Since the release of the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, theories have been circulating the internet about what to expect from the upcoming film. Some theories are rather far fetched, but others make a lot of sense when taking a closer look at both the trailer and previous Spider-Man films.
Speculation about Doctor Strange’s identity in the film has been one of the hottest topics to come up in relation to Spider-Man 3 and one Reddit user noticed that he’s wearing all black while standing on top of a train. Strange still has the Time Stone around his neck and what appears to be a sling ring on his left hand, but he isn’t wearing his cape which makes the getup unusual for him.
The Reddit user also noted that Strange has a rather sinister look on his face, and could possibly be attacking Peter, though it’s difficult to tell from the trailer alone. By gathering these details, the user suggested that there could be a Doctor Strange variant running amok in the film, which is why he looks and acts so different in the trailer.
This theory seems plausible when taking into consideration all the ways Strange has changed during Spider-Man: No Way Home in comparison to how he was in previous films. A new look, a new attitude, reckless use of magic and failure to successfully cast a spell aren’t qualities that define the fan-favorite sorcerer. Some Marvel fans have claimed that Doctor Strange is actually Mephisto, while others think it could be Loki getting up to his old tricks, but the one thing everyone seems to be forgetting is the possibility that there’s more than one Doctor Strange present in the movie.
The events of the Loki season 1 finale took place before Spider-Man: No Way Home, meaning the multiverse has already been ripped open. This makes it much easier, and much more logical, for there to be a darker variant of Doctor Strange running loose in the Spider-Man 3 timeline.
Another Reddit user proposed the idea that Peter was sucked into an alternate reality, which is how the film got the name Spider-Man: No Way Home. Assuming this to be true, it would make even more sense for there to be a second Doctor Strange in this different world.
The fan then went on to propose the idea that Mysterio isn’t actually dead, but is pretending to be so that he can assemble a villainous team called the Sinister Six. Given how Marvel frequently uses the “fake death” plotline, it’s reasonable to theorize that Mysterio isn’t actually dead.
Mysterio was unable to defeat Peter alone and become the world’s new favorite hero in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the Reddit user noted, so gathering other bad guys to make Peter seem evil would be Mysterio’s best move. Doctor Octopus and Electro are already confirmed to be in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and they’re two of the Sinister Six members according to Marvel Comics. Mysterio was also part of the Sinister Six team in the comics, so bringing them all together in the MCU would give Mysterio a better shot at glory, which has always been his ultimate end goal.
The Reddit user also noted that Vulture and Scorpion appeared in the post-credits scene for Spider-Man: Homecoming, which means they’re bound to appear in a Marvel movie sometime soon. That makes five members of the Sinister Six squad who have already shown up in either films, trailers, or post-credit scenes.
That only leaves one more slot open before the ensemble is complete, and the Reddit user speculates that either Sandman or Shocker will take the empty space. Green Goblin was also initially part of the Sinister Six, so there is a small chance he could appear in the film to complete the team.
Phase 4 is all about team-ups, and while Marvel has repeatedly gathered a team of heroes against one major villain during all the Avengers movies, they have yet to introduce multiple bad guys who are working against a single hero. Given the success of Phase 3, Marvel will have to up the ante if Phase 4 is going to compare to preceding projects. Trying something different with their hero-villain dynamics might be the thing that makes their new projects stand out from Phase 3.
Fans are hopeful for what Spider-Man: No Way Home has in store, but the MCU still has some pretty big expectations to meet if the film is going to be a hit. A lot of viewers were disappointed in WandaVision when the show couldn’t live up to their theories and speculations, so hopefully, there won't be a repeat of this issue. Although it’s always difficult to predict which direction Marvel will take with their projects, there are plenty of realistic theories that would make for a more interesting Spider-Man 3 film.
Spider-Man: No Way Home will be released in theaters on December 17.