Like clockwork, Spider-Man 3 has come around again — but everything’s a bit different this time around. Outside of rumours and set leaks there isn’t a whole lot officially ‘confirmed’ about the latest Spider-Man film in the MCU, but every little slice of information we get makes the Spider-Man: No Way Home pie seem sweeter.
From the whispered-about appearances of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to the inclusion of Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus and Jamie Foxx’s Electro, there’s plenty to get excited about.
With scant details available, let’s wade through the rumour-infested waters and tease out what we really know.
Spider-Man: No Way Home — Release Date
Setting a release date for anything in 2021 is ambitious, and it seems unlikely the Spider-Man: No Way Home will air in Australia on December 17, 2021. It’s airing exclusively in theatres for now.
Spider-Man: No Way Home — Trailer
On August 23, a pre-vis trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home leaked on TikTok. It showed off various scenes from the film in an unfinished state, but also revealed much about the film’s plot and direction. While Sony was quick to take it down, fans were able to glimpse the footage before it was pulled.
The trailer starts off with Peter Parker and MJ on a roof, discussing the unique abilities of spiders, and continues as Peter describes the hell he’s going through now that everyone knows he’s Spider-Man.
To fix the issues caused by Mysterio at the end of Far From Home, he visits Dr. Strange and asks him to cast a spell removing his identity from everybody’s minds (this also happened in the comics, but it was Mephisto who originally did the deed).
In the process, Strange somehow messes up and unleashes the multiverse (this event is likely connected to Loki‘s shenanigans) — and Peter is forced into a strange new world filled with enemies old and new.
The trailer ends with an appearance from Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, who emerges with a sinister smile and a “hello” for Peter.
While the leaked trailer is clearly unfinished, it’s still a very exciting glimpse at the film, and one that confirms many of the rumours floating around. It may not be the final thing, but it looks like it’ll be very close.
Expect a ‘real’ version of the trailer to follow shortly, now that the leaked version is in the wild.
Spider-Man: No Way Home will be partially set during Christmas
One of the few confirmed facts we’ve learned about Spider-Man: No Way Home is it’ll be set during or around Christmas, much like Iron Man 3.
Set photos leaked in mid-January 2021 show off a winter-themed set and plenty of snow, so expect some icy shenanigans and/or debates about whether the film is really ‘a Christmas movie’.
Mysterio may play a significant role in the film
At the conclusion of Far From Home, Mysterio plays his final trump card: revealing Peter Parker’s true identity and exposing him to the world. While Mysterio is likely dead (you never know in Marvel films), his presence will still be felt in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Set photos have revealed street posters covered in Mysterio’s image and sporting the phrase ‘I Believe’.
The exact meaning of the art is unclear, but it could be that Mysterio has become a symbol for conspiracy theorists or other groups within the film. It could also hint Mysterio’s reveal at the end of Far From Home is erased, covered up or forgotten somehow (perhaps by magic).
Spider-Man: No Way Home — Cast
If you’ve ever appeared in a Marvel movie, it’s likely your name is on the cast list for Spider-Man 3.
Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire are both rumoured to be on-board, as are some of the respective characters from their Spider-Man films. Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus and Jamie Foxx’s Electro have reportedly joined the project, and Kirsten Dunst and Emma Stone are also rumoured to return as Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy.
This cast list also includes Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange (as confirmed by Funko).
How is any of this possible? Well, current rumours point to the success of animated flick Into the Spider-Verse as the inspiration behind Spider-Man‘s sequel. The film’s subtitle has been hidden since it was announced, and its connection to Spider-Verse could be the reason.
This brings us to the currently rumoured plot of Spider-Man 3. While nothing has been strictly confirmed, here’s what the movie could be about.
Spider-Man: No Way Home — Plot, Rumours
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a major success for Sony and Marvel, garnering praise for its plot, animation and character work. The idea of bringing together multiple Spider-Men has major potential, and current rumours and clues point to Marvel riffing off this film in the next live-action Spider-Man sequel.
The major clues that Spider-Man: No Way Home will be a tad more magical lie in the casting rumours: first, Doctor Strange’s appearance suggests some kind of ‘strangeness’ is afoot. Then you’ve got the alleged appearances from past Spider-Man villains from alternate universes like Doc Ock and Electro. Both are members of the Sinister Six, a major villainous organisation in the Spider-Man universe.
If they’re teaming up across dimensions to finally take them down, it’s likely Peter Parker will need a bit of help, justifying the appearance of Garfield and Maguire.
Again, nothing here is confirmed but if these casting rumours turn out to be real, the narrative threads would make sense. According to Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president, we’ll just have to wait and see.
In a 2021 interview with ComicBook, he neither confirmed nor denied current whispers:
“I’ve read some things. I’m not sure I’ve read all things. The fun thing about online speculation when it comes to our stuff is how sometimes it couldn’t be more off the mark and sometimes it’s shockingly close, and that’s held true for the last few years. But saying which is which would take all the fun out of everything.”
MCU Spider-Man flicks have mostly been self-contained adventures, but Peter’s appearance in the Avengers films and involvement with defeating Thanos mean he’s now got a bit more fantasy experience.
Only time will tell, but it’s fun to speculate in the meantime.