After a tense 2019 summer in which, it seemed, Spider-Man would blip out of the MCU again to face off against Venom (Tom Hardy), Sony Pictures and the Walt Disney Studios agreed to produce a third film with Tom Holland as Spider-Man. While the fine details of the studios’ new agreement are not known — beyond Disney reportedly increasing its share of the profits to 25% — we do know Spidey will appear in one additional MCU outside of his third solo film. But in another twist of fate, Spidey’s current troubles will be acknowledged in Sony’s upcoming Morbius, a film set in its Spider-Verse and completely separate from the MCU. (Or is it?) Initially slated for a July 2021 release, the third Marvel Spider-Man film played release calendar roulette until finally landing on a December release (for now). In October 2020, Benedict Cumberbatch joined the cast as Doctor Strange. Though Strange is said to fill the mentor role, his presence has fueled speculation the film may see the other Spider-Men from the previous film series. Also fueling that speculation: the addition of Jamie Foxx, who once again plays Electro – although it remains to be seen if this will be the villain from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 or an MCU equivalent. And while rumors surfaced in December 2020 indicating Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire are in talks to appear, Alfred Molina was spotted on set reprising his role as Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man 2. In February of 2021, Marvel and Sony made a big to-do of the title reveal with Holland, and Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon, posting fake titles before he added the real one to his Instagram: Spider-Man: No Way Home. Although we’re thrilled to have a title, it only further clouds the mystery of casting villains and actors from Spider-Man movie history, as do Holland’s recent comments about Peter making his way back to high school. In April, Molina confirmed his part in the film, saying Doc Ock’s story picks up from his final moments in Spider-Man 2.

How It Fits in the MCU: Nick Fury has big plans for Peter, but will he be able to set everything in motion before Sony calls him back to their Spider-Verse? Considering the film will slot into Phase 4, one imagines it will push forward the overall storyline even as Peter clears his name. It almost has to considering how precarious his existence in the MCU continues to be. But with one additional appearance guaranteed after the third film, maybe the first Phase 5 film will revolve around his multiversal instability.

Release Date: December 17, 2021

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