Everything We Know

Everything We Know About Spider-Man: No Way Home

A new trailer confirms rumors of Spidey facing off against multiple villains from previous franchises, but are they the only familiar faces to appear? We dive into the details.

by | November 16, 2021 | Comments

The third Marvel Studios Spider-Man film almost didn’t happen. In the summer of 2019, arguments between the Walt Disney Company and Sony Pictures Entertainment about the former’s profit participation in the project seemingly stopped development dead. Soon after the companies stopped negotiations, Tom Holland used his clout to get both organization to resume talks.

At least, that’s one version of the story.

However it actually happened, Disney and Sony agreed to produce another Spider-Man film (and to feature the Holland version of the character in a yet-to-be announced Marvel Studios film). And if the recent trailers any indication, this third Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man is going to be the biggest film of the webhead’s cinematic career.

So let’s take a look at what we know about the film so far and what it might mean for Peter Parker’s (Holland) future in the MCU, the Spider-Verse, or some combination of the two.

[Updated on 8/24/21]


The Returning Cast

Cast of Spider-Man: Far From Home

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Since Holland leveraged his participation in the upcoming adaptation of Sony’s Uncharted video game series to make it happen, he is definitely back as Spider-Man. Joining him, as they have for the previous few films, are Zendaya as MJ, Jacob Batalon as Peter’s best friend Ned, and Marisa Tomei as Peter’s aunt, May Parker. Tony Revolori will also appear as quasi-nemesis Flash Thompson, and J.K. Simmons will continue on as J. Jonah Jameson following his cameo at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. But his appearance was more of a tease than we ever realized about the next Spider-Man and the return of some familiar faces. More on that in a moment.

Behind the camera, director Jon Watts returns to join a very exclusive club of filmmakers who navigated Marvel machinery to make a full trilogy – currently, Ant-Man series director Peyton Reed and Guardians of the Galaxys James Gunn are scheduled to join him in that fraternity by 2023.

On the script side, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers also return for their third outing with Holland’s Spider-Man, as do producers Amy Pascal and, of course, Kevin Feige, who seems to be using the film as an opportunity to introduce a lot of Spider-Man film history into his Marvel Universe.


The Strange and Familiar Faces

Jamie Foxx in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

(Photo by ©Columbia Pictures)

Although the COVID-19 epidemic slightly delayed the film – it moved from an initial July 2021 release to the end of that year – news started emerging throughout 2020 that suggested it may be the biggest Spider-Man film to date.

It all began on October 1, 2020, when word broke that Jamie Foxx would appear in the the film as Electro, the character he played in Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — the film’s whose relative shortcomings led to the studio’s talks with Marvel about placing Peter in the MCU in the first place. Though it was possible Foxx would play a new version of the character more tailored to the Marvel reality, many began to wonder if he was playing the same Electro from that earlier film, giving it a place in the tapestry of the MCU.

A week later, Benedict Cumberbatch joined the cast to reprise his role as Doctor Strange. According to the reports at the time, Strange was presumed to serve the same “mentor” role as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Nick Fury/Telos (Samuel L. Jackson) in Far From Home. From the teaser trailer released in August of 2021, though, it’s clear Strange’s role is more “co-conspirator” than mentor as Peter tries to use magic to erase his public outing. In the trailer released in November, Strange also charges Peter with a new task – although some moments suggest they will also come into conflict.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Matt Kennedy/©2021 CTMG)

Of course, Strange’s choice to help Peter will lead to his next starring role in 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which seems poised to serve as an Avengers-style keystone in the Multiverse plot weaving its way around Phase 4. In addition to returning to threads from WandaVision, it seems pretty clear he will become aware of the Loki problem as well.

When asked about the nature of his role, Foxx played coy at first, but then infamously posted – and subsequently deleted – a picture of the three live-action Spider-Man actors (Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Holland) to his Instagram. It inspired hope that perhaps Holland’s Spidey would meet his colleagues from other realities, echoing Sony’s Oscar-winning animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

Then, in December of 2020, a flood of info seemed to confirm this notion. Alfred Molina was spotted on set, and the trades subsequently reported he was reprising his Spider-Man 2 role of Doctor Octopus. Just a few short hours later, a report from Collider indicated Kirsten Dunst was in talks to reprise Mary Jane Watson from the first Spider-Man film series, with The Amazing Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield also planning to join the film. Original Spidey Tobey Maguire and Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy in the ASM series) were also said to be circling the project; Stone’s pregnancy may prevent her from appearing, while Maguire may only need the right deal to make this meeting of the cinematic Spider-Men a dream come true. Aside from Molina’s casting, none of the others has been confirmed, but the November trailer made it clear that both screen Green Goblins, the Lizard, and the Sandman will all appear as more deadly foes Spider-Man must face. It is still unclear, though, if they will be played by the original actors or just appear as costumes and CGI.

Also, eagle-eyed fans on the Internet have already noticed the Lizard reacting to a seemingly invisible opponent at one point, indicating some world-famous Marvel image manipulation may be obscuring certain characters in the trailer.

