Which Spidey films should you rewatch before ‘No Way Home’ hits theaters?

Image via Marvel Studios

Spider-Man: No Way Home is headed to theaters in just a few short weeks, and trailers for the film promise a truly mind-bending story. Multiple villains from previous iterations of Spider-Man appear in trailers, and fans continue to anticipate the appearance of alternate versions of Peter Parker himself.

With all the complexities surrounding the upcoming film’s multiverse, Spidey fans are returning to old favorites to prep themselves for No Way Home. Quite the collection of old characters⏤played by their original actors⏤are set to appear in the film, which gives fans loads of incentive to re-binge every movie linked to No Way Home. Considering how many movies this encompasses, however, all but the most dedicated of Spider-fans are finding themselves a bit lost. 

If you’re among those viewers who are less than certain about which essential Spider-Man films should occupy your free time over the next four weeks, we’ve got you covered. Here are the various options available to you.

Tom Holland-only Spider-Man films

Let’s start off with the easiest and most obvious entries: The Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland. 

It might seem obvious, but just in case, you’ll definitely want to watch the first two Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man films before viewing No Way Home. These films have been slowly building upon each other, and the plot of No Way Home is built directly upon the final moments of Far From Home

If you haven’t already watched Homecoming and Far From Home, then you’ll want to find an opportunity to do so before No Way Home hits theaters on Dec. 17. These films see Holland’s Peter Parker grow from a young, inexperienced superhero into the far more capable and world-wise character he is now. It sets the tone for this version of Spidey, who shares a lot in common with the comic book version. 

It also sets up some of the villains that may appear in No Way Home⏤the multiverse plotline presents the opportunity for even Mysterio to return⏤and establishes the conflict in the new film. 

Where to stream Homecoming and Far From Home

For anyone who doesn’t have a personal copy of Homecoming and Far From Home, there are some streaming options available. Despite their connection to the MCU, none of the Spider-Man films are available to stream on Disney Plus. This is due, in large part, to the messy ownership and licensing situation between Disney and Sony Pictures Entertainment, which owns the film rights to the character. There are rumors that the first two Holland films will eventually be streamable on the platform, but no specifics yet exist as to when, exactly, that will happen.

Thus, if you want to watch Spidey’s adventures thus far, a Disney Plus subscription won’t do you any good. If you have a Hulu subscription with live TV, however, you’re in luck. Both Homecoming and Far From Home are available on the service with a live TV subscription. They are also available to stream for cable subscribers with FXNow.

If you don’t subscribe to any of the above streaming options, there is still plenty of opportunity to rewatch the first two MCU Spidey films. You can rent both of them from most Video On Demand services for less than $5, or you can just go ahead and purchase them (trust me, they’re worth it). Amazon Prime even has a bundle option with both Homecoming and Far From Home, which viewers can purchase for $15. If you want to purchase the films independently, they run around $14.99 a piece.

Other Tom Holland MCU appearances

Fans of the MCU are well aware that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man didn’t make his first appearance in Homecoming. If you’re looking to thoroughly review Spidey’s previous on-screen cameos, then you’ll need to add three additional MCU films to the list.

The first time the MCU’s Peter Parker makes an appearance is actually in Captain America: Civil War. His role isn’t nearly as big as Iron Man or the Winter Soldier’s, but there is more than enough of the wall-crawler in the film to excuse a rewatch. Plus, it lays the groundwork for the relationship between Peter and Tony Stark that ultimately helps define the MCU’s version of Spider-Man. He also appears in the most recent Avengers films, Infinity War and Endgame.

Where to stream Spider-Man’s MCU appearances

Avengers: Infinity War BTS Pic

Thankfully, these are much easier films to view. Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame are all available to stream with a Disney Plus subscription, which makes the process much easier for Disney fans. 

If you don’t have a Disney Plus subscription, you can also rent or purchase the films from your favorite VOD service. Prime has the movies available to rent for around $4 and they can be purchased outright for around $8.

Other essential Spider-Man films

Anyone who’s seen the trailers for No Way Home has likely realized by now that far more than just the recent Spider-Man films will factor into the new movie. Fans have picked apart every moment of the trailers released thus far and have identified multiple characters from previous iterations of the webslinger’s adventures.

