The exciting and wholly unexpected news that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange will be returning to the MCU for Spider-Man 3 also came with the additional caveat that he’ll reportedly step into the father figure role recently vacated by Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. However, even though Peter is still a teenager, he’s already a hugely experienced member of the Avengers that’s dealt with multiple threats, been to outer space and helped save the universe from Thanos. So, the question remains, do we really need to see the franchise go down the mentor route again?
After all, almost every single live-action Spider-Man movie so far has seen the title hero latch onto a surrogate father. It was Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn in Sam Raimi’s original, Alfred Molina’s Otto Octavius in the sequel, Rhys Ifans’ Curt Connors in The Amazing Spider-Man and Tony Stark for the duration of his MCU run before Happy Hogan and Nick Fury split the responsibilities in Far From Home, and that’s without mentioning Uncle Ben at all, who has always been regarded as Peter’s premiere paternal influence.
At some point, the hero is going to have to learn to stand on his own two feet without an older and wizened friend, colleague or mentor to turn to for advice and inspiration, but at least it kind of makes sense in the context of Spider-Man 3. After all, Doctor Strange is about to find himself entering the multiverse, and as the MCU’s resident Sorcerer Supreme and Master of the Mystic Arts, he’s pretty well placed to deliver the required exposition to the friendly neighborhood web-slinger.
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As THR explained in their article announcing Cumberbatch’s return for the threequel:
The move puts Cumberbatch in the mentor role that was previously occupied by Robert Downey Jr., who played Tony Stark/Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and by Samuel L. Jackson in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the latter reprising Nick Fury. The role gives Holland a chance to play opposite seasoned actors, gives Peter Parker a father figure and gives the movies extra star power while tying them to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.
That certainly makes sense, and it’ll be interesting to watch how this all unfolds when Spider-Man 3 finally arrives. Tell us, though, are you excited to see the dynamic between these two heroes continue to play out in the MCU? Let us know down below.