At this time, it is unknown if the previous Aunt May actors, Rosemary Harris and Sally Field, have also been approached, but other rumors indicate Charlie Cox will play Matt Murdoch from Netflix’s Daredevil series — apparently to represent Spider-Man in court.

While all of these actors represent a huge cast, particularly for a Spider-Man film, it also suggests No Way Home is looking more across the gulf to Sony than a story about Peter’s place in the MCU. Which may not be a bad plan, all things considered.


Into the Spider-Verse?

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

(Photo by ©Columbia Pictures)

The wildly successful Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse already established all the fictional architecture required to either transfer Holland’s Spider-Man into Sony’s film universe – a narrative setting it tried to dub the “Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters” in 2019, but shortened to “Sony’s Spider-Man Universe” last August – or bring the Spider-Verse into the MCU. The various realities are all true, after all; even the reality where Spider-Man 2099 is played by Oscar Isaac. Considering the way other realities appear to be converging toward the end of the November trailer, we could imagine the film establishing a long-term explanation for the two movie universes and Peter’s place within them.

Sony, as it happens, was ready to walk away from the MCU in 2019 thanks to the success of its incipient Spider-Verse. The animated film took home a Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards and created a lasting legacy. The studio’s 2018 film Venom, meanwhile, proved they could launch a successful Spider-Man movie without Spider-Man. That confidence led to some of the disagreements when Disney wanted a larger cut of No Way Home, and it emboldened Sony to finally move ahead with Spider-related projects they wanted to produce since The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Venom

(Photo by Sony Pictures Entertainment)

That film was supposed to lead directly in to a Sinister Six movie in which the most dastardly foes of Spider-Man teamed up against him. The tepid box office and critical response to ASM2 put a hard stop those plans and led to a rebooted Peter Parker’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War and subsequent Marvel releases. Nevertheless, Sony continued to develop Venom, Into the Spider-Verse, and a movie centering on Black Cat and Silver Sable.

As it stands, Sony is currently developing films centering on Madame Web, Black Cat and Silver Sable as separate projects, Silk, Kraven the Hunter, and Spider-Woman, the latter with Olivia Wilde slated to direct. It also has two completed films, Venom: Let There Be Carnage — which bowed in October — and Morbius, set for release early next year.

Morbius

(Photo by Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Morbius also raised eyebrows with a trailer released in late 2019 that referenced Peter’s current problems in the MCU; that is to say, various shots offered glimpses of posters referring to Spider-Man as a murderer. Making Morbius’s place in the Spider-Verse murkier was the surprise appearance of Micheal Keaton, presumably playing Adrian Toomes from Homecoming and offering Micheal Morbius (Jared Leto) a piece of the action. It left fans wondering whether Spider-Man was finally going to fight the Sinister Six or the group was coming to him to fight on MCU turf. The November trailer presents a sinister group of Spider-Man’s enemies ready to fight him, and Let There Be Carnage’s stinger scene made it clear two Sony characters are definitely in the MCU.

It remains to be seen, though, just how connected the MCU and the Sony Spider-Man Universe will be. There are certain advantages to keeping the MCU and the Spider-Verse close, particularly if the relationship between Sony and Disney warms up. But as with No Way Home’s apparent cast list, the potential universe-hopping plot leaves many breathlessly anticipating its release.


The Release Date

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

Spider-Man: No Way Home is set for release on December 17th, 2021, a date that seemed in doubt even after the August trailer. But with just a month to go before release, Sony is absolutely committed to letting fans see the film soon.


