Spider-Man 4 is reportedly on the way – and it might affect Marvel's Thunderbolts

A demasked Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home
Spider-Man might leap back into MCU action sooner than expected. (Image credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Entertainment)

Spider-Man 4 could thwip its way into theaters as early as mid-2024, according to multiple industry insiders.

Reliable Marvel movie leakers, including Tom Smith and The Cosmic Circus' Alex P., claim Spidey's fourth Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) flick will swing into cinemas sooner than we think.

Per the duo's sources, Spider-Man 4 is being fast-tracked by Sony Pictures – the studio that owns the rights to Spider-Man film and TV content – with a view to entering full production sometime in 2023. The hope is, the sources suggest, that Spidey's next big adventure will be released in Q2 2024 – so April-June – which would potentially make it the final entry in Marvel Phase 5.

That gives some credence to an earlier leak from MyTimeToShineHello suggested that Spider-Man 4 could arrive on July 12, 2024, which is only just outside that window.

Other intriguing tidbits have also been revealed by the pair and other insiders. Smith suggests that Marvel and Sony – who have collaborated on the webslinger's three solo MCU movies – want Jon Watts and Zendaya to return.

Watts helmed Spider-Man's trio of Marvel films, while Zendaya portrayed MJ in all three standalone movies. However, it's unlikely Watts will return – the director citing superhero burnout following his duties on 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home, as well as his involvement in Skeleton Crew, the upcoming Jude Law-led Star Wars TV show. A live-action debut for fan-favorite Spider-Man character Miles Morales, who was teased in No Way Home, is also reportedly on the cards.

A screenshot of the opening scene in Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man 4 is landing in theaters when!? (Image credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios)

Additionally, Alex P. claims the superhero movie has entered a "more advanced" level of pre-production. That aligns with Smith's stating that Sony has been working on a script since No Way Home. Without a director in place, though, it's unlikely that Spider-Man 4 will begin filming in early 2023.

As for whether Tom Holland – who has played Peter Parker/Spider-Man since 2016's Captain America: Civil War – will return, that's highly likely. The Cosmic Circus' Lizzie Hill and The Ankler's Jeff Sneider (via The Hot Mic YouTube show) previously reported that Holland has secretly penned a new deal with Sony and Marvel, with Sneider going as far to say Holland has signed on for six more projects.

Sony and Marvel have yet to confirm (or even comment on) these rumors. While these insiders are reliable – they've all previously broken Marvel news before official announcements – you should approach the above with a hefty dose of scepticism for now, too, just in case any (or all) of it ends up being wide of the mark.

We've reached out to Sony and Marvel for an official comment, and we'll update this article if we hear back.

Analysis: a (thunder)bolt release date shift out of the blue?

A screenshot of the official logo for Marvel Studios' Thunderbolts movie

Is Marvel's Thunderbolts in danger of being moved? (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

If Spider-Man 4's July 2024 release date winds up being correct, it would present a major headache for another of Marvel's forthcoming films: Thunderbolts.

Currently, the anti-hero team-up film is set to land in theaters on July 26, 2024. However, if Spider-Man's fourth solo MCU flick swings onto the big screen two weeks before, it could spell disaster for the Thunderbolts' box-office takings. Of the two movies, Spider-Man 4 is nailed on to attract more moviegoers than Marvel's renegade group of superheroes due to the wallcrawler's spectacular popularity.

In the event Spider-Man 4 and Thunderbolts' launches would clash, the smart money says Marvel would simply restructure its Phase 5 lineup to accommodate the former. It's already had to do so twice this year due to Blade's production issues, as well as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and The Marvels swapping places as the former is further along in its development.

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There are plenty of open theatrical slots in Disney's release calendar between 2023 and 2026, too, with five spaces open for untitled Marvel movies to be added to. If needed, Marvel could shunt its entire slate back to give Spider-Man 4 and Thunderbolts room to breathe. That might work better, too, for its forthcoming film slate – Blade, for example, moving to a Halloween-centric spot in early November, and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars getting more development time due to their mid-2025 and mid-2026 releases.

For Sony, none of that will ultimately matter. No Way Home grossed almost $2 billion globally, so it's in the studio's best interests to get Holland's Spider-Man back on the silver screen as soon as possible. Sony's other Spider-Man-centric films have been middling at best, so putting the iconic superhero back in the spotlight would be another money-spinner for them.

Spider-Man 4 isn't the only webslinger project Sony has in the works. Animated movie Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – the eagerly anticipated follow-up to 2018's Into the Spider-Verse – lands in theaters on June 2, 2023. Recently, Sony and Amazon also revealed they were teaming up on a number of Spider-Man spin-off shows for Prime Video, including a Silk-led production. Add in other live-action spin-off films including Venom 3, Kraven the Hunter, and Madame Web, and Spider-Man fans will be well catered for for the foreseeable future.

For more Marvel and Spider-Man content, find out how to watch Marvel movies in order. Alternatively, check out our Spider-Man movies ranked guide, or read up on how to stream the Spider-Man movies in order.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.