Let me say right up front that I love the MCU Spider-Man movies. I really do. They’re tons of fun to watch, with arguably the best live-action Spider-Man, well-written villains that trump anything the Marc Webb films could’ve thrown at us, really original stories, and…yeah, is there anything I can say about them that everyone on the planet hasn’t already said?
So naturally, you’d expect me to be excited about another movie with Tom Holland, especially after the cliffhanger that the last one had. And…yeah, I am, but at the same time, I feel a lot of apprehension building up inside me. Why is that? Well, for months, I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and now I think I’ve figured it out: it’s the multiverse aspect. Sort of.
Even though Marvel and Sony haven’t officially confirmed this, there have been a LOT of rumors of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield reprising their roles as the Spider-Men from their universe. The idea is that Tom Holland’s Spidey would somehow access their universes and team up with them. Again: there hasn’t been any official word on this. But what Marvel/Sony DID confirm is that Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx would be back as their own versions of Dock Ock and Electro, respectively. Although, it was said that Electro wouldn’t be all blue like he was in TASM2, so…is it really the same Electro from that universe?
Regardless, the trailer for No Way Home dropped today, and it looks to be following the exact route everyone thought it would: Peter’s been branded as a fugitive, so he’s going to Doctor Strange for help. But somehow Doctor Strange’s spell is gonna go wrong, and that’s how this whole multiverse thing is gonna happen. In the trailer, we saw a pumpkin bomb being thrown while Green Goblin laughed. And we saw Dock Ock-de-aged to look like Alfred Molina’s 2004 self. It’s even been confirmed that they got Willem Dafoe to play Green Goblin again…even though both him and Alfred Molina’s Dock Ock died in their introductory movies. WHUT?
I guess it’s not as big of a problem as I’m making it out to be. It’s possible that the villains’ apparent resurrections will be explained in the movie, or maybe they aren’t even the same villains from the Raimi films (same kind of deal as J. K. Simmons playing Jameson in the MCU). But what concerns me is that the MCU seems to be doubling back on their villains. Like, think about it. The first two Spider-Man movies had entirely new villains (Vulture, Mysterio) that had never been done in movies before, and were given entirely original takes on their characters. But now, for No Way Home, it seems that they’re using the multiverse thing as an excuse to grab villains from older movies to use in the MCU.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against Green Goblin and Dock Ock being in the MCU. On the contrary, since they have been Spider-Man’s chief villains throughout his history, including them in the MCU would be a very wholesome choice. But if they’re lifting the exact same characters from a different universe, then doesn’t that kind of show a lack of originality? Like, you want to bring this one character into your universe, then set him up within that universe. Don’t suddenly introduce the multiverse and then use it as an excuse to drag in characters from a separate franchise.
But it’s possible that I’m wrong. Maybe these villains from another universe will just be a sideshow next to the real villain, whoever that might be. Maybe it’ll be like the J. Jonah Jameson situation, where they’re different iterations of the characters that just happen to have the same actors. Maybe the movie’s writers will have figured out a way for this to somehow work. Whatever the case, I hope that the movie (and its villains (s)) will be good. After two solid films, I feel Tom Holland’s Spider-Man deserves a strong third chapter.