Is Spider-Man 3 venturing into the realm of the multiverse? We already know that Tom Holland's third Spidey movie, a key title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), is showcasing Jamie Foxx as Electro, who returns from 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2. And word is coming in (via Deadline) that Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus will also be featuring.
This is significant because Doc Ock made his first big-screen appearance in 2004's Spider-Man 2, directed by Sam Raimi. Originally, that movie was not affiliated with the Disney-distributed MCU chronology, standing apart as a Sony-owned property. By bringing in Doc Ock, and the aforementioned Electro (another character initially separate from the MCU), Spider-Man 3 is fuelling the notion that many different strands of the Spider-Man mythology are being threaded together in one comic book movie.
This approach worked gangbusters in 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, an animated movie that paired new Spidey incumbent Miles Morales with a host of other web-slingers from different realms. This included an older Peter Parker, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham and Spider-Man Noir. It became the first comic book movie to win any kind of Best Picture award, in this case Best Animated Film, and it opened people's eyes to the possibilities of a multiverse narrative.
Everyone is therefore salivating at the possibility of this being done in live-action form. Speculation is brewing as to whether previous Spider-Men Tobey Maguire (who fought Molina's villain in Spider-Man 2) and Andrew Garfield (who tangled with Foxx's Electro) will be turning up to complete the picture.
A brilliant scientist turned tortured villain, Doctor Octopus is arguably the best villain to have appeared in the Spidey live-action movies so far. Molina's charismatic performance and the superbly unnerving CGI/animatronic work on the character's tentacles made him an intimidating foe, particularly in the terrifying hospital breakout sequence and the bruising train fight.
Benedict Cumberbatch will be returning as Doctor Strange in Spider-Man 3, as will several familiar faces from previous Holland movies Homecoming and Far From Home. This includes Zendaya as MJ, Tony Revolori as Flash, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and Jacob Batalon as Ned. Jon Watts will be directing, having spun box office gold from Holland's prior films. The aforementioned Sam Raimi, meanwhile, will be directing Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Production on Spider-Man 3 is now underway in Atlanta and the film is set for release on 17th December 2021. Excited? Let us know @Cineworld. And don't forget to check out our list of 2021 comic book movie releases.