Everything We Know

Everything We Know About Spider-Man: No Way Home

Will we get a live-action Spider-Verse? Will it cross over with Venom and Morbius? Will Spidey finally face the Sinister Six? We dive into the possibilities.

by | August 24, 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 last year is 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 we’re going to assume 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.

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, 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, so we’ll have to wait and see how that all shakes out.

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 – 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. Some are already referring to No Way Home as a live-action retelling of the animated film’s story with MCU pieces bolted on, and some even hope it means a live-action debut for Miles Morales.

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 walked away with a Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards and 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.


(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, and Spider-Woman, the latter with Olivia Wilde slated to direct. It also has two completed films ready for release — Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Morbius — that were both expected to bow in 2020 but were delayed thanks to the pandemic.


(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.

At this point, with Molina’s Doc Ock and Foxx’s Electro, No Way Home already features two members of the six – three if Keaton shows up as Toomes, aka Vulture – and sourcing them from the previous Spider-Man film series has a certain appeal. But whether or not that means Marvel Studios has a stake in Sony’s storyline remains to be seen. 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)

Currently, Spider-Man: No Way Home is set for release on December 17th, 2021. With the August teaser, this date seems rock solid, but could still change as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter things on a daily basis. And just for reference, Morbius’s current release window is January 2022, while Venom: Let There Be Carnage is due on October 15.

Thumbnail images by ©Columbia Pictures, Jay Maidment/©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

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