One of the smartest things Marvel Studios did when establishing Tom Holland’s MCU Spider-Man was to skip the origin story. Spidey has one of the most retold origins in comics history, we’ve already seen it on screen in Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man, and it’d simply be retreading old ground. But one of the consequences of this is that we haven’t gotten to meet the MCU’s Uncle Ben.
We know that Uncle Ben’s death is the reason Spider-Man set himself on a selfless path of heroism though, as Peter said to Tony Stark: “Look, when you can do the things that I can, but you don’t… and then the bad things happen, they happen because of you.” In addition, we saw his initials on a suitcase in Far From Home. But now, with the multiverse opening up in Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans are wondering who’d be best for the MCU’s Ben Parker?
Top of the list is Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston, who would definitely bring the gravitas but would be slightly wasted on a short cameo. Other suggestions include Sean Bean (a great choice for a character primarily known for dying), Matthew Broderick, Steve Carell, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Less serious answers included James Earl Jones, Joe Pesci (potentially putting My Cousin Vinny in the MCU), Danny DeVito, and Terry Crews. They’re all a bit too out there, but it would be fun to see Marvel throw us a real curveball.
But the most popular response is that the MCU’s Uncle Ben is better as an off-screen inspirational presence. Stories that dwell on Ben (or Peter’s parents) rarely work out for the best, and I want to see Holland’s Spider-Man moving forward without spending too much time dwelling on the past.
Even so, we may find out more about Ben in Spider-Man: No Way Home when it lands on December 17.