Following the tremendously popular second trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home that dropped Tuesday, some fans are questioning whether Tom Holland’s Peter Parker successfully rescues Zendaya’s MJ, who in the trailer is seen falling off a building’s scaffolding.
It’s decidedly a cliffhanger in the preview, leaving fans to wonder whether or not Holland is able to save her in time⏤a familiar setup to fans of previous Spider-Man movies.
Indeed, many fans have expressed that they are fearing the worst for MJ, and her fate may end up tying into the film’s title more than we’re expecting. If MJ really does die, it would forever alter Holland’s Parker in the MCU as we know it, virtually making “home” in the metaphorical sense⏤the place where his loved ones are⏤a tragically distant memory.
This would further drive home the idea of Spider-Man’s actions and decisions having grave consequences, a major theme of his character. In this case, when Parker asks Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange to cast a spell that will make people forget that he’s Spider-Man, it appears to inadvertently cause the Sinister Six to arrive in his world and lead to the death of his girlfriend.
Remember the motto Peter’s late uncle bestowed upon his nephew: “With great power comes great responsibility.” As a newly-instated Avenger, Peter has powerful friends who can alter reality, a resource that, when used recklessly, could result in something as devastating as MJ’s death. This would be a tipping point for Holland’s Parker the same way Gwen Stacy’s death was for Andrew Garfield’s in The Amazing Spider-Man 2⏤and could potentially be the very event that moves Parker from being a mere Spider-Boy into a more cynical, but more responsible and careful, Spider-Man. It could even lead to him giving up his heroic mantle altogether.
Even if MJ doesn’t die, someone else who is close to Parker could, such as Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May or Jacob Batalon’s Ned. If one of them meets a fate similar to the one alluded in the No Way Home trailer, the thematic message that Peter will never have the same “home” again will come full circle.
On the other hand, some fans aren’t predicting that MJ is doomed to death as much as they’re speculating that her savior is, in fact, a well-crafted tease to another character from across the multiverse: the version of Peter Parker portrayed by Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man duology. If you need a refresher on the latest trailer before we proceed, you can watch it right here.
The clip in question sees Holland’s Parker facing off against villains from past Spider-Man films of different franchises, such as Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Rhys Ifans’ Lizard, and Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman in a showdown that appears to take place at the Statue of Liberty. Holland admits “I can’t save everyone,” and we then see MJ fall off the building as her love appears to dive down and reach for her.
While a wide shot sees Holland making the dive toward MJ, a blink-and-you-miss-it close-up shot of Spider-Man’s hand was speculated by some to resemble Garfield’s version of the webslinger.
What’s more, one Twitter user pointed out how during the showdown scene with multiple villains, the baddies seem to be fixating their gaze not on Holland, but on someone just off screen to his left, perhaps a hint that this showdown will, in fact, involve multiple Spideys.
If Garfield is the one to save MJ in the scene, another Twitter user pointed out that this would make for a lovely redemption arc for the Amazing Spider-Man character, after he botched the rescue of Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, accidentally killing her in the process.
So yes, there is uncertainty about whether MJ will survive in the upcoming film, but much of the flurry of inquiry regarding this scene may revolve around it being a possible tease to Garfield’s appearance.
That’s not all. A third possibility exists for the hidden meaning behind No Way Home‘s title: that Holland’s Parker will be the one who gets flung into an alternate universe⏤perhaps in a bid to undo Strange’s spell⏤away from the people he loves and into a snake pit of supervillains, as opposed to the supervillains traversing into his world.
We’ll have to see if any of the speculation rings true when the multiverse-centric Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters Dec. 17.