Spider-Man: No Way Home shakes the World Wide Web

After the massive scale that was Avengers: Endgame and the earth-shaking end credits of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the stage was set for Spider-Man’s next big adventure to be unlike any other. Hype for the movie built up on it’s own through theories and fan-art, and rumors tore the internet to shreds regarding the cast of characters and the plot of the film. Many versions of this movie exist within the fans’ minds, many written off for being too high in expectations or being littered with so many far-fetched ideas it would be impossible to even reasonably conceive the movies imagined. But after the first look at Spidey’s third chapter in the MCU was released this Monday, August 23, those once far-fetched dreams are looking more and more like a reality. 

As it’s currently understood, Spider-Man: No Way Home will explore the consequences that followed when the titular web-slinger’s identity was revealed to the public, all thanks to last movie’s cocky and fictitious “interdimensional warrior” Quentin Beck, A.K.A. Mysterio (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) back in Far From Home. Now with the whole world knowing Peter (played by Tom Holland) is Spider-Man, and Mysterio framing the wall-crawler for the “next Iron Man’s” death along with the attacks in Europe, Parker must adapt to life with half of New York City supporting him, and the other half despising him. 

Becoming an outcast at school, a public enemy in the city, and all the red webs pointing back to him with no means to defend himself or explain what really happened during his duel with the two-faced illusionist, Parker goes to the one street magician in New York capable of performing real magic, Doctor Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch). 

Asking him to erase the public’s memory of Spider-Man’s forced unmasking, allowing Parker’s double-life to remain separated, Strange agrees, but the spell requires a cost. Everyone must forget, including his guardian Aunt May (played by Marisa Tomei), his closest friend Ned (played by Jacob Batalon) and his girlfriend MJ (played by Zendaya). Parker attempts to reason with the Sorcerer but Spidey’s meddling with the spell and Strange’s weak understanding of the multiverse causes a rift in space-time. Not only does the world still remember the kid behind the mask, but now some of the most notorious and dangerous foes from the web-slinger’s rogues gallery have emerged to get their revenge. 

 Seemingly plucked from alternate timelines, Jamie Foxx’s “Electro” from Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man universe and Willem Dafoe’s “Green Goblin” and Alfred Molina’s “Doctor Octopus” – both from Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man universe – have now collided with the MCU and quickly begin to wreak havoc for Spidey. Now Spider-Man and Strange must deal with the growing Sinister Six before any more damage is done to the city and Parker’s vulnerable friends and family.

  Rumors have surrounded this film like moths to a flame, the major one being the return of Tobey Macguire’s and Andrew Garfield’s portrayals of Spider-Man back when Sam Raimi and Marc Webb respectively had control over the web-head’s world. Now it’s still unknown if these two actors will reprise their roles and crossover to the MCU along with their on-screen antagonists, but many fans are still holding out hope to see Macguire and Garfield return to the screen in the classic red and blue. 

 The return of Molina’s “Doc Ock”, Dafoe’s “Green Goblin” and Foxx’s “Electro” does fuel the flames behind these rumors, as Dafoe and Molina faced off against Macguire’s web-slinger in both 2002’s Spider-Man and 2004’s Spider-Man 2 respectively, while Foxx went up against Garfield’s wall-crawler in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. However, the two former villain’s deaths in each film and Electro’s new, sparky yellow look in this movie goes against this idea and suggest the three may only be alternate versions of the baddies, only portrayed by the same actors as before for sake of nostalgia. Regardless, fans on both sides of the speculation revelled with the return of these classic villains.

 Although, these three may not be the only returners for No Way Home. Close analysis of the trailer has shown what could be “Sandman” alongside the arching golden bolts of Electro and “The Lizard” trapped behind some invisible magical barrier. It’s unknown currently if these villains will be played again by Thomas Haden Church (who portrayed Sandman in Raimi’s Spider-Man 3) and Rhys Ifans (who portrayed The Lizard in Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man), however the chances are likely. If these two are in fact in the movie, then the first ever cinematic appearance of “The Sinister Six” may be underway. 

The gang of villains was attempted to be united back during Webb’s failed Amazing Spider-Man trilogy with a canceled “Sinister Six” movie, which would have featured Vulture, Rhino, Doctor Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio and Green Goblin. These plans never came to be and many Spidey fans were left disappointed at the outcome. But now these dreams may finally be realised in the MCU. If so, who could the sixth and final member be?

Fans have tossed around plenty of possibilities, to Jack Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio not actually being dead and returning to get his revenge, or Michael Keaton’s “Vulture” from Spider-Man: Homecoming escaping prison to join the club. However, both of those theories remain unlikely, as Mysterio was confirmed to be deceased and Vulture being even with Spidey after Parker saved his daughter many times during the first film in the trilogy. This leaves either a new face or many fan’s favorite and reasonable choice, Michael Mando’s “Scorpion”, who was revealed during the end of Homecoming as a slighted criminal looking for revenge against the wall-crawler. 

All speculation aside, Marvel fans across the board celebrated with the release of this trailer, as it became a running joke in the fandom that a trailer for this movie would never come out, some even thinking that that was a tactic Marvel and Sony were going to use as “reverse promotion”. In the first 9 hours of its release, Spider-Man: No Way Home succeeded Avengers: Endgame’s first 24 hours of views online, single handedly showcasing the massive amounts of hype behind this film. Twitter blew up with reactions and memes regarding the big reveals and plot of the movie, on top of the massive leak which also took over the internet the day before on a similar scale. 

Still slated to be released on December 17 of this year, every single fan waits with fingers crossed and breaths held in hopes the movie won’t be pushed back again due to recent surges with the Delta Variant. On top of 2021’s Black Widow back in May and the upcoming Shang-Chi: and the Legend of the Ten Rings in September and Eternals in November, Marvel will be dominating the rest of this year with many long awaited and hyped up additions to the pantheon of heroes within the MCU, a universe of films that is about to get so much bigger.