The teaser trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home has been anticipated by fans for many months, but even before it dropped, fans knew quite a bit about the third installment in Sony’s latest Spider-Man trilogy that forms part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
It would deal with the fall-out of J. Jonah Jameson revealing Spider-Man’s identity of Peter Parker to the whole world, Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is in it and characters from previous Spider-Man movies, including Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx) and possibly even Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield would reprise their roles in this film that explores the multiverse.
Now that we’ve seen the teaser, we do have some questions, but there’s one thing we do know – elements from No Way Home borrows heavily from the events of One More Day, from The Amazing Spider-Man comics.
For non-comic book readers, One More Day was a four-part storyline following Peter Parker after the events of Civil War. No, not the movie, but the comic book series that the movie was loosely based on and during the massive comic book event, our friendly neighbourhood hero was unmasked, revealing his identity to the world. Crime lord Kingpin, who has tangled with Spidey for many years, puts a hit out on Peter’s family and poor Aunt May got shot.
In One More Day, demonic villain Mephisto appears to Peter and offers to save Aunt May’s life, as well as keeping Peter’s identity a secret again, if Peter were to surrender his marriage to Mephisto. Peter and Mary Jane Watson both agree to Mephisto’s conditions and just like that, all memory of who had been under the Spidey mask was erased. So was Peter and Mary Jane’s love story and marriage. The story essentially ripped Peter and Mary Jane of their happily ever after, including the daughter they would have eventually had together.
While it effectively closed off the issue with Parker’s identity, One More Day wasn’t entirely popular with readers and fans of the hero. Firstly, it seemed out of character of the hero to make a deal with the proverbial devil, and secondly, the entire storyline erased a long and beloved relationship that had been built over numerous comic issues and decades of relationship building.
After seeing the trailer for No Way Home, though, there are key elements at identical in nature.
In No Way Home, Peter approaches Doctor Strange in putting the genie back in the box and making everyone forget Spider-Man’s identity. And unlike in the comics, Strange agrees to help Peter. Whatever unfolds after that, like the return of the Sinister Six, etc, seems to be a result of Peter’s and Strange’s doing.
What we do know is that like the comics, there is a price to pay for triggering this move, and since there is no marriage to dissolve, Peter is paying the price in another way. The effects will be different, but this could be a way for Marvel Studios and Sony to have their cake, and eat it too.
We know that this is Tom Holland’s last contracted Spider-Man movie with Sony, and Sony will continue to make more movies about the web-crawler, and the multiverse allows Sony to branch off and do things without the involvement of the MCU. As it stands, Sony has made one Venom movie, with a sequel on the way, and a Morbius movie is also coming, and both characters, which have ties to Spider-Man in the comics, are out a limb with few cinematic ties to their wall-crawling foe.
Also, the trailer shows Strange but is it really him? He behaves rather differently in the trailer, and we all remember the last Spider-Man movie that featured Nick Fury and Maria Hill, only to find out later that they were not who we thought. So who’s this Strange? It’s unlikely that it could be Mephisto, although fans have been wanting to see him from as early on as WandaVision.
We don’t have all the answers, and we wouldn’t want to speculate irresponsibly, but we do know one thing we don’t want to see – a cinematic Clone Sage, where Spider-Man is cloned and one stays in the MCU, while the other heads off independently with Sony in a brand new set of movies.
For now, it is clear that No Way Home has taken a large influence from One More Day. Whether or not there’s more than what the trailer leads on, we will just have to wait and see how it all finally plays out when the movie releases on 17 December.