Sony Pictures teased a new trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home yesterday, then dropped said trailer this evening at a global fan event in Los Angeles, featuring a surprise appearance by star Tom Holland. In the trailer, a magic spell gone wrong unleashes a multiverse of villainy on Peter Parker’s world. But fans hoping for confirmation of rumored cameos from Spider-Man actors of the past were once again disappointed.
(Spoilers for 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home below.)
In 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker (Holland) was grieving the loss of his mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who perished in the final battle against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. What better than a summer field trip to Europe to help him process his grief? Then Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) showed up and enlisted Spider-Man’s help in battling a series of Elementals. Peter thought he’d found a new mentor in Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). But Beck had his own agenda and betrayed Peter. The two battled it out, and Beck was killed. But he got his revenge by sending doctored footage of the climactic battle to Jonah Jameson at The Daily Bugle. Not only did Mysterio’s footage frame Spider-Man for his death, but it also revealed Peter’s secret identity as Spider-Man to the world.
Spider-Man: No Way Home picks up in the aftermath of that devastating reveal. A teaser trailer leaked in August, prompting Sony to release it officially the next day. We saw a frustrated Peter seek out Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help, asking if there was any way to restore his secret identity. Our old friend Wong (Benedict Wong) warned Strange not to cast the spell that could grant Peter’s request. But since when has Strange ever listened to Wong? Naturally, the spell goes haywire, causing other dimensions to crash into their reality.
We got hints that Electro (Jamie Foxx), from 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, will make an appearance, as well as Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin from 2002’s Spider-Man and Alfred Molina’s Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus (affectionately known as Doc Ock). But there was no sign of either Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield, both past incarnations of the web-slinging superhero.
And we don’t get to see them in the new footage, either, although we do get a better look at the aforementioned villains from other universes, along with the Lizard (Rhys Ifans) from 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) from 2007’s Spider-Man 3 (granular media for the win). This new trailer opens with Peter Parker confessing to MJ (Zendaya) that, ever since he was bitten by that radioactive spider, he’s only felt normal for exactly one week—the week after she found out he was Spider-Man. But we don’t waste much time dwelling on his private angst, since Doctor Strange shows up with some bad news about the repercussions of their botched spell. “We started getting some visitors from every universe,” he says.
Doc Ock gets the majority of screen time here, quickly realizing that this Peter Parker isn’t the same one from his universe. And the name Dr. Otto Octavius doesn’t have quite the chilling effect he expected on Peter, MJ, and Ned (Jacob Batalon), who can’t help giggling when they hear it. (“Wait, no, seriously, what’s your actual name?”) Kids today have no respect. Their mission this time around is to send the intruders back to their own worlds, or as Strange puts it, “Scooby-Doo this crap!”
Of course, technically Peter is fighting ghosts, since all those villains died fighting Spider-Man. And Peter seems to be having trouble with that harsh reality. “You’re struggling to have everything you want while the world tries to make you choose,” we hear the Green Goblin say. And Peter does seem to realize that not only is the present mess his fault (his and Strange’s), he probably can’t save everyone. But can he save MJ as she falls from a staggering height? Or are we going to get a Gwen Stacy-style tragedy?
Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17, 2021. We strongly recommend only going to movies in theaters if you’ve been fully vaccinated and wear a mask throughout the screening.
Listing image by YouTube/Sony Pictures