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Things That Need To Happen In Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-man made his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016 with "Captain America: Civil War." Since then, he's headlined two movies of his own, "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Spider-Man: Far from Home." Between those films, he was also involved with "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame." The third solo movie for this current iteration of everyone's favorite web-slinger is "Spider-Man: No Way Home," and it looks to have everything a Marvel — and specifically Spider-Man — fan could want.

The trailers have told fans a lot; Peter Parker botches a spell cast by Dr. Strange to make the world forget Spider-Man's identity, which opens the multiverse, allowing villains from previous Spider-Man films to make their own MCU debut. It looks as though the red and blue wall-crawler is in over his head like never before and that could, hopefully, lead to some big surprises for Spidey fans everywhere.

That being said, there are quite a few unknowns going into the movie. Rumors have been swirling like crazy regarding appearances from previous spider-men and trailers can often be misleading. So, we don't actually know what we're in store for come the film's release in December 2021. That doesn't mean we can't talk about some things we think need to happen to make sure this third film knocks it out of the park.

Bring In The Spiderverse

Despite Andrew Garfield's continued insistence that he is not involved with "Spider-Man: No Way Home" fans are pretty convinced that both he and Tobey Maguire will be featured in the film. Part of this is based on what viewers have actually seen in the trailers. A lot of time is devoted to Dr. Strange explaining the existence of the multiverse and how dangerous it is. He also states that all the villains we're seeing in the trailers were killed by other spider-men. It only makes sense that those alternate versions of Peter Parker could show up in some form as well.

If so, this would be a kind of live-action equivalent to 2018's Academy Award-winning animated film "Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse," which saw a multitude of spider-people from across the multiverse take on Wilson Fisk. It would also be a great opportunity to tie all of the "Spider-Man" films into a shared continuity, retroactively making the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield iterations part of the MCU.

Aside from how cool it would be to see three live-action spider-men sharing the screen together, there is an opportunity here for a kind of character growth that is only possible in fantasy and sci-fi storytelling. By having Tom Holland's younger Peter Parker meet older, alternate versions of himself, he has a chance to define what it means to be Spider-Man on his own terms.

Close The Spiderverse

Doctor Strange is right about the multiverse being dangerous. Not only can opening it lead to a bunch of monsters invading your reality, but it can also invite an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia to outshine the story writers want to tell. Yes, it would be incredible to see all three spider-men on the screen for the first time, but Tobey and Andrew can't stick around forever. If they did, the audience's attention would be on them instead of Tom Holland's Peter Parker and the wonderful cast of characters around him.

It sounds like having three characters named Peter Parker existing in the same reality would be a fun comic book concept, but even "Into the Spiderverse" knew to make the additional spider-folk supporting characters, so as not to distract from the film's protagonist, Miles Morales. Keeping two extra Peters around, especially two who have already headlined their own movies runs the risk of making everything about them.

If we do get multiple spider-men, it's best to send them back to their own realities following such a monumental wall-crawling team-up.

Respect The Previous Movies

Every live-action Spider-Man film since 2002 is being represented in the trailers for "Spider-Man: No Way Home." While those films were all monumentally successful, some of them have a bit of a sour reputation with fans and critics. "Spider-Man 3," for instance, doesn't have the greatest audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. A lot of the criticism comes from an overabundance of villains and some questionable character choices. Likewise, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" has a less than stellar audience score, citing many of the same issues.

With that in mind, it would be very easy to lob a bunch of jokes at the expense of those films. A Marvel movie trademark is the occasional wink to the audience in the form of meta-humor, so there's no way the new film won't have some wisecrack about Emo Peter Parker or the outrageously nerdy depiction of Maxwell Dillon prior to becoming Electro.

Think about Jean's line in "X-Men: Apocalypse" about the third installment of a trilogy always sucking. Calling out "X-Men: The Last Stand"WAS funny in the moment, but that kind of thing can inevitably hurt a film by drawing attention to its own flaws. Not to mention, every movie has its fans. It's good practice to avoid making them feel alienated for liking something despite its flaws.

Keep Things Funny

While both "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Spider-Man: Far From Home" had their share of heavy moments, the overall vibe was that of teen comedies. These weren't just movies about epic battles between good and evil, they were equally about the trials and tribulations of high school. Peter had to take down a gang of guys dealing dangerous, repurposed alien tech and holographic elementals created by bitter employees of Tony Stark, but he also had to deal with the same struggles as every other teenager.

Instead of portraying that balance as tragic, it's mostly played for laughs. Peter's always on the verge of screwing something up and the charm of his character comes from seeing him try to make sure his life doesn't go completely off the rails. Even in his more introspective moments, he has this nervous optimism that keeps viewers rooting for him.

Ditching that now would be a mistake. Peter's about to stand up against some of the biggest and meanest baddies the multiverse has to offer, of course a confrontation like that is going to push him right to the edge of sanity. Breaking his spirit would make sense, but it could also betray his character.

Transcend Fan Service

Sometimes, you can respect what came before a little too much. It's fun to recognize all the jokes and callbacks to prior installments, but not at the expense of the story. Constantly shoving references in the audience's face prevents them from enjoying any new elements brought to the table because they're too busy remembering all the stuff they've already seen.

In order for "Spider-Man: No Way Home" to be more than just another Spider-Man movie, it needs to do more than remind fans how much they loved Doc Ock and Green Goblin. It needs to remind them why they loved those characters while simultaneously presenting them in new and interesting ways. Don't just throw them in to conjure up fond memories, use them to test this Spider-Man, make them integral to his growth as a character, proving he is worthy of the mantle. That way, the fans get an experience worthy of repeat viewings, rather than a collection of cameos to be later viewed as clips online.

