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The Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer Theory That Has Fans Looking Twice At Sandman

Ever since it first became clear that "Spider-Man: No Way Home" was going to be stuffed full of Spidey villains, fans have been ticking off their fingers.

Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Lizard, Electro; any way you want to count it, that comes out to five. But our young hero doesn't famously fight the Furious Five. Spider-Man has been going up against the Sinister Six since 1964. Did Marvel Studios drop the ball? Or are they keeping the identity of the sixth villain under wraps, just as they are with...ahem...other secrets about who might be appearing in the upcoming film.

Fans have produced all kinds of guesses about who the sixth villain might be, from Michael Keaton's Vulture from "Spider-Man: Homecoming" to Paul Giamatti's Rhino from "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" to a corrupted version of Dr. Strange. But a new theory has it that the film's real sixth villain could be hiding in plain sight, the power behind one of the other baddies.

Is the Sinister Sixth hiding behind Sandman?

"As far as I know, we have yet to see Sandman in his human form in any teasers, trailers, or set photos...We've only seen him show up as a CGI sand monster," wrote u/SupaBloo on Reddit. Their theory posits that we already have an MCU villain with the ability to generate large, element-based monster creations. "My theory is that Sandman isn't actually one of the villains, rather it's Mysterio (not necessarily Gyllenhaal, but him or someone with access to his tech) who is creating the illusion that Sandman is there. ... It could be that there really are only five villains, but one of them is creating the illusion of a sixth villain. ... The effects of Sandman in the trailer would fit right in with the elementals Mysterio faked."

After all, Sandman doesn't just have to be a giant sand cloud. He's also capable of augmenting his regular human form into a variety of infinitely malleable tools and weapons. Keeping Sandman in giant cloud form certainly fits with Mysterio's M.O. of selling a big, spectacular lie rather than a small one. Whoever it is that might be operating the technology, nesting one villain into another could be one way for the film to hit its quota.

Fans have lots of theories on the last No Way Home villain

Or, it could just be that this particular Sandman doesn't have a human form. While news of Willem Dafoe's, Alfred Molina's, and Jamie Foxx's involvements in the film has trickled out during the buildup, we still don't have any confirmation that actor Thomas Haden Church, who faced off against Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man in "Spider-Man 3," or Rhys Ifans as the Lizard from "The Amazing Spider-Man," are returning to their roles for "Spider-Man: No Way Home." 

While the theory got some support in the comments, others preferred alternative theories. Citing the "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" post-credit scene that seemingly places Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock within the MCU for the first time, u/superme33 felt pretty confident that the missing baddie is Venom. u/Lillbonden pondered whether there were "2 different goblins in the trailer," although others pointed out that the second look seemed like it could be Willem Dafoe's Norman Osborn in a different suit. u/silverraider32 took a different spin on the OP's theory, spitballing, "Bruce Campbell was suppose to play Mysterio in the Rami universe so you're right but it could be Campbell playing him." 

Or perhaps the simplest explanation to why there's no Sinister Six being shown is that the movie isn't really about The Sinister Six. "From [the] newest trailer it doesn't look like Sinister Six anymore. It seems he captures Otto pretty early and it is more about getting the villains back to the proper reality," wrote u/corsair1617.

Fans will be able to get a definitive total when "Spider-Man: No Way Home" hits theaters December 17.