One of the most recent trailers for the film features brief glimpses of at least five separate Spider-Man villains. Several of them appeared in Sam Raimi’s early 2000s Spider-Man trilogy and a few cropped up in the early 2010’s Amazing Spider-Man films.

Given their disconnect from the current version of Spider-Man, some fans of the wall-crawler may not even be familiar with these takes on the popular villains. If you want to properly prep for the new movie, then you’ll need to review several older Spider-Man films to re-familiarize yourself.

Three important villains from Sam Raimi’s films appear in the trailers for No Way Home. While only a bare glimpse of Sandman from Spider-Man 3 crops up in trailers, viewers get to see far more of Alfred Molina’s stellar take on Doc Ock from Spider-Man 2, along with Willem Dafoe’s flawless Green Goblin from the first Spider-Man

spider-man: no way home

These characters, particularly Green Goblin and Doc Ock, have persisted in fans’ memories as excellent takes on favorite comic book villains. Their return is highly anticipated but won’t feel nearly as special to viewers who haven’t seen Dafoe’s memorable madness since 2002.

The same can be said for the villains from The Amazing Spider-Man movies. The primary villain in the first film, Lizard, along with one of the villains from the second film, Electro, both appear in trailers. It’s been nearly a decade since the first Amazing Spider-Man was released, however, leaving some fans without a clear recollection of the characters.

Fans will further want to revisit the pre-Holland Spidey films since they’ve essentially laid the groundwork for a Sinister Six team-up in No Way Home, with fans still speculating about who the sixth member is going to be outside of the five villains who have already popped up in the first two NWH trailers.

Where to stream the old Spider-Man movies

Spider-Man Mary Jane

Rewatching these films won’t be as easy as the MCU entries, unfortunately. Older movies tend to be harder to track down, and the original Spider-Man trilogy is no exception. A subscription to Hulu live TV will provide viewers with full access to all three films, as well as The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2.

Viewers looking to avoid a Hulu live TV subscription can also rent or buy the films from a VOD service or take the easy route and go through Amazon Prime, where each film is less than $3 to rent and between $8 and $15 to buy.

What else to watch

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

If you’re looking to go all the way with your Spider-Man prep, there are three more films that directly relate to, or are neighbors to, Spidey’s story.

The first of these is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a spectacular and award-winning film that technically has nothing in common with the other Spider-Man films apart from Spidey himself, of course. The film features a multiverse just like No Way Home, but it likely won’t share any real estate with the new film.

That being said, it’s an awesome movie and absolutely worth a rewatch, even if it won’t assist in preparing fans for the newest Spider-Man film. Like the other movies on this list, it’s available to those who subscribe to Hulu with live TV. It’s also streamable on FXNow and can be rented or purchased online for around $3 to rent and $15 to buy.

The final duo to polish off the essential Spider-Man viewings are Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Like Spider-Verse, these two films have little to no connection to No Way Home, but they do take place in the broader Spider-Man universe and involve Spider-Man characters.

To be fair, the Masked Menace himself doesn’t actually show up in the Venom movies. The films are entirely centered around Eddie Brock and Venom and largely ignore Spider-Man’s existence. But they are funny, dark, weird, and thoroughly enjoyable, so why not add them to the list? Even if they don’t help you better understand the complex multiverse in No Way Home, they’ll clear out the taste of Topher Grace’s take on Venom, which you’ll surely need after Spider-Man 3.

venom let there be carnage

The Venom movies can likewise be streamed via Hulu Live TV or rented from a number of VOD sites. It costs $10 to purchase on Prime.

Spoiler alert⏤proceed with caution if you yet to see Venom: Let There Be Carnage: Tom Holland’s Spider-Man does reportedly appear in the post-credits scene of Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The mind-twisting events of those final moments seemingly indicate that Sony’s new Venom could appear in No Way Home and Holland’s Spidey could make his way into any upcoming Venom flicks.

No matter which Spider-Man films you choose to revisit prior to your viewing of No Way Home, we hope you enjoy your trip down memory lane in anticipation of the biggest film of 2021!