After Spider-Man: No Way Home, Marvel and Sony have an even bigger task to make Spider-Man 4, but will Tom Holland return and would it be in the MCU?
Phase 4’s biggest movie so far, Spider-Man: No Way Home is finally here, bringing the multiverse to the MCU in the most tangible way so far, but already the conversation is turning to the future and the possibility of Spider-Man 4. While there has been talk of No Way Home representing an ending for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, the movie’s ending does also offer some promise of future storylines from Marvel’s web-slinger. And the reality of a brand as big as Spider-Man is that multiple parties will already be pulling for what comes next.
Obviously, No Way Home’s stunning Rotten Tomatoes score is a huge validation of the creative effort behind the third MCU Spider-Man movie, but early fan reception also confirms how well Sony and Marvel managed to match the hype to the end result. No Way Home is far from a perfect movie, but it is an incredible spectacle, bursting with entertainment and offering the kind of joyous fan-service that only top-level comic book movies can usually manage. It is a movie that is incredibly easy to be enthusiastic about.
In the post-Avengers: Endgame world, the expectations placed on Marvel movies increased exponentially, and No Way Home’s massive scope is a testament to the need to try and outdo the MCU’s Infinity Saga. That it has achieved such a success is astonishing, but now attention turns to what Sony and Marvel can do next with this character. Here’s what we know about Spider-Man 4 and how No Way Home possibly sets up Tom Holland’s future as Spider-Man.
Is The MCU’s Spider-Man 4 Confirmed?
The closest Sony or Marvel have got to a confirmation that Tom Holland will return as Spider-Man in the MCU came courtesy of Sony’s Amy Pascal, who enthusiastically spoke up plans for more Spider-Man content in an interview with Fandango: “This is not the last movie that we are going to make with Marvel – [this is not] the last Spider-Man movie. We are getting ready to make the next Spider-Man movie with Tom Holland and Marvel. We’re thinking of this as three films, and now we’re going to go onto the next three. This is not the last of our MCU movies.” Pascal has subsequently walked those comments back, suggesting that if it was up to her, Sony and Marvel Studios’ partnership will move forward. Beyond that, Spider-Man 4 is still unconfirmed, despite how likely it is that Marvel and Sony will both be keen to work together to bring more Spider-Man MCU content beyond the current plans. The merchandising sales Disney can count on from the character alone will account for some of that enthusiasm, and Spidey is arguably still the MCU’s most marketable character.
Sony might not have offered concrete plans for Spider-Man 4 yet, but there has been confirmation of at least one more Spider-Man MCU appearance. At the No Way Home premiere in Los Angeles, Sony Pictures’ Tom Rothman confirmed that there is still at least one MCU crossover on the docket:
We lend one, then they lend one, and that’s how Benedict is in this movie, so we have one more lend back that is committed.
How No Way Home Sets Up Spider-Man 4’S Venom Story
The most intriguing thing about Sony’s confirmation of another MCU crossover event for Spider-Man is how little Spider-Man: No Way Home sets it up. At the end of No Way Home, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is completely isolated, thanks to his own noble sacrifice to save the Earth from a multiverse catastrophe: Aunt May is dead, his friends don’t know him and even the Avengers dynamic he could once call upon is now likely to be logistically impossible. So having Spider-Man answer the call would be difficult, unless we’re to believe that the Avengers would welcome him as a member without knowing his secret identity. At this stage, it’s hard to even tell what the Avengers even is as an initiative. Its surviving members are split across the universe, the HQ was destroyed, its leaders are dead, retired, or off-planet and while Captain Marvel and Hulk answered the call in Shang-Chi’s mid-credits scene, that is not a confirmation that the Avengers are currently operational. In order to get to a place where Spider-Man even makes sense in a crossover, he needs more of his solo MCU story told.
There is of course the possibility that Sony will pull a switcheroo and teleport Holland’s Spider-Man to the Sonyverse for his next movie, but how that sits with the Marvel Sony deal is unclear with the crossover still also to come. But at least there was a hint in No Way Home’s mid-credits of what could come next thanks to Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock leaving a part of his symbiote in the MCU. That’s not the kind of thing that cannot be paid off, particularly with the tantalizing prospect of Holland’s Peter Parker getting his hands on the symbiote-infused black Spider-Man suit and belated justice for Sam Raimi’s Venom disaster. Even if it has to come without Tom Hardy.
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On top of that, Peter Parker has an obvious narrative objective: survival. Repairing his relationship with MJ and Ned would seem to be a big part of the next stage of his life too, but with both leaving for MIT in Boston, Peter will be left alone in New York to continue both his Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man business and whatever day job he finds to replace his traditional – but now impossible – job working for J Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle. His formative years may be over, but there’s still lot more stories to tell for Holland’s Spider-Man.
Could Maguire & Garfield’s Multiverse Spideys Return In Spider-Man 4?
At this stage, it seems very unlikely that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield would reappear in another Spider-Man movie opposite Tom Holland, but the reception of their roles in No Way Home should kick up interest in reviving both of their respective series. Neither seems particularly likely unless either feels the need to address any unfinished business – and one of them returning to play Peter Parker in a Miles Morales origin movie would be perfect – but money talks in Hollywood and it positively shouts in the comic book movie-making part of Hollywood in particular. Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse proved the appetite for multiple Spider-Men in one property, and No Way Home will double down on that, but Spider-Man 4 is not where it will happen. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker simply has too much going on to step back into the same story again. It would make more sense for them to perhaps be drawn into a Secret Wars multiversal crossover, but that’s most likely wishful thinking.
Spider-Man’s New Suit Is Introduced At The End Of No Way Home
In Spider-Man: No Way Home’s final scene, Peter Parker is shown to make his own new costume, finally putting the shadow of Iron Man behind him by putting aside his technology. While that may not seem like a positive, Spider-Man has struggled for his own identity in the MCU, and adopting a new traditional look for his next Spider-Man costume suggests that Holland’s Peter Parker is finding himself. Even more crucially, adopting the simple red and blue aesthetic feels like a conscious decision to homage Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men and what they taught him about ignoring the call of vengeance and hatred. The homemade suit is a great move, though the question of whether it frees Sony from some of the ties to the MCU as well as Doctor Strange’s spell should probably also be considered.
Did No Way Home Tease Kraven’s Arrival In The Spider-Verse?
The multiversal catastrophe that Doctor Strange warned would be an inevitable result of Spider-Man’s fudged memory spell almost broke through into the MCU at the end of No Way Home. With the bright schisms across the sky came the suggestion of “infinite” multiversal individuals – both friend and foe – who knew that Peter Parker was Spider-Man in their respective universes. The identity of the majority of those figures was very well hidden by the light of the multiverse tears, but one, in particular, looked very interesting: the figure who appeared to be holding a spear and furs across his shoulders. With a Kraven movie already announced for 2023 by Sony, that Easter egg was a great little nod to the possibility that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man future may lie in another universe as Kraven’s biggest target.
When Could Spider-Man 4 Release?
Assuming Spider-Man 4 follows on from the usual trend of releasing Spider-Man movies to capitalize on the brand power of the character, a release date of the end of 2023 would fit. That may seem early, but Marvel does have 2 announced properties in the second half of 2023, and leaving too big a gap between Spider-Man movies would not make fiscal sense. Assuming one of those movies is the promised crossover event that Sony has lent Holland’s Spider-Man for, it’s possible that Spider-Man 4 could slip into early 2024. For now, there’s no firm confirmation, so following precedent is the only hint.