The best part of being a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan is watching the newest entry in the franchise. We get to see a hopefully excellent TV series or movie that tells a compelling story in its own right, while also building a new corner of the larger MCU. The second best part of being a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan is trying to figure out where the story is going to go when we're all stuck between chapters, waiting to see what happens next. We look for rumors of what's to come and try to figure out what it all means. Usually we have to wait until the movie actually comes out to know for sure what we're going to get because the people who know never talk, but in the case of Spider-Man: No Way Home, we're actually getting conflicting information.
We're used to seeing rumors pop up regarding high profile films, and if those rumors are flatly denied, they usually die. But in the case of Spider-Man: No Way Home, we've had a very popular rumor pretty clearly denied, and yet, it's not dead. And with the Loki Season 1 finale ending as it did, that only added fuel to the multiversal fire. So are we getting a Spider-Verse movie in the MCU or are we not?
Are We Getting A Live-Action Spider-Verse?
It all started several months ago when it was reported that Jamie Foxx would play a role in the new Tom Holland-led Spider-Man movie, then simply called Spider-Man 3. But what was most interesting was the news that he would be playing Electro, the same villain he portrayed in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, when Andrew Garfield played the hero. This was then followed by news that Alfred Molina would also be in the movie, reprising Doctor Octopus from a different Spider-Man 2, the one with Tobey Maguire.
And so it was probably little shock, and quite exciting, when rumors began to circulate that this new Spider-Man 3 would be a full-on live-action Spider-Verse movie, and that both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield had signed on to appear alongside Tom Holland, thus bringing three live-action Spider-Men together. However, when Tom Holland was asked about this, the man famous for spoiling movies didn't say "no comment" or change the subject. Instead, he pretty clearly said it's not happening.
The thing is that, unless you're J.J. Abrams trying to sell a new Star Trek movie, we don't get people often giving us clear and concise negative answers when the answer is the opposite. People usually bend over backwards to avoid outright lying. So how exactly do we reconcile these rumors that are just not going away with clear refusal that the rumors are true? There is a possible way that everybody can be right, and Loki, both in its plot and in its casting, may have given us the answer.
How Jonathan Majors' Loki Appearance Could Hold The Key
It appears that Loki Season 1's conclusion has set up the possibility of a Spider-Verse existing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The entire thing was about the concept of a multiverse, something which did not exist in the MCU previously, but apparently does now. This certainly does open the door the idea of using the previous big screen Spider-Man outings as potential alternative universes.
But I'm not talking so much about the plot itself as I am the appearance of Jonathan Majors himself in Loki. Fans who follow MCU news will know that Majors' addition to the franchise was initially reported last fall, even before most of the Spider-Verse stuff was going around. At the time, we were told that Majors was coming on board to be the main villain in the third Ant-Man movie, and that he was likely to be playing the Marvel Comics villain known as Kang the Conqueror.
While the character in Loki was never given that name (he was never given any name beyond "He Who Remains"), he clearly is going to be the MCU's version of Kang. In the comics, Kang has been seen in many different iterations via the use of time travel, but here is being set up to do the same thing via the multiverse.
While fans who were paying attention to Loki certainly saw the possibility that Jonathan Majors as Kang could be showing up much earlier than Ant-Man 3, the fact that it happened reminds of something that we should probably all keep in mind when it comes to any future Marvel casting. Just because we're told an actor or character will appear in a certain place doesn't necessarily mean that's where they'll show up first, or last. Or, potentially in the case of Spider-Man, maybe at all. If Tom Holland is telling the truth when he says Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire won't show up in Spider-Man: No Way Home, that's not the same as saying the actors, and they're Spider-Man characters, won't show up elsewhere.
Tobey Maguire Or Andrew Garfield Could Appear Anywhere In The MCU
With the idea of the multiverse now a clear part of the MCU's future, and the rumors that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield playing Spider-Man again being the rumor that simply won't die, it would honestly be a bigger shock right now if these actors don't appear at some point, but it feels like that probably won't happen in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Tom Holland will have some serious explaining to do otherwise.
But who's to say that we won't see the previous Spider-Man actors appear in other Marvel movies or television series. An obvious candidate would be Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, as that title tells us specifically it will be dealing with the multiverse idea. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is another possibility, since we expect Kang to appear there, and thus the multiverse might also be key to the plot.
But the truth is one or both of these characters could appear anywhere. Maybe Secret Invasion actually takes place in an entirely separate reality from the rest of the MCU, but we won't know that until Spider-Man makes a cameo, and it turns out it's Andrew Garfield. Maybe Tobey Maguire will appear in the new Fantastic Four movie. With the multiverse now something we have to consider, there's a multiverse of possibilities.
The question of whether or not Spider-Man: No Way Home will be a "Spider-Verse" movie is still an open one. We don't know enough right now one way or the other. Maybe it will be or maybe it won't be, but even if it is, it doesn't mean that more than one Spider-Man will appear. Tom Holland will likely be the only Spider-Man in that movie, but it doesn't mean the reports that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will appear in the MCU are false. There are ways they can both be right.