WARNING! WHILE STILL A RUMOUR, THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS POTENTIAL SPOILERS!
Earlier this morning, we heard direct from Sony exec Sanford Panitch that the studio has a plan for how Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will possibly be crossing over from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to interact with the rest of the Marvel characters in Sony’s standalone movies. That plan will reportedly be made a lot clearer in the release of the upcoming Sony/Marvel co-produced Spider-Man: No Way Home. Of course, anybody who has been following the rumours around this film for the last year could probably have guessed just what that plan entails: Multiverse.
Reports have swirled that alongside Holland’s Peter Parker, Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield would also be reprising their respective roles as the web-slinging superhero from the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man and Marc Webb-directed Amazing Spider-Man franchises. Of course, the actors are denying it, despite evidence like Garfield’s long-time stunt double being spotted on the set of No Way Home and director Jon Watts reportedly collaborating with the VFX crews that worked on both previous franchises.
But while things are still a little unconfirmed on the hero side of things, the villains aren’t beating around any bushes. Jamie Foxx came right out the gates to say he will be bringing back his Electro from Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Alfred Molina gave a whole interview about how he’s once again playing Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man 2. And this is incredibly interesting because if you’re keeping track at home, that’s already two members of the Sinister Six right there. Plans to debut the iconic Spider-Man villain group on-screen have been brewing at Sony for ages – Amazing Spider-Man 2 started setting them up before the trilogy was scrapped, and Drew Pearce was set to write/direct a Sinister Six movie. But could those plans now finally be coming to fruition in No Way Home?
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming already gave us another member in Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes aka Vulture, and that movie ended with an incarcerated Toomes meeting up with Mac Gargan, a criminal injured by Spider-Man earlier in the film, with the latter claiming he had “friends” on the outside who also wanted revenge on Spidey. Mac Gargan, to anybody who didn’t spot the character’s prominent neck tattoo that gave it away, is, of course, Scorpion in the comics, and another member of the Sinister Six. That leaves just two spots to be filled and a new rumour claims to know who those members are… and boy this is a big one.
During the latest episode of The Sneider Cut podcast, Collider’s usually very reliable Jeff Sneider claims to have heard from his sources about a number of villainous characters popping up in No Way Home. Sandman, Rhino, and Lizard – who were previously played on-screen by Thomas Haden Church, Paul Giamatti, and Rhys Ifans – are all reported to be involved, though Sneider doesn’t know in what capacity or if the original actors would be reprising their roles. Either one of them could fill the fifth slot in the Sinister Six roster. As for the final spot though, Sneider claims to have also heard from his sources a rumour that had been percolating for a while now, which is that Willem Dafoe is back as Norman Osborne aka the Green Goblin and that he will actually be the main antagonist of the film.
Dafoe as the Green Goblin was the very first Spidey villain seen on-screen in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man in 2002, in which he faced off against Maguire’s Spider-Man. He also died in that encounter though, when he inadvertently impaled himself on his own glider. Hilariously, it always appeared to me – and anybody with eyes – that he seemed to be impaled… well, in the nuts, which is a pretty embarrassing injury but rather survivable, if anybody was wondering how he could be back. Not to mention the fact that Molina has already stated that he will be digitally de-aged in the film as his Doc Ock will be taken moments after we saw his character seemingly drown in Spider-Man 2.
Sneider has warned to not take his sources as 100% fact, but as he points out, it’s far easier for Sony and Marvel to reintroduce previous incarnations of iconic villains than to still go through the entire process of introducing new versions across several movies. In fact, Sony is already hinting that this is maybe the studio’s exact plan. When asked by Variety about the recent casting of Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the lead role of the long-gestating Kraven the Hunter film – a character who was one of the founding members of the original incarnation of the Sinister Six in the comics – and how that could potentially lead to a Sinister Six movie finally happening, Panitch coyly laughed before replying, “It would be very cool, wouldn’t it?”
On top of all of that, it’s already been confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange will be in co-starring in this film, and that following WandaVision, Spider-Man: No Way Home will be the next step on the path to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (which just happens to be directed by Sam Raimi, by the way, just add another cool link to the previous Spider-Man films).
So here’s what I think is going on: Some character or entity with access to the multiverse is somehow going to be pulling characters from other alternate timelines – which will be revealed to include Sony’s previous Spider-Man universes – to throw at Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. This includes assembling his worst enemies from across the multiverse, and thus we get a Sinister Six led by Dafoe’s Green Goblin. This multiversal activity will attract Doctor Strange though who will help Spider-Man defeat the Six and then set him on a path to investigate who was pulling the strings from behind the multiverse curtain in his upcoming film, where he will collaborate with Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch who is perhaps searching for another timeline in which the children she created and then lost in WandaVision is still alive.
Of course, WandaVision itself made me painfully aware of how difficult it is to predict where the MCU will go, but you have to admit that this all lines up extremely neatly. If the Sinister Six, comprised of previous villains, is introduced in No Way Home, I highly doubt most of the lineup would stick around down after the credits rolled. Both Molina and Dafoe are already deep into their sixties, after all. Then again, at 69, Michael Keaton is older than both men and his Vulture is arguably the best Spider-Man movie villain ever and he’s still doing his thing. So again, anything could happen, and 17 December needs to get here now so we can see exactly what Sony and Marvel have on the cards!
Last Updated: May 31, 2021