Keep MJ Around

In the final moments of the trailer, we see MJ falling from a building in an image evocative of both the original MJ drop in "Spider-Man" and the tragic fall of Gwen Stacy in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." As mentioned previously, trailers can be misleading. They're often edited in such a way as to make the stakes unbelievably high, which could be the case here. However, killing off someone Peter loves isn't unheard of. In fact, losing people close to him is why he does what he does in the first place.

Killing this particular iteration of MJ could prove problematic, however. In "Spider-Man: Homecoming," she was a quiet, quippy observer of the events happening around her. The fact that she goes by MJ wasn't even revealed until the end of the film. Much of "Spider-Man: Far from Home" is about Peter wanting to tell MJ how he feels about her. By the end of that film, MJ and Peter are a couple and the entire world knows his secret identity.

Since Spider-Man is a character fueled by loss, of course the filmmakers would want to take his romance away. It just might be a little too soon to do that now. Let audiences see their teenage love story blossom into something more before severing ties. By giving viewers a chance to get to know them as a couple, the heartbreak could be more intense when it's time to end their story.

Let Peter Stand On His Own

Up until now, Spider-Man in the MCU has been mentored by or sought help from, someone more experienced than him. In "Spider-Man: Homecoming" Tony Stark held this role. He's the guy who believed in Peter, the one who brought him into the larger world of superheroics. Also, he gave him new technology and proved to him that Spider-Man has to be more than just the suit. That dynamic is crucial to this Peter's character.

Something similar occurs in "Spider-Man: Far from Home" although not to the same extent. As Peter is mourning the loss of Tony Stark, he is called into action by Nick Fury (at least that's what he thinks) where he meets a guy named Quentin Beck who goes by the name Mysterio. Peter feels like he can trust Beck and sees him as the heir apparent to Mr. Stark. He's absolutely wrong, of course, but he's a kid who's still learning.

This is the chance for Peter Parker to take off the training wheels and come into his own. No more seeking a father figure. Let the character break free of his small-time hero status in the MCU and let him become the legendary and utterly iconic hero we all know he is destined to be.

Happy and May Becoming A Couple

Aunt May has been through almost as much as her nephew Peter. She lost a sibling when Peter's parents died and she lost a husband with the death of Uncle Ben. Now she's a single parent who's child/nephew is constantly putting his life on the line to protect the innocent. That's a lot for a person to handle and, so far, she's done it on her own.

In "Spider-Man: Far from Home" however, fans saw a bit of a romance between May and Tony Stark's right hand man Happy Hogan. Seeing the insecure, underappreciated Hogan become bashful around May is beyond adorable. The two of them really seem to hit it off, and it would just be really nice to see them make things official. Happy may not be the father figure Peter was hoping for, but he might be just the one Peter needs.

Peter Needs To Meet J. Jonah Jameson

J. Jonah Jameson is a media mogul who hates Spider-Man. In the original Marvel comics, he also employed Peter Parker as a photographer because that kid was really good at snappin' pics of the wall-crawling menace. He's a blustery loudmouth who has no idea that the hero he loves to hate is always around.

We got to see the relationship between Jameson and Peter in the original "Spider-Man" trilogy directed by Sam Raimi. In those films, he was played by incredible character actor J. K. Simmons. When Marc Webb rebooted the Spider-Man movies in 2012, J. Jonah Jameson was sadly missed. "Spider-Man: Far From Home" finally introduced J. Jonah Jameson, again played by Simmons, into the MCU when he revealed Spider-Man's true identity to the world.

Now that we know Jameson will be featured in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" it is time to get he and Peter in the same room. It's been too long since audiences have seen Jameson give Spider-Man a hard time right to his face, without realizing he's talking to the web-head himself. If Doctor Strange's spell works and the world forgets Peter Parker is Spider-Man, that very scene can at last play out again.

Show The Real Doctor Otto Octavius

Doctor Octopus, or Doc Ock, is actually a man named Dr. Otto Octavius. Alfred Molina played him in "Spider-Man 2" as a kind and caring man whose hubris caused his own technology to turn against him. The Dock Ock we saw on screen back in 2007 was being controlled by the mechanical arms he thought would help him with his experiments. So much of his arc is about paying for that hubris and redeeming himself. By the end, Octavius is his own kind of hero.

Alfred Molina has returned to play the character in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." While it certainly appears that his goal is to crush Spider-Man, it wouldn't be fair to the character to make him a ruthless rogue for the entire film. Audiences have already seen him go from a good man, to a victim to a hero. Asking them to spend an entire film with him as the villain being controlled by evil sentient arms betrays that arc.

Given the sheer number of baddies hoping to squash him, Peter needs all the allies he can get. It would be fantastic to see him and his friends disable the evil arms and bring back Dr. Otto Octavius the hero and see them work together to capture the Green Goblin, Sandman, Lizard, and Electro and send them back where they came from.

Let There Be Venom

Venom made the leap to the big screen in "Spider-Man 3" as portrayed by Topher Grace. He didn't get a whole lot of screen time and what he did get mostly served to inflate the film's runtime. One can't help but notice that Grace is absent from the trailers. Could this be because his involvement is being kept secret, or it could have to do with the fact that actor Tom Hardy took over the role in 2018 with the release of "Venom."

That film's sequel "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" featured a post-credits scene that seemed to hint that this alternate version of Eddie Brock has somehow made his way into the MCU. He wakes up to the announcement from J. Jonah Jameson that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Although Eddie Brock has no idea who any of these people are, Venom is very excited.

Does this mean he is going to be in "Spider-Man: No Way Home?" Not at all. Does it mean he should be? Absolutely. There's already a lot going on in the film, so making him one of its many antagonists is probably a bad idea as he is likely to get lost in the mix. However, another post-credit scene, perhaps, where Eddie and Peter meet could be fun while also setting up a proper team-up in the future.