The First Spider-Man: No Way Home Teaser Is Here, and It's Amazing

We break down the biggest reveals and smallest clues that hint at what might be in store for Peter Parker's latest adventure... and the MCU at large.

by | August 23, 2021 | Comments

The wait for a Spider-Man: No Way Home teaser seemed like one of the longest in the still-uncertain fall and winter 2021 movie season. The film itself was delayed a couple of times due to the pandemic, and for a moment, it seemed as though Sony might decide to change its release date as it did with Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Thankfully, No Way Home is sticking with its December 17 release, and the studio finally offered fans a glimpse of the movie on Monday night. Since it will like be the next big chapter in the Marvel Multiverse story, we’re taking a deeper look into the trailer to see what we can glean about both those cosmic implications of the film and the personal story of the title character.

As always, we are aware that trailers sometimes omit key characters, jumble up scenes and dialogue, and attempt to obfuscate the plot of the film. At the same time, it’s fun to dig into these big trailers for clues, so let’s get started.

Spider-Man: Threat And Menace

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

Seemingly, the film will open with Peter (Tom Holland) and MJ (Zendaya) trying to flee the fallout of J. Jonah Jameson’s (J.K. Simmons) proclamation about Spider-Man’s identity at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. At least, we’re assuming Jameson isn’t buying all the Time Square billboards for weeks on end. Also, the shots of Spidey and MJ near the subway entrance, swinging across town, and getting surrounded by helicopters feel like they’re happening immediately after the Far From Home stinger.

Nevertheless, some time will have passed, as the couple are seen on a roof discussing the latest tabloid theories about Peter. The shots of Peter, MJ, and Ned (Jacob Batalon) returning to school (and the subsequent shots of the Halloween lights) also imply Peter’s problems will drag on well into the school year even if the police and the Department of Damage Control (the DODC agent also appears to also wear a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo at 0:29) cannot hold him. But as Peter mentions, he, Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), and Ned will be under constant surveillance and scrutiny from the various agencies looking to prove Peter killed Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

Even if he doesn’t have to lie to MJ anymore, it’s clear the weight of this will be too much for Peter to deal with, and his support system of Aunt May and friends will not be enough to help him through it. Instead of giving up on being Spider-Man, though, he does have at least one other option.

Enter Doctor Strange

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Matt Kennedy/©2021 CTMG)

In a frozen Sanctum Sanctorum – which is either happening because Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wong (Benedict Wong) never fixed the roof or because of a joke we haven’t seen in full – Peter asks Strange for help. Removing Mysterio’s knowledge of Peter’s identity seems simple enough, but the trailer implies it’s bad idea, as Wong straight-up tells Strange not to cast the spell. Not that we’re entirely convinced this is the spell Wong’s referring to in the full scene… Remember the iced over Sanctum? Wong may just be worried about that.

Then again, tampering with time is something Wong tends frown on. Also, Strange’s wink to Peter indicates he is being admonished for even suggesting he can change the past. We imagine Strange, for his part, is feeling pretty cocky again after saving half the universe. That attitude got him into so much trouble before and, really, being overconfident is the man’s chief flaw.

Also, where is Wong headed with all that luggage? Is he relocating to Kamar-Taj on a permanent basis? Have some of the other Sanctums been rebuilt? Come to think of it, there are a number of unknowns from the first Doctor Strange film which could end up being addressed here as the subsequent shots of Peter and Strange falling through reality – and Strange giving Peter the out-of-body whammy – means he’ll be around for a good portion of the film. It’s not like Peter can re-balance the Multiverse on his own right?

The Nature Of The Multiverse

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

One thing the trailer doesn’t do is offer any clarity on the issues raised by the Loki television series. Well, sure, Strange mentions the Multiverse by name, but it is quite unclear if he has any idea about the old state of play He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) held in check. One theory of the Loki finale suggests the loss of He Who Remains is retroactive and the Sacred Timeline never actually existed from the point of view of characters like Strange. So that limited knowledge about the Multiverse’s nature may be even more limited than he suspects.

Which, really, makes tampering in the timeline a really bad idea. You’d think Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) debriefed Strange on what the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) told him about tangent timelines. Then again, in a Multiverse where the Sacred Timeline never existed, that rooftop discussion in Avengers: Endgame might have occurred very differently.

And while we’re talking about the movies occurring differently than they did, the nature of Strange’s spell threatens to completely upend Peter’s life. If no one knows he’s Spider-Man, that means Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) never recruited him, he never received the upgraded suits and, possibly, Tony never learned the empathy necessary to have a child or volunteer to end Thanos.

But perhaps we’re overthinking this, and, instead, the spell just backfires, unleashing more problems and more people who know Peter is Spider-Man.

The Sinister Three?

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

The trailer gives us three villainous images to ponder for the next few months. First, there’s the yellow lightning at 2:13 in the trailer. It could be more Multiversal chaos, but it could also be Electro (Jamie Foxx). Sure, his electricity was blue in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but yellow was Electro’s classic color back in the comics. Is it possible, this isn’t the same Electro from the Amazing series and, instead, the MCU version of the character? Will we see Foxx in the classic mask?

Next, there’s the Green Goblin’s not-quite-pumpkin bomb and his familiar cackle at 2:28. Then, finally, Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) appears at 2:41, confirming not only his presence in the film — despite Molina doing that himself months ago — but also that he fully recognizes Peter for who he really is. So, at least as far as the Multiversal characters go, Peter’s original wish to be unknown will be unfulfilled.

All of these teasing moments suggest half of a Sinister Six ready and able to end Spider-Man, particularly this Spider-Man. Will the others appear to help him out? That remains to be seen.

That said, there may yet be at least one more villain lurking in the shadows 2:26 in the trailer. It may be Doc Ock’s extra limbs, but it could also be made of sand… or even an alien symbiote.

Black Suit Confirmed

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

Not that this is connected to our musing about a symbiote in the darkness, but Peter is clearly wearing a black Spidey suit at 1:15-1:18 of the trailer. The existence of the suit was spoiled by early toy line product images, but to see it in the trailer leaves one wondering why Peter would choose to wear it. He’s also seen in the more “classic” MCU suit and the Iron Spider suit from Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Perhaps it’s just another variation of costume in his arsenal, or, maybe, it is a symptom of the problem Strange suggested is caused by Peter’s attempts to be two people. Will the suit just change to black because the Multiverse is breaking down around him?

Spider-Man No More?

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

Because of the complicated Spider-Man movie rights shared between Sony and Marvel, No Way Home represents Peter’s last solo adventure in the MCU for now. He is meant to make at least one more appearance in either an Avengers 5 or some other hero’s film. But considering the dichotomy Strange refers to in the trailer, is it possible No Way Home will end with Peter no longer being Spider-Man? It may be the only way for him to restore peace and quiet to his loved ones. And it would explain why he’s rarely around when universe-shattering events force the MCU heroes to assemble. Perhaps Holland’s last MCU appearance will see a de-powered Peter helping out in a different way.

Or, maybe, Peter will have to seek refuge in another universe…

Spider-Man: No Way Home opens in theaters on December 17, 2021.

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