Thumbnail images by ©Sony Pictures Entertainment

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

Holidays marvel comics Hallmark directors versus die hard Awards composers Comic Book foreign FX on Hulu thriller Arrowverse trophy Infographic HBO Max zero dark thirty IFC psycho GLAAD DC Comics james bond live action remakes social media suspense legend jamie lee curtis Film Festival teaser technology 4/20 CBS All Access Action documentary basketball scorecard Tags: Comedy 71st Emmy Awards toy story slashers australia rotten movies we love TV police drama Fall TV PlayStation RT History fast and furious Nickelodeon biography south america latino canceled TV shows New York Comic Con The Walking Dead Turner Classic Movies Red Carpet hispanic heritage month President First Look stop motion comedies Adult Swim Black History Month Marvel Studios Box Office TCA Winter 2020 war 93rd Oscars TBS Universal Pictures feel good scene in color rt archives Discovery Channel Acorn TV Video Games trailers Cannes Television Critics Association Christmas Fantasy NYCC golden globe awards superhero MTV twilight MCU Rocketman political drama golden globes Baby Yoda DGA 99% Set visit reboot streaming movies Trailer festival nbcuniversal football 45 CW Seed WGN Alien Musicals Pop TV toronto theme song SDCC NBC sag awards aliens The Academy nature Comedy Central The Walt Disney Company discovery Podcast Women's History Month TLC travel breaking bad TV Land Family Chernobyl YouTube Premium miniseries Trophy Talk First Reviews japanese cinemax sopranos Funimation 72 Emmy Awards batman sequel Martial Arts Ellie Kemper Image Comics critic resources Captain marvel Thanksgiving period drama Spring TV free movies worst Pop dceu DirecTV Mary Poppins Returns TCA SundanceTV Photos GoT vampires animated Pet Sematary BBC christmas movies LGBTQ unscripted Apple San Diego Comic-Con aapi what to watch dragons Disney Vudu History adenture robots YouTube Red 2021 halloween tv Marvel Television TCA 2017 wonder woman obituary Writers Guild of America witnail gangster king arthur Rock ESPN mockumentary Heroines adventure transformers TNT RT21 TCA Awards 2018 Mindy Kaling The CW elevated horror sports E! LGBT Cartoon Network Food Network italian Disney Channel USA Network Oscars king kong Western CMT Quiz See It Skip It Crackle hidden camera IMDb TV mob documentaries science fiction child's play HBO Go worst movies Valentine's Day video on demand Star Wars indie Schedule medical drama Freeform VH1 crossover Biopics El Rey Hulu ABC Signature Nominations Amazon Studios 21st Century Fox Comic-Con@Home 2021 Reality Competition french spinoff CBS Summer BBC America sitcom comic book movie Exclusive Video facebook Apple TV+ Neflix GIFs Hollywood Foreign Press Association Hallmark Christmas movies stand-up comedy godzilla space based on movie blaxploitation rt labs critics edition Tomatazos zombie best Hear Us Out dark FX werewolf Legendary ghosts comic book movies laika Election richard e. Grant TV movies indiana jones cartoon razzies game show joker Disney streaming service a nightmare on elm street spider-verse Comedy Calendar cops Country Classic Film sequels Bravo Starz universal monsters crime HFPA cats APB Mystery 2017 royal family 24 frames independent TCM Winter TV Polls and Games TIFF Pirates women debate Binge Guide vs. 90s Opinion Broadway dogs slasher japan movies Marvel Pixar psychological thriller anime Star Trek strong female leads Academy Awards Britbox posters Best and Worst Lionsgate saw Nat Geo Spectrum Originals FOX Instagram Live Esquire TV renewals renewed TV shows biopic singing competition The Arrangement spy thriller prank Shudder Teen docuseries Lifetime festivals 79th Golden Globes Awards fresh news Shondaland Cosplay award winner historical drama comic books The Purge cancelled television Netflix Christmas movies DC streaming service blockbusters Tumblr binge art house Pride Month Walt Disney Pictures marvel cinematic universe emmy awards BET Awards Superheroes 73rd Emmy Awards Tubi live event HBO cancelled TV series FXX films Emmy Nominations PBS Tokyo Olympics Mary poppins hist deadpool ABC Family Prime Video Spike Horror Amazon BET revenge OneApp archives A&E Sci-Fi IFC Films Masterpiece asian-american Drama cults Black Mirror telelvision A24 hispanic Showtime all-time Animation boxing children's TV X-Men heist movie superman Marathons genre Paramount Plus Fox Searchlight Paramount Network MSNBC cancelled CNN screenings name the review Awards Tour Lifetime Christmas movies Mary Tyler Moore PaleyFest Crunchyroll Toys 2016 Kids & Family WarnerMedia Year in Review rt labs Travel Channel green book screen actors guild Wes Anderson NBA TV One diversity Grammys Super Bowl USA ABC Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cancelled TV shows doctor who Netflix Warner Bros. scary jurassic park international zombies classics chucky Brie Larson comiccon romance Film spain boxoffice E3 Elton John Superheroe 2015 kaiju know your critic Ghostbusters high school quibi YouTube Countdown supernatural Holiday ratings Paramount OWN Disney+ Disney Plus Sneak Peek Tarantino ID The Witch satire talk show Stephen King Winners VICE monster movies hollywood Anna Paquin popular true crime video Television Academy 2020 AMC Plus Emmys American Society of Cinematographers casting Endgame leaderboard Amazon Prime young adult Certified Fresh 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards justice league blockbuster book game of thrones target dreamworks Music 2019 Turner dexter Extras Creative Arts Emmys Comics on TV docudrama Syfy Trivia streaming television Apple TV Plus Dark Horse Comics concert venice black olympics parents BAFTA tv talk AMC TruTV National Geographic new zealand Ovation Mudbound new star wars movies action-comedy Premiere Dates series Peacock pirates of the caribbean 007 serial killer ViacomCBS crime drama movie Rocky dc YA criterion Sundance Now mission: impossible critics romantic comedy new york Musical spider-man Sundance TV comic franchise Song of Ice and Fire spanish Disney Plus Columbia Pictures Universal spanish language Watching Series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina canceled book adaptation cars rotten Fox News reviews mutant Amazon Prime Video VOD halloween harry potter natural history mcc Epix disaster comics stoner 1990s Lucasfilm Avengers politics 20th Century Fox dramedy kong kids Fargo SXSW ITV crime thriller DC Universe finale scary movies anthology Sundance Logo cooking Character Guide black comedy Reality lord of the rings Interview Sony Pictures Rom-Com nfl adaptation Pacific Islander BBC One rom-coms