Warning: The following article contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
It’s just a day after Spider-Man: No Way Home’s monumental opening weekend and fans are finally discovering once and for all whether or not their most-cherished theories about the most anticipated installment of the franchise yet came true. For over a year now, the rumor engine has been chugging along, sending fan theories swirling throughout the web.
Now that the last installment of Jon Watts’ Spider-trilogy has hit the theaters to blockbuster numbers, we can finally discuss some of the surprising (and not so surprising) character reveals from the latest Sony/MCU collaboration. As there are numerous major spoilers ahead, now is the time to click out if you have not yet seen Spider-Man: No Way Home and do not want the film ruined for yourself.
The Green Goblin/Norman Osborn and Doc Ock/Otto Octavius
The first two villains appearing in the film will present no surprise to anyone who hasn’t been frozen in a block of ice for the past few months. The Green Goblin and Doc Ock are back with a literal vengeance, to say the least. Both villains were used prominently in promotional material up until the premiere, with Ock’s arms and the Goblin’s pumpkin bombs appearing before the return of Alfred Molina and Willem Dafoe were confirmed to be a part of the cast. Surprise or not, fans are eating up both characters and many critics are praising the actors’ performances.
The Lizard/Curt Connors
Attentive fans have probably already spotted the Amazing Spider-Man villain, The Lizard, lurking in trailers for No Way Home, but they couldn’t be sure if he would merely be appearing in his CGI form or whether Rhys Ifans would be returning to play the role. Ifans notoriously had problems with what ended up of his initial performance on screen, saying that he perceived the role as something of a bait and switch, stating, “Whatever you’re told and promised at the beginning of something when it comes to franchises like that, it’s never ever going to be what ends up on screen.” Fans were pleased to find out that not only did Ifans lend his voice to the character, but also appeared as Dr. Connors in a post-transformation moment before returning to his own timeline.
Although The Lizard’s appearance in the No Way Home trailer was almost blink-and-you-miss-it, it was almost impossible to miss Spider-Man 3‘s Flint Marko towering over the other villains in his titanic sand giant form. Again, it was anyone’s guess whether or not he would be a CGI-only cameo. The truth turned out to be a little from column A and a little from column B, as Thomas Haden Church did indeed return to voice the character in his sand form, which is the form he stays in for most of the film. Church also appears in “live” form, but the footage was derived from unused portions of his original performance in Spider-Man 3.
The last of our major villains can hardly be a surprise to many, given the press duties (not to mention poster appearances) done prior to the film’s release date. Fans were nonetheless pleased to see Jamie Foxx reprise his role as Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s Electro in No Way Home. Foxx, for his part, seemed delighted as well in all of his pre-screening appearances and was particularly glad that the new character design did not require him to be painted blue again. Fans seemed to be pleased with the new version as well, not to mention the look of alter ego Max Dillon, who is no longer rocking a combover so bad that it actually gets a call-out in the new movie.
Rumors have been swirling for some time now that Charlie Cox would return to play the blind attorney and his alter ego, Daredevil. Ahead of No Way Home’s release, Kevin Feige confirmed that Cox would be playing the role whether or not he appeared in the newest Spider-Man, but there was a palpable excitement in the theater when audiences first spotted the lawyer’s iconic cane and when he sat down opposite Peter, May, and Happy Hogan, fans broke into outright applause. Cox’s return (as well as Vincent D’Onofrio’s return as Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin, in episode 5 of Hawkeye) seems to finally answer the question of whether or not the cast members of the now-defunct Marvel Television ⏤ which produced five series for Netflix ⏤ will cross over into the MCU proper. No word on whether fan favorites such as Luke Cage or Jessica Jones will be returning anytime soon, but the door has definitely been opened.
Fulfilling the promise of the recent post-credits sequence from Sony’s Venom: Let There be Carnage, Venom (and his host Eddie Brock) make an appearance of sorts in a mid-credits sequence that’s mostly played for laughs. Eddie/Venom seem to have spent their entire time in the MCU section of the multiverse drinking in a bar while a bartender recounts the events of Infinity War and Endgame to him. Just as Eddie/Venom are considering a trip to NYC to chat with Perter Parker, time is up and they’re whisked away back into the Sony-verse, but not before leaving behind a bit of black goo that might foreshadow a symbiote infestation in the MCU.
Spider-Man/Peter Parker and Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Most folks are actually doing a pretty good job of keeping the absolute most major reveal of No Way Home under their hats: that Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire are both back as their respective Spider-Men! Fans had long suspected ⏤ and in some cases even demanded ⏤ that the return of the two actors be a major focal point of No Way Home, and director Jon Watts did not disappoint. Not only do both actors reprise their respective Spideys from the two previous Sony franchises, but they both suit up and swing into action alongside Tom Holland for the film’s ultimate battle sequence. One Spider-Man facing a quintet of multiversal villains would be satisfying enough, but having a trio of Spider-Men do a long awaited Marvel team-up against a sinister set of super baddies had audiences erupting into cheers and applause. Garfield and Maguire seem delighted to be back, and the chemistry between the three is electric.
One could say that nothing succeeds like excess. With a star-studded cast and truly life-changing trajectory for all three Peter Parkers, Spider-Man: No Way Home is already well on its way to monumental box office returns and is already breaking opening weekend records.