fam is not going to turn up, a multiverse is certainly on the way. Now it just remains to be seen if Peter can find that way home and how this film will tie into Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness, which will debut in early 2022.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Premiere Date

Marvel Studios

As fans know, the theatrical shutdowns of 2020 caused the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 to slide down the calendar to start in 2021 with WandaVision on Disney+. Sony has shifted Spider-Man: No Way Home along with it from the initially planned summer 2021 release date to slot between Marvel’s Eternals, which premieres in November 2021, and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness, which arrives in May 2022.

Spider-Man: No Way Home will debut in theaters on Dec. 17, 2021.

Fans can rent the first two installments of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man series, Homecoming and Far From Home, via Amazon. The earlier Spider-Man films starring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are available via the STARZ add-on on Hulu. All other MCU films (save The Incredible Hulk) and streaming series are available via Disney+.

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