When does Marvel movie mystery get to be too much? Or is there even such a limit? Such is the question some of us are asking right about now, as we approach the one-month countdown until December’s release of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Without a doubt, No Way Home is the most mysterious movie that Marvel Studios (working with Sony Pictures) has ever put out, as even the CIA-level secrecy around Avengers: Endgame still allowed for fans to see multiple teaser trailers by the time we hit the one month mark – not to mention the general knowledge of a story premise and core cast of characters.
So far, Spider-Man: No Way Home footage has given us the most basic premise setup: Peter Parker tries to use a Doctor Strange spell to erase all knowledge of his now exposed secret identity. Instead, the two Marvel heroes apparently break the multiverse. Old Spider-Man villains from other films in the franchise (exact roster number still unconfirmed) return, and…. some things happen.
A lot of fans aren’t even willing to fully believe their eyes when it comes what they saw in the first Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer and TV spot. After all, any hardcore Marvel fan already knows what kind of visual trickery takes place in Marvel trailers and images, with characters, costumes, settings – really anything – is fair game to be added, removed or retouched to avoid exposing what actually happens in the film. What’s propelled Spider-Man: No Way Home across its almost non-existent marketing campaign are the flood of rumors about the crazy collision of Sony’s various Spider-Man movie franchises, which is allegedly going down in No Way Home.
Early rumors like Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man 2 and Jamie Foxx’s Electro from Amazing Spider-Man 2 are now both officially confirmed. Meanwhile, the marketing for NWH has also dropped pretty clear hints that Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man will be back – as well as Thomas Hayden Church’s Sandman from Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. Fans did the digital detective work to discover that Rhys Ifans Lizard from Amazing Spider-Man was also in the No Way Home Trailer, and Venom: Let There Be Carnage let it be known that Tom Hardy’s Venom will be in on the fun, as well. And yet, big rumors like the return of former Spider-Man movie stars Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, as well their leading ladies Kirsten Dunst or Emma Stone, are still just that: pure rumors.
As you can see from this entire paragraph, all of this “information” about Spider-Man: No Way Home is a puzzle that most mainstream moviegoers have definitely not put together for themselves. So when we say Spider-Man: No Way Home is the most mysterious Marvel movie ever, it’s no understatement.
But is this level of mystery a good (and more importantly effective) tactic? It’s an honest question perhaps worked out in the comments. Are Marvel fans enjoying this length of theorizing, speculating, guessing, and hoping for certain outcomes – or is it propping them up for disappointment? Are the cast of Spider-Man – current and past – enjoying fielding these probing questions about big cameos and crossovers – or is this just ‘all in the job’ for them at this point (decades or more later)? And is any of this helpful to the one person who should be the center of attention for this third and final MCU Spider-Man film? (Remember that Tom Holland kid – we were all so glad when he jumped out and said the line in Captain America: Civil War?)
Kevin Feige and co. no doubt have big reasons for holding back the official reveals of Spider-Man: No Way Home – and no doubt some even bigger surprises for fans when they see the film. Hopefully, in the end, fans and studio both come away happy that the Christmas season delivers on all the anticipation.
Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17th.