Multiple dimensions is something that has become a staple of comic books in recent years. Certain storylines have particularly become fan favourites, DC’s Flashpoint and Marvel’s Spider-verse being two of the biggest, which have both had successful animated versions with Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse, with the latter being extremely praised by critics and fans a like for it’s unique and comic book-esque animation style, as well as introducing the character of Miles Morales, a Spider-man that fans have been dying to see on the big screen, since the character’s creation in 2011, which is extremely recent considering that Spider-man first appeared in a comic in 1962.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse went on to win the academy award for Best Animation at the 76th Academy Awards in 2019. But bringing this film more into the public conscience had fans dying for what might be the biggest crossover in film history. A chance to see Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland, all playing the web slinger in the same movie. With recent castings of Jamie Foxx returning to play Electro (a role he played opposite Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) in the MCU’s third Spider-Man movie, as well as Benedict Cumberbatch returning as Doctor Strange. Cumberbatch is rumoured to appear as Strange in Disney+’s Wandavision which could also start dealing with the multiverse with Scarlet Witch’s madness, he would then appear in this third Spider-man movie in December 2021, before his own film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (which is confirmed to have an appearance from Scarlet Witch) in 2022.
Sony have a long mixed history with Spider-Man. In 2002 they had great success with the first live-action Spider-Man film starring Tobey Maguire, and continued that success with the follow Spider-Man 2 in 2004. The third in this trilogy, which was released in 2007, disappointed fans after studio involvement demanded that director, Sam Raimi (who is directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) put Venom into the film, that also had Sandman and New Goblin.
There were talks of a 4th installment in Raimi’s series but eventually the franchise was rebooted as The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 with Andrew Garfield playing Peter Parker. Even then the MCU nearly had what would’ve been a huge crossover putting the new Oscorp building in The Avengers. The sequel hit the same problems as the third from Raimi’s films with an overload of villains including Electro, Rhino and Hob Goblin, and trying to see up a world of Spider-Man characters to compete with the MCU. However after the flop, Sony where hit with massive leaks which revealed that they were in talks with Marvel Studios to bring the fan favourite character into the Avengers.
Despite failures in the films themselves, there has always been praise for all three actors who have portrayed Spidey. Andrew Garfield’s passion and love for the character was clear from day one when he was announced, I recommend looking up a loving speech he made a comic con talking about his love for the character, and his pain that the role didn’t work out for him was clear. The Tobey Maguire films nail the comic book origin are what helped a lot of people love the character, especially with the great performances from the villains played by Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina in the first two films. However the success of the MCU and having Peter Parker feel like he was actually in high school is part of the charm of the character and has been nailed by Kevin Feige and Tom Holland, who loves the role as much as Garfield.
A huge cliff hanger was left at the end of Spider-Man: Far from Home, when Mysterio (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) reveals Spider-Man’s secret identity to the world. This problem would be resolved relatively quickly if universes collided and another Spider-Man was brought through to the MCU through the multiverse (most likely being at least Andrew Garfield), clearing Tom Holland’s Peter Parker from any suspicion. This could be all tied together by Scarlet Witch opening up the multiverse, perhaps to bring Vision back to life (and a way to introduce X-Men into the universe) in Wandavision, a story arc which would explain the need for Doctor Strange trying to prevent this all from happening.
With shooting commencing very soon, it would be very hard for Marvel to be able to keep this all quiet without getting leaked. It certainly isn’t a full on conclusion that this will happen but it certainly would be a way to keep fans happy . Tobey Maguire is now 45 years old and perhaps isn’t quite up the fitness level of the other two, but with CGI and body doubles, Marvel have done more difficult things. With The Flash doing something similar by bringing back Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton for roles in their version of Flashpoint, with a story that makes sense, Marvel could beat them to the punch by a year, if Sony doesn’t delay this third Spider-Man film from it’s December 2021 release date. Whether it’s in this film or not, Spider-verse seems the inevitable big story line for our friendly neighborhood wall crawler.
I’m also willing to bet that the film will contain a post credit scene teasing live action Miles Morales and perhaps teasing an introduction into the MCU of Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin and Charlie Cox as Daredevil, both returns that fans want to see after the cancellation of the Marvel Netflix series’. The only other choice could be that we could get see Deadpool sneaking into the MCU by winding up his favourite character in some form.
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