Marvel has always kept the plots of its movies under wraps for as long as possible. That’s not just true for Marvel Cinematic Universe movies released by Disney; it was also true of the X-Men films at Fox and the Spiderverse films at Sony. With spoilers under lock and key, fans can work themselves into a frenzy trying to uncover what might happen. Case in point: There have been many rumors about crossover appearances for the latest Spider-Man movie, Tom Holland’s final installment in the currently planned trilogy. So, let’s get right to it: Are Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man 3 or not?
For those new to the Spider-Man films, Maguire and Garfield were the previous inhabitants of the Spidey suit when the franchise was under the complete control of Sony Pictures. When Sony and Disney joined forces to cross the character over into the MCU, the production recast the role with Holland. Since then, there’s been a bit of a separation between the MCU and the Spiderverse. Venom and Into The Spider-verse are in one timeline, and the MCU is in another. Fans have wanted a crossover to combine the two worlds, but for a while, it seemed unlikely.
The first sign that could be changing was the casting of J.K. Simmons as Spider-Man’s nemesis, J. Jonah Jameson, a role he played in the original Spider-Man films. At the time, producers insisted his performance was so iconic that Marvel couldn’t replace him, and that this was a different iteration of the character. That made it seem like he would be the only one to reprise his role from past Spidey iterations.
But that all changed with an update toward the end of 2020, when Collider reported that Alfred Molina’s rumored return from 2004’s Spider-Man 2 was confirmed, as was Jamie Foxx’s return from 2013’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. (Multiple sources have since confirmed this.) Along with them, the article claimed the main leads from the original Maguire trilogy and the later Garfield duology that ended when the MCU took over — aka Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Andrew Garfield, and Emma Stone — would also come back. But when asked for comment, Marvel and Sony stayed mum.
Those rumors have circled back around recently with the film’s imminent release. (Its arrival is set for Dec. 17, 2021.) Moreover, there have been other hints that a crossover is coming. Venom: Let There Be Carnage’s post-credit sequence featured Venom moving Eddie Brock from the film’s current timeline to the MCU one.
But Tom Holland has continued to insist all of this is untrue. When asked back in February 2021, he said that neither Maguire nor Garfield will be in the film, or if they were, they weren’t in any part of the movie he’d filmed. Now, they could be in scenes he’s not in — for example, in the Venom sequel, he’s technically on a TV, not onscreen with Tom Hardy. And Holland is known for accidentally telling reporters spoilers, so production has given him false information before. It’s possible it could be happening, and Holland just doesn’t know about it.
But Holland seemed very solid on “this is not happening.” Instead, he said it is a “dark” and “sad” story about his character. Fans will have to wait and see what happens in the film when it finally premieres.
Spider-Man: No Way Home arrives in theaters on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.