Spider-Man is now entering a strange phase of hibernation. The Homecoming Trilogy is complete with the arrival of No Way Home, and while there are plans for a fourth Tom Holland film, if not a full trilogy, that’s still a ways off.
And yet, Sony continues to hang on for dear life to the Spider-Man IP it’s leasing to Disney, having made two Venom movies with Morbius and Kraven on the way. But what if we had…more than one Spider-Man, in this trying time?
It’s impossible to talk about this without getting mixed up in No Way Home spoilers, so stay away from the rest of this piece if you haven’t seen it yet.
The hidden, but incredibly obvious turn in Spider-Man: No Way Home was that it wasn’t just pulling villains from past Spider-Man series, but also its heroes, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parkers.
Obviously, one of the many reasons fans are loving No Way Home is because seeing these two onscreen again is fantastic, and their appearance is a blend of nostalgia and some genuine redemption for each character, Maguire Parker reuniting with a cured Otto, Garfield Parker saving Holland Parker’s MJ the way he couldn’t save Gwen.
Andrew Garfield in particular stands out among the three in No Way Home, and it seems like he’s having an absolute blast reprising the role he had before his own trilogy was cut short and Spider-Man moved into the MCU. But now I’ve seen a lot of talk asking what might happen if Sony decided that they could bring back Garfield as Peter Parker as MCU Peter is frozen for a while. As in, they make him the Spider-Man of their corner of the Venom-verse.
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How Sony is handling its Venom universe is beyond confusing. It was unclear for a long while whether it was supposed to be part of the MCU, but Venom 2 and now No Way Home confirmed that the two are indeed on separate planes of the multiverse.
Now, Morbius is definitely in the same universe as Venom, and yet bizarrely features Maguire’s Spider-Man suit and has a cameo from the MCU’s Michael Keaton Vulture, as specifically shown in the trailer. And yet when Venom arrived in the MCU for the No Way Home post-credits scene, he didn’t seem to have heard of Spider-Man at all. How is that possible?
In short, it’s a mess, but the idea here is that Garfield could hop universes and become Sony-only Spider-Man to face off against/team up with Venom for a bunch of non-MCU adventures. The Raimi trilogy seems over and done with, despite Maguire showing up, but Garfield’s Peter seems like he still has some life left in him.
I have no doubt that Sony itself would love to see this happen, but this raises two questions:
1) Is part of Sony’s deal with Disney to “loan” them Spider-Man the idea that they cannot have their own, competing version of Spider-Man on film at the same time? I wouldn’t be shocked.
2) Would Andrew Garfield even want to do this? Clearly he was down for his supporting role in No Way Home, but would he want to fully head back to the tights? Garfield is about to be a likely Oscar nominee for Tick Tick Boom and is doing just fine with his current, non-superhero career, after all.
To me, these are the bigger issues than making this work from a canon perspective. Just invent something about how Garfield got sent back to the wrong part of the multiverse somehow and go from there. Pretty much everyone he cared about was dead in his own universe anyway.
I certainly would love to see how this would play out, as I think Garfield was better than the movies he was given, and I’d be curious to see him in the less self-serious Venom-verse. But we’ll have to see what Sony has up their sleeve.