Sony Pictures was scrambling over the weekend to quash a leaked teaser trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home. But now the studio has released the official version, announced during CinemaCon in Las Vegas by chairman Tim Rothman. And it’s a doozy: a full three minutes laying out the plot, with shots confirming some of the rumors that have been swirling since the project was announced—including the involvement of Doctor Strange and the return of several classic villains from prior Spider-Man films. Alas, it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see if the rumored appearances by past Spider-Man stars (from the films directed by Sam Raimi and Marc Webb) are true.
(Some spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home and other MCU and DCEU films below.)
In 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker is grieving the loss of his mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.), who perished in the final battle against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. What better than a summer field trip to Europe to help him process his grief? Then Nick Fury shows up and enlists Spider-Man’s help in battling a series of Elementals. Peter thinks he’s found a new mentor in Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). But Beck has his own agenda and betrays Peter. The two battle it out, and Beck is killed. But he gets his revenge, sending doctored footage of the climactic battle framing Spider-Man for his death to Jonah Jameson at The Daily Bugle. The footage also reveals Peter’s secret identity as Spider-Man to the world.
Spider-Man: No Way Home picks up in the aftermath of that devastating reveal. Per the official premise:
For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life from the high-stakes of being a Super Hero. When he asks for help from Doctor Strange the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.
We see Peter and his close friends and family struggling with the new, deeply negative attention, now that Spidey seems to be branded as Public Enemy #1. Naturally, a frustrated Peter seeks out Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help, asking if there’s anyway to restore his secret identify. Apparently, our old friend Wong (Benedict Wong) is also visiting; he warns Strange not to cast the spell that could grant Peter’s request. But since when has Strange ever listened to Wong?
Strange begins the casting, but when Peter realizes the catch—that everyone will forget he is Spider-Man, including MJ (Zendaya), his BFF Ned (Jacob Batalon), and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), among others—he panics. The spell immediately goes haywire, causing other dimensions to crash into their reality.
This is where the fun begins for sharp-eyed fans. That flash of light is probably a sign that Electro (Jamie Foxx), from 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, will make an appearance. That cackling voiceover as one of the Green Goblin’s pumpkin bombs hits the freeway over the George Washington Bridge is classic Willem Dafoe, from 2002’s Spider-Man (a personal fave). And as Strange cautions Peter to be careful what he wishes for, we see the return of Alfred Molina’s Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus (affectionately known as Doc Ock), But there’s no sign of either Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield. Either the rumors aren’t true that they will appear, or Sony is determined to keep that reveal for the follow-up trailer.
Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17, 2021. Sony also rewarded CinemaCon attendees with a special screening of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, with a panel appearance by father/son directorial duo Ivan and Jason Reitman. It’s slated for a November 11, 2021 theatrical release.
Listing image by YouTube/Sony Pictures