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

HFPA First Look razzies action-comedy crime streamig cartoon foreign BAFTA singing competition franchise Star Wars cinemax comics DC Universe Star Wars Celebration cancelled television Creative Arts Emmys legend Hollywood Foreign Press Association CMT TV Land Apple BET Awards canceled President sports spider-man art house TIFF Ellie Kemper The Academy 71st Emmy Awards olympics dc Logo Lucasfilm Writers Guild of America FX psychological thriller new york Elton John quibi facebook ViacomCBS latino dramedy comic books NBA GLAAD 21st Century Fox interviews Image Comics MGM summer preview FOX MCU adaptation Hallmark Neflix Amazon Prime Video PBS anthology Best Actress Premiere Dates Pop sopranos zombies Tarantino Geeked Week aapi tv talk Emmys Indigenous know your critic Stephen King discovery Sundance TV football Hulu screenings DGA social media streaming superhero 2021 lord of the rings Endgame Horror Paramount Pictures anime renewed TV shows Turner Classic Movies nbcuniversal festival ratings space godzilla rt labs critics edition E! Television Critics Association slasher scene in color Film Festival Music all-time green book Song of Ice and Fire Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Paramount Fox Searchlight A24 Binge Guide hispanic heritage month Toys child's play Spike true crime 72 Emmy Awards french Prime Video The Witch christmas movies a nightmare on elm street joker Netflix Christmas movies Discovery Channel parents Extras MTV Thanksgiving 2020 YA royal family criterion telelvision The CW cats king arthur unscripted comic book movie Turner deadpool Television Academy Video Games Travel Channel TV renewals Pride Month Teen talk show toronto spain feel good Amazon halloween tv indie free movies doctor who Spring TV news Pacific Islander 73rd Emmy Awards GoT stoner PlayStation worst Marvel Television E3 Comedy Set visit video 007 Mary poppins Bravo Oscar Pirates rom-coms new zealand Disney streaming service transformers fast and furious comic book movies black comedy classics TCA 2017 travel historical drama rt archives critics AMC Plus 2018 emmy awards Quiz 1990s El Rey mockumentary scene in color series Marathons Shudder Tomatazos Amazon Prime American Society of Cinematographers Sony Pictures hollywood SundanceTV Disney+ Disney Plus TV Spectrum Originals popular TV movies boxoffice teaser mcc target Comic Book OneApp mission: impossible casting ID Mystery A&E Calendar VH1 Western Star Trek FXX leaderboard Kids & Family supernatural strong female leads marvel cinematic universe black Cannes movie zero dark thirty Musical police drama dragons FX on Hulu vs. Watching Series 2016 Superheroes ghosts Black Mirror spanish Comic-Con@Home 2021 richard e. Grant Countdown Superheroe Universal Pictures Disney Plus Acorn TV suspense Rom-Com halloween LGBTQ basketball ABC Family blockbuster Academy Awards Hear Us Out ESPN comiccon Heroines Lionsgate Sci-Fi TBS high school VOD 99% Starz spider-verse stop motion Apple TV+ Reality Competition Exclusive Video golden globe awards nature Women's History Month revenge series natural history Sony Netflix TCA Awards Pixar ABC Signature canceled TV shows nfl toy story Grammys NYCC spinoff Opinion worst movies documentaries Classic Film gangster scary movies RT21 CBS BBC America japanese Syfy Universal Amazon Studios name the review Freeform Christmas live action Cosplay marvel comics SDCC sag awards TNT mutant ITV 24 frames Box Office thriller Comics on TV BBC Polls and Games obituary Baby Yoda Biopics laika The Walking Dead italian Avengers werewolf cars universal monsters Drama Super Bowl Marvel adenture directors 20th Century Fox Fargo VICE Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Reality Disney venice award winner sitcom book 2015 international hispanic posters CBS All Access sequel Holidays Rocketman National Geographic OWN cancelled TV shows harry potter finale Fox News reviews composers Summer USA remakes spy thriller broadcast Captain marvel james bond wonder woman satire docudrama Paramount Network young adult DirecTV kaiju Dark Horse Comics video on demand batman stand-up comedy Trophy Talk Year in Review Epix WarnerMedia archives sequels hidden camera monster movies comic Fantasy war Best Picture independent YouTube IMDb TV Disney Channel what to watch Best Actor kids politics YouTube Red aliens TCM slashers RT History summer TV preview jamie lee curtis Pop TV trailers Infographic Holiday adventure festivals live event Funimation Country biography jurassic park Black History Month Film TruTV versus Schedule Vudu 2019 Awards critic resources new star wars movies Interview Comedy Central Sneak Peek best South by Southwest Film Festival Adult Swim NBC docuseries HBO TLC technology Esquire films BET blaxploitation Nickelodeon Masterpiece zombie Trailer Native Lifetime japan period drama Animation psycho Legendary Walt Disney Pictures Rocky twilight Valentine's Day 79th Golden Globes Awards scary hist mob HBO Max medical drama 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards trophy concert obi wan binge Apple TV Plus GIFs IFC Films south america Character Guide Brie Larson cancelled Pet Sematary Emmy Nominations australia robots IFC Britbox TV One dreamworks Instagram Live TCA Mary Poppins Returns Broadway women crime drama Ovation Musicals vampires San Diego Comic-Con romance streaming movies History target scene in color 94th Oscars Election Showtime genre CW Seed diversity BBC One Hallmark Christmas movies YouTube Premium pirates of the caribbean based on movie witnail documentary television New York Comic Con Ghostbusters indiana jones fresh Rock Best Director cults summer TV 93rd Oscars debate rotten Awards Tour Nat Geo die hard game of thrones 2017 ABC Wes Anderson PaleyFest MSNBC Warner Bros. Best and Worst APB science fiction TCA Winter 2020 SXSW SXSW 2022 spanish language disaster asian-american biopic The Purge Food Network LGBT golden globes The Walt Disney Company cooking dogs 4/20 children's TV game show reboot blockbusters Arrowverse Crunchyroll AMC DC streaming service crossover cops Crackle Tags: Comedy king kong Lifetime Christmas movies Tubi cancelled TV series boxing First Reviews miniseries Nominations heist movie 45 The Arrangement elevated horror Martial Arts theme song Sundance animated Sundance Now Cartoon Network Focus Features Mindy Kaling WGN justice league chucky USA Network X-Men Trivia book adaptation Action Family serial killer Columbia Pictures Red Carpet comedies rotten movies we love scorecard Chernobyl scene in color film series Mary Tyler Moore dceu Certified Fresh dark kong Paramount Plus CNN breaking bad screen actors guild Shondaland HBO Go See It Skip It Tokyo Olympics movies political drama rt labs Alien Peacock dexter Oscars crime thriller prank Marvel Studios DC Comics Mudbound Podcast saw Anna Paquin Fall TV 90s Photos Winter TV romantic comedy Tumblr superman Winners