Wait, Did A Spider-Man 3 Set Photo Tease A New Villain?

Thus far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has primarily battled villains his cinematic predecessors never faced with The Vulture and Mysterio serving as the main antagonists of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, respectively. That’s changing with the yet-to-be-officially titled Spider-Man 3 bringing Jamie Foxx’s Electro and Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus into the fold, but perhaps a fresh-faced baddie will accompany them. A new set photo has emerged possibly indicating we’ll be introduced to the MCU’s version of Martin Li, better known as Mr. Negative.

The set photo in question that was shared on Reddit shows a truck in downtown Atlanta, Georgia with the logo F.E.A.S.T. (Food, Emergency, Aid, Shelter and Training) emblazoned on the side. Those of you who’ve played the video games Marvel’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales might recognize F.E.A.S.T. as the homeless shelter where Peter Parker’s Aunt May works and Miles Morales volunteers. The shelter was started by Martin Li, but his charitable contributions to the community are offset by his criminal enterprises as Mr. Negative.

Mr. Negative Marvel Comics

Introduced to the comics in 2007’s Free Comic Book Day: The Amazing Spider-Man #1, Martin Li and Mr. Negative are actually two separate personalities that share the same body as a result of Li being experimented on by the Maggia. While it initially appears that Li is doesn’t know about his evil self, it’s later revealed that he’s fully aware of Negative, who, as indicated by his moniker, resembles a photographic negative. Mr. Negative boasts powers like super strength, mind control and generating a black electrical energy, while Martin Li has a healing touch. Basically, Li and Negative represent good and evil, and neither interfere with whatever the other one has going on.

Given that Spider-Man: Far From Home saw May Parker working for the Salvation Army, it’s possible that she’s now simply employed by F.E.A.S.T. when Spider-Man 3 rolls around, and Martin Li will either not show up or be a minor character. However, I doubt I’m alone in thinking that Mr. Negative is a Spider-Man villain deserving of the cinematic treatment, especially with so many additional people not familiar with him from his video game appearances. Even if he’s not Spider-Man 3’s main antagonist, it would be easy enough to establish Negative as a new crime boss that Spidey clashes with in the opening act, similar to how Paul Giamatti’s Aleksei Sytsevich, a.k.a. Rhino, was used in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Whether or not Mr. Negative shows up in Spider-Man 3, there’s no question that this movie is shaping up to be quite the spectacle. Along with the familiar versions of Electro and Doctor Octopus returning, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange will also show up, which is fitting since he’s dealing with his own multiversal trouble soon after this appearance. Even Charlie Cox is rumored to appear as Matt Murdock, though it’s unclear if we’d also see him suit up as Daredevil. No specific plot details have been revealed yet, but other set photos have indicated that the threequel will be set during the Christmas season.

Spider-Man 3 is currently slated to swing into theaters on December 17, 2021, although if it ends up being pushed back like other Sony movies have recently, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, find out what else the MCU is sending to the big screen in the near future with our Marvel movies guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.