Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer has my Spidey-Senses very conflicted

Spider-Man: No Way Home
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Like most dedicated Marvel fans I’ve spent the last few months eagerly awaiting the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer. Sony/Disney sure did make us wait for it, but after a leaked version of the trailer surfaced online, the real thing has finally dropped onto the internet. 

The three-minute preview, which has been bizarrely dubbed a teaser trailer, has basically broken the internet already. In the trailer, we see the full fallout of Peter Parker’s identity being revealed at the end of 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, plus we also see plenty of Doctor Strange as well as some multiverse related hijinks. 

While my fellow Spider-Man fanboys are already breaking down the trailer scene by scene with glee, I’ve found myself strangely torn. On the one hand, I love the previous two MCU Spider-Man films, and No Way Home looks like it could meet the high bar that Homecoming and Far From Home already set.

However, the trailer has also got me feeling nervous that No Way Home might be the least cohesive Spider-Man film to date, and could have more in common with failed Spidey flicks like Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 than I’m comfortable with. Allow me to explain...

Let’s talk positives 

Before I explain my concerns, let me reiterate just how excited for Spider-Man: No Way Home I am. Don’t misunderstand me, on balance this first trailer has mostly increased my hype levels.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

Getting to see Peter team up with Doctor Strange once again looks like a hoot — I loved their interactions in Avengers: Infinity War and can’t wait to see them play off each other again. The pair have a long history of team-ups, partially because both heroes live in New York, so I can’t wait to see this odd couple again on the big screen. 

I also love that Quentin Beck (aka Mysterio) revealing Peter Parker’s alter ego to the world is being treated as a serious event with dramatic repercussions. The MCU has an unfortunate tendency to downplay personal stakes, and I’m glad to see that doesn’t appear to be the case here. 

Let’s not also overlook all the usual trappings we’ve come to expect from an MCU film. The humor looks on point, the supporting cast looks excellent and the effects will almost certainly be mindboggling. Sure, we all expect that stuff from a Marvel film now, but it’s great to see Spider-Man: No Way Home won’t break the mold in that regard. 

Too many cooks 

My concerns started to creep in towards the end of the trailer. The closing zinger is the reveal that Alfred Molina is back as Otto Octavius, reprising his role from 2004’s Spider-Man 2 thanks to the power of the multiverse.

Spider-Man: No Way Home - Doctor Octopus

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

It’s a moment of pure fan service, one that almost sent shivers down my spine. The Sam Rami helmed Spider-Man trilogy was my primary introduction to the character as a child, so seeing one of the iconic villains from that series returning is a special moment. 

The trailer further hints that Willem Dafoe will be returning from the Rami trilogy as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin. Plus, it’s also confirmed that Jamie Foxx will be back as Max Dillion (aka Electro) from The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Fans have already fully dissected the No Way Home trailer frame by frame and found evidence to suggest that Flint Marko/Sandman, who was a key villain in the disappointing Spider-Man 3, could be included. There are also indications that Matt Murdock from Netflix’s Daredevil series will be involved as well. 

Furthermore, internet rumors also indicate that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield who previously played Spider-Man on the big screen will be once again donning their Spidey suits to join Holland in the ultimate Spider-Men team-up.

Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Don’t forget there’s also been speculation that Sony will attempt to tie the MCU Spider-Man into its own comic book universe, with a potential crossover with Jared Leto’s Morbius and Tom Hardy’s Venom also on the cards. 

It all sounds like an awful lot of cameos, callbacks and returning faces, doesn’t it? I’m starting to get worried that No Way Home might feel more like a collection of fan service moments rather than an actually coherent movie. 

At least there’s been no indication that Dane DeHaan will be returning as Harry Osborn or Topher Grace returning to playing Eddie Brock/Venom. Those terrible interpretations of beloved characters need to stay in the past.  

Not doing the legwork 

The prevailing internet theory is that all these returning villains will lead to the Sinister Six forming to fight off a trio of Spider-Men in a dramatic showdown. Sure that sounds absolutely epic on paper, but has the MCU really earned that payoff?

Spider-Man fights the Sinister Six

(Image credit: Marvel)

One of the things that made the climactic battle in Avengers: Endgame so wonderful was that it was the culmination of almost two dozen movies and a decade of build-up. The creative team at Marvel had put in the legwork and were rewarded with a sequence that remains unmatched in the comic book film space.

Spider-Man: No Way Home taking a shortcut by essentially retconning in previous versions of villains so it can have its Sinister Six moment early could feel cheap and more than a little unearned. 

Instead of getting to see Tom Holland’s Spider-Man fight each villain on their own, build a personal history with them, and then facing them all as a single villainous team, we may see him battle antagonists that aren’t his own.

I’d rather see the MCU slowly build up its roster of Spider-Man villains, as it was doing in Homecoming and Far From Home, than just try and skip straight to the endpoint by drafting villains tied to completely separate versions of the character. 

Have faith in Feige 

Ultimately though, I have faith in Marvel Studios Present Kevin Feige. As the chief custodian of the MCU, he’s yet to make a wrong move. Even when I’ve had my doubts about some of his decisions, I’ve typically been proved wrong. 

If Feige and the creative team behind the previous two MCU Spider-Man films, who are returning for No Way Home, believe this is the next story to tell with my favorite superhero then I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. 

Of course, all my worrying is ultimately pointless. When the film opens exclusively in theatres this December, I’ll be in the front row regardless. 

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.