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The ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Trailer Welcomes Back Some Old Friends

In the first look at the much-hyped film, the multiverse is expanding, and once-dispatched villains from different timelines (and film series) are rising from the dead

Sony/Ringer illustration

After months of casting rumors, fake titles, and one very unfortunate leak, the long-awaited Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer is finally here. And just as suspected, the many different worlds of Spider-Man are about to collide, as the MCU plunges ever deeper into the multiverse.

By the end of 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker had much more to deal with than the pressure of carrying on the legacy of his late mentor, Tony Stark. The disgruntled former Stark Industries employee Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) used his final moments to get a message out to The Daily Bugle’s legendary J. Jonah Jameson that revealed Spider-Man’s true identity to the world and framed Parker for the crimes Beck committed. The No Way Home trailer—which, admittedly, feels like a snapshot of the movie’s earliest moments—picks up that thread, showing Peter sifting through the fallout of that fake news. He gets arrested, and his friends and family are brought in by the police for questioning; he can’t walk to school without being surrounded by mobs of people who believe him to be a villain.

In an attempt to bring things back to the way they were, Peter turns to the only person he knows who might be able to help: Doctor Strange. And Stephen—sorry, Doctor Strange—is surprisingly more than willing to lend a hand, despite an ominous warning from Wong not to cast a spell that’d reverse certain events in the space-time continuum. Everyone should’ve listened to that guy, apparently: While the chaotic conclusion of Loki seemed to set up the events of No Way Home, as it did for the new animated series What If…?, for now it appears that the conflict in the upcoming Spidey film is merely a product of Parker and Strange’s foolish attempt to course-correct the universe. “We tampered with the stability of space-time,” Strange tells Parker. “The multiverse is a concept about which we know frighteningly little.” (Where’s a Loki variant when you need one, eh?)

The prominence of Doctor Strange in the trailer clearly signals that the MCU is as interconnected as ever, but rather than picking up right where Loki left off, the studio seems to be continuing to ease its audience into this post–Infinity Saga phase of movies and TV shows that revolve around the idea of existing alternate universes. The forthcoming multiversal war will likely pick up in earnest in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, while Peter faces villains he’s already defeated—albeit on alternate worlds (and across multiple film franchises).

While the trailer seems to be teasing the return of Jamie Foxx’s Electro—who went up against Andrew Garfield’s version of Spidey in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2—with two prominently placed bolts of lightning, it also confirms the resurrection of Parker’s greatest nemesis of all: the Green Goblin, who tormented Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man in 2002.

And seconds after a voice that sounds like Willem Dafoe’s sneers, “Be careful what you wish for, Parker,” yet another of Maguire’s nemeses emerges, mechanical tentacles and all:

With Doc Ock, Green Goblin, and Electro all either prominently placed or referenced in the trailer, Tom Holland’s web slinger must now face three villains he’s never met before but who seem to somehow recognize him as their mortal enemy despite hailing from other dimensions. (Not to mention the fact that, you know, they all died at the end of their films, too.) For years, Sony has been toying around with the idea of making a movie centered on the Sinister Six, a superteam of villains who band together to take down Spider-Man after none of them can do it alone. Now it seems like it may be finally happening, with the outlandish concept of the multiverse being utilized as a tool to bend some rules and bring back the dead.

Though their appearances are not as noticeable as the aforementioned trio of villains, it’s possible that the trailer also reveals glimpses of two more Spidey foes: Lizard (from Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man) and Sandman (from Maguire’s Spider-Man 3). A dark shot featuring Peter spinning around to witness a leaping figure belting out an animalistic roar could signal the return of Dr. Curt Connors, while a massive explosion of sand following a lightning strike could spell the reintroduction of that, uh, really sandy guy whom emo Spidey once unleashed his rage upon. As for the sixth and final member of this potential iteration of the Sinister Six, there are still plenty of previous Spider-Man villains No Way Home could choose from: Paul Giamatti’s Rhino from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would be a hilarious choice; Scorpion (Michael Mando) was already recruiting Vulture (Michael Keaton) to kill Spider-Man in the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Homecoming; Eddie Brock and his Symbiote already seem a little preoccupied in another dimension, but hey, maybe Topher Grace is up for Round 2; even Mysterio could return to finish what he started.

Although the No Way Home trailer is a big reunion for Spider-Man’s villains across nearly three decades of movies, it does withhold any signs pointing to the returns of Garfield’s and Maguire’s versions of Spider-Man. Garfield has strongly denied that he’ll be reprising the role, and Holland, too, has rejected all reports on the matter. But the arrival of their villains seems to suggest that the Spider-Men won’t be far behind.

On the heels of Loki’s success on Disney+, No Way Home is shaping up to be Marvel’s next major test of whether this growing multiverse experiment will pay off when it hits theaters on December 17. And though the three-minute trailer already previews a lot of what’s to come in this chaotic movie, it also raises plenty of new questions and clues for fans to parse in the upcoming months. But barring any more Sony slipups or Holland-spilled secrets in the near future, for now the wait for Bully Maguire continues.