Spider-Man fans around the globe want confirmation for something they believe in their hearts to be true, but don’t know for certain: Are Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield going to appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Rumors spread far and wide on Sunday evening as fans waited for Sony to release the first official poster for the sequel. Would Garfield and Maguire be featured? Would there be three separate posters, one for each Spider-Man? Well, neither happened, and while that doesn’t completely douse the flame of anticipation that burns in each fan’s heart, it might hint toward the fact that we probably want to dial back our expectations. Let me explain.
First, the poster, in case you landed in here but haven’t seen it yet.
The plot synopsis attached to the trailer suggested the appearance of Multiverse characters who would join Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in his corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And most fans, if not all the fans, jumped to the conclusion that those words referenced Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. And it still might. But the trailer placed its focus on the Multiverse characters that likely will be the focus of the movie, itself: The villains from the previous movies. Alfred Molina’s Doctor Otto Octavius got the big reveal in the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, and his mechanical arms are the eye-catching focal point of the poster, bearing down on Holland’s Iron Spider-suited hero.
But as you scan the rest of the poster, you see references -- and a blatant inclusion -- of the villains that we know will pop up in this sequel. The biggest one is Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), sporting his Spider-Man accurate Sam Raimi armor, ripped out of 2002. The other indicators are for Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Sandman (reportedly Thomas Hayden Church). But where’s my boy Curt Connors? Justice for The Lizard!
The emphasis of the poster leads me to believe that these characters will be the emphasis of the movie. And in the larger picture, that makes sense. Spider-Man: No Way Home needs to be focused on Holland. It’s his franchise, and it should be his story. One way to do this is to keep Holland at the center of its story as the reason for the Multiverse to be opened -- by interfering with Doctor Strange’s spell -- and having to deal with the consequences. The consequences being, the appearance of the villains from the previous movies. Forcing Holland’s Peter Parker to clean up the mess that he created is more than enough for one movie. And it satisfies the purpose of introducing the concept of the Multiverse, something that the MCU needs to happen, especially following Loki and heading into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Can all of this be accomplished without Maguire and Garfield? Yep. Would it be as fun? Nope. If you are going to rip open the barriers between the MCU, the Webb series, and the Raimi movies, then go the extra mile and bring in the original two Spider-Men. It’s fan service. But if this is what the Home trilogy has been building towards, then go out with a massive bang. Give Holland his movie, but ALSO give him the chance to rub elbows with his predecessors. Spider-Man, has a character, has been tearing down boundaries in terms of what you CAN do with storytelling. Putting all three Spideys together in the same movie would be the coup de grace.
Keeping Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield off the first poster doesn’t mean they are out of the movie. But it could mean that their presence in the film won’t be as significant as Reddit will lead you to believe. The second Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer is the next place fans will look for clues to their participation. Here’s hoping Marvel, Sony and Jon Watts save their first look for the theater.
Managing Director at CinemaBlend. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.
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