Just as Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has been a great relief to fans of the character after so many years of just not getting it right, moving upward to replace Tony Stark as leader of the new Avengers, Sony Pictures seems to be bringing it all crashing back down to earth.  Earth of the past.  Or that’s how it looks in the latest trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home, with the full pantheon of villains–ghosts of Spider-Men past–make their way into the Multiverse of Madness, revealing the true leader of the Avengers is probably Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange.

The door was opened wider in Disney’s Loki series, and pushing aside Black Widow and the forthcoming Hawkeye holiday series, it seems like the future of the MCU is all about the Multiverse–specifically blowing it wide open to allow for more alternate storylines for Marvel and Disney to pursue.  But it looked like the MCU was moving forward instead of backward until now, as all the key villains are now unmistakably back for a curtain call–or will they be back for more?

That’s Willem Dafoe′s Green Goblin, Alfred Molina′s Doc Ock, Thomas Haden Church′s Sandman, Jamie Foxx′s Electro, and Rhys Ifans′ Lizard.  The only thing missing is a much needed merger, splicing Tom Hardy’s Venom into the picture.  The good news is this should be a pathway to bring the X-Men characters and actors into the MCU.  They can’t wait too long as actors are getting older and the opportunity won’t be around forever–unless Kevin Feige is all about a fresh start instead.

Does the MCU need to dive back into the old Sony archives?  Certainly not, and yet, the Multiverse–as in the comics–is the gateway for more opportunity for MCU writers.  The sky is the limit.  Maybe Sony isn’t hijacking the MCU (it’s partnering with Disney after all), but let’s get on with the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and characters we haven’t seen yet like Prince Namor, shall we?

With an MCU Phase IV release schedule in chaos, and nothing but peeks and false starts last year, Marvel fans are more than ready for Spider-Man: No Way Home, and the studio is doing all it can to get people back into theaters despite a pandemic not letting up.  So hopefully it will come to home streaming before too long after its release.

Will it include heroes from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse?  Spider-Man has been Marvel’s #1 superhero for nearly 60 years because he’s a great character teens and adults can relate to, and because Spidey fights some of the best villains in all of comics.  Molina will reprise his character Doc Ock from Sony’s 2004 movie Spider-Man 2, Foxx is back as Electro, last seen in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Dafoe’s Green Goblin was last seen in Spider-Man 3, with Church’s Sandman back in 2007 in Spider-Man 3, and Ivans’ Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012.  It’s almost like the Infinity War of the Spider-Verse.  Wouldn’t it be great to fit in a cameo of Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, or even the first live-action Miles Morales?

What will be the sixth appearance Tom Holland as Spider-Man (since this takes place right after his fifth appearance in (Spider-Man: Far From Home), he’ll be joined by Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, more Jon Favreau as Happy, Zendaya as MJ, and the rest of Peter’s school friends returning.  Plus Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Benedict Wong as Wong.  And music again by composer Michael Giacchino.

Take a look at the new trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home:

Spider-Man: No Way Home arrives in theaters in only a month–look for it December 17.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg