What exactly is going on with the third entry in Marvel’s latest Spider-Man franchise? It’s filming right now in Atlanta with all the expected players like Tom Holland and Zendaya on hand for the usual spider-hijinks, but there’s also a few very unexpected entries. For one thing, Jamie Foxx is headed back to reprise his role as Electro, who he played in a different Spider-Man franchise (the Andrew Garfield one). And now we learn that Alfred Molina will return to play the villainous Doctor Octopus, who he played in another Spider-Man franchise (the Tobey Maguire one). What is happening?
The obvious theory? A live-action Spiderverse. 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, which is yet ANOTHER Spider-Man movie, established that there are actually lots of Spider-Men and Spider-Women and even Spider-Pigs spread across a sprawling multiverse. From there, it’s not hard to guess that the whole entire MCU is just another french fry in the pile and all these various Spider-Man franchises are actually part of one huge Unified Spiderverse — possibly one that can be traversed with a little help from Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, who is confirmed to appear in Spider-Man 3.
When you consider that Sam Raimi, who directed the first Spider-Man movies (the Maguire ones) is directing the Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, which might be just what sets all this up and ties all this together, the whole thing kind of tracks.
It would all depend, of course, on getting a band of Peter Parkers together. Jimmy Kimmel had Zendaya on a few days back to discuss whether or not Garfield and Maguire were secretly on for the filming of Spider-Man 3 but Zendaya’s poker face didn’t slip for a second. It’s possible that Sony is just casting old fan favorites because what are superhero movies if not fan service? But it’s just as possible Sony’s trying to send their final Spider-Man movie of the Tom Holland era out with a bang. We’ll know more when and if movies ever start coming out again.