Spider-Man: No Way Home won't just affect the MCU – here's why

Spider-Man: No Way Home
(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Sony)

Spider-Man: No Way Home is shaping up to be a hugely significant movie. 

The MCU flick has generated plenty of hype in recent days as rumors spread about a teaser trailer drop and, while that proved to be nothing more than speculation, there is something else for webslinger fans to be excited about.

According to Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group president Sanford Panitch, No Way Home will not only have a huge role in the MCU moving forward, but also the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (SPUMC – a less flattering acronym).

Variety recently sat down with Panitch to discuss Sony's casting of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Spider-Man foe Kraven the Hunter in a standalone film, and inquired about how the SPUMC and MCU could feasibly fit together.

Without giving too much away about Spider-Man's future in either realm, Panitch teased something. What is that? Well, it sounds like No Way Home will shed light on how the MCU movies actually connect with Sony's various projects – if at all.

“There actually is a plan,” Panitch explains, when asked about potential confusion between the Spidey spin-offs and the MCU films. “I think now maybe it’s getting a little more clear for people where we’re headed and, I think when ‘No Way Home’ comes out, even more will be revealed.”

Could this tie into an overall plan to build a Marvel Cinematic Multiverse (or MCM)?

Analysis: will Spider-Man characters cross over into the MCU and SPUMC?

It's possible, and we've actually seen this play out (in a way) already.

Remember the teaser trailer for Morbius, another SPUMC (boy, that acronym) movie centered around the vampiric anti-hero? The stinger at the end of that trailer showed Jared Leto's Morbius encounter Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes/Vulture from the MCU.

Wait, how can Vulture be present in a Sony movie if he's an MCU creation? Based on what Panitch is hinting at, it's possible that Spider-Man: No Way Home could be ground zero for greater connectivity between the MCU and the SPUMC, which could allow Spider-Man and his villains to potentially cross over into either universe.

If rumors (and apparent confirmation on some actors' parts) are to be believed, we'll be seeing previous Spider-Man foes appear in No Way Home, so it wouldn't be a stretch to see similar scenarios play out further down the line.

Don't forget, Sony still owns the movie rights to Spider-Man, so it technically has the power to do whatever it wants with the superhero character. Panitch told Variety that Sony has a "very excellent relationship" with Marvel Studios, though, so we shouldn't see a repeat of the studios' falling out that occurred in August 2019.

Still, it'll be fascinating to see where Spider-Man, his adversaries, the MCU and SPUMC go following No Way Home's release.

It's hard to tell if there'll be any major crossovers between universes after No Way Home – curiously, when mentioning that viewers won't miss Spider-Man in the upcoming Venom sequel, Panitch added: "It’ll be exciting if they do meet, right?" 

As fun as it is to see Venom, Morbius and Kraven get standalone flicks, it would be extremely cool to see Spider-Man battle any (or all) of them in a live-action movie. Panitch strongly teased the arrival of the Sinister Six during his chat with Variety, so that sounds like a big possibility. Whether that'll happen in No Way Home or a future movie, though, is unclear.

Whatever happens, we'll find out what the plan is for Spider-Man post-No Way Home soon. Spider-Man: No Way Home lands in theaters worldwide on December 17 and, hopefully, we'll get a teaser trailer in the near future.

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.

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