Over the past week or so, there’s been a lot of rumours and speculation about what exactly is going to happen in the MCU Spider-Man 3.
First, there was the revelation that Jamie Foxx would be returning as Electro, which whipped fans into a frenzy as they speculated about whether this would be some sort of live-action Spider-Verse movie. Foxx later stated in a now-deleted post that he ‘won’t be blue’ this time around, suggesting that he will be playing a different version of the same character, not unlike J.K. Simmons reprising his role as J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
But still, rumours of a live-action Spider-Verse persisted, and speculation grew even more rampant when it was revealed Benedict Cumberbatch would be reprising his role as Doctor Strange.
For many, this was absolute confirmation that Spider-Man 3 would tackle the multiverse, as Strange is known for breaking the barriers of reality, and his own upcoming sequel is titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Add to that that ‘Phase Four’ of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is kicking off with WandaVision, another property that will likely toy with the fabric of reality, and for many that was enough to suggest that the overarching theme of ‘Phase Four’ would be multiversal shenanigans.
From there, reports that both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire had signed on the play their respective Spider-Men once more spread across the web.
Regardless of the fact more prestigious and trustworthy outlets like Hollywood Reporter, Deadline and Variety have had nothing to say on the subject, people have pushed ahead with the narrative as if it is an absolute certainty.
Sony hasn’t helped matters by coming out to say the rumours are ‘not confirmed’, rather than straight-up shutting them down.
To get to the point, all of this news will be music to many people’s ears, but personally… I don’t care for it.
I’ll judge the movie as a finished product, obviously, but a lot of this has me worried we’re in for another Spider-Man 3/Amazing Spider-Man 2 situation. A film that tries to do too much, too fast, and as a result becomes bloated and messy.
Thus far, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has done quite a lot. He’s been to space, fought aliens, clashed with other heroes and stopped multiple supervillain plots. However, his personal journey has been somewhat gradual and has seemingly been leading to the point where he is the Spider-Man we know from the comics and prior movies.
Far From Home ended with Peter Parker’s identity being leaked to the world by Mysterio via J. Jonah Jameson, and to me, had a fairly obvious direction it should go next. But with the news of Electro, Doctor Strange and other Spider-Men, things seem to be suggesting that they will instead go in a completely different direction, which I think would be a waste.
What I would like to see is already partially out of the picture, but for argument’s sake, I’m going to outline what I would like to see in Spider-Man 3…
First off, scrap Electro.
I have nothing against Jamie Foxx. He’s a great actor. But his presence just serves as a needless reminder of the Amazing Spider-Man series. So far, the MCU Spider-Man movies have done a good job of making us care about previously unseen Spider-Man villains like Vulture and Mysterio, and frankly, I think Spider-Man 3 should continue that trend.
Namely, by bringing in Kraven the Hunter.
Obviously, it doesn’t have to be Jason Momoa, although that would be excellent casting. But Kraven just makes the most sense to me considering where the last movie left off.
With Spider-Man’s identity outed, the next movie could see him potentially go on the run, and as a result famed hunter Sergei Kravinoff is brought in to track him down. The movie could follow Kraven’s fall from esteemed hunter to reckless villain, as his hunt for Spider-Man ends in failure.
Of course, in the modern world of Spider-Man movies, one villain usually isn’t enough (I know Far From Home only had Mysterio, but his not-Sandman, Hydro-Man, Cyclone or Molten-Man illusions served as antagonists for action set pieces).
Fortunately, we already have a villain in-universe who has sworn revenge on Spider-Man, Mac Gargan, a.k.a. the Scorpion.
While Kraven’s pursuit of Spider-Man could form the backbone of the movie, Scorpion acquiring a suit of armour to be able to go toe-to-toe with Spider-Man and get his revenge could also be going on. Scorpion’s comic-book origins also tie him to J. Jonah Jameson, who has conveniently just returned to the movie’s story.
But, at risk of turning my basically-fan-fiction into the very thing I’ve been critiquing Sony for, there is another layer to the story. The alternative reason for Doctor Strange’s casting that many people are willfully ignoring. Namely, the restoration of Peter Parker’s secret identity.
So, to break it down, here’s how I would have it go.
The movie would open with us discovering the after-effects of Spider-Man’s identity being outed, and eventually, the severity of the situation forces Spider-Man to seek help from another superhero, Doctor Strange. Strange is initially reluctant to help, but the onslaught of people trying to bring Spider-Man down (Jameson, the police, the people of New York, Kraven, Scorpion and other criminals) ultimately forces him to change his mind.
However, to keep up the stakes, Strange’s spell will take some time to complete (the length of the movie), and in the meantime, Spider-Man has to save loved ones from harm while also cleaning up the mess his life has become.
In the end, Spider-Man’s secret is restored, teaching him to take better care of his secret and allowing him to move forward as the superhero of the comic books – a masked vigilante who is mistrusted by those around him. During the movie, someone close to him should suffer as a result of his mistakes, meaning that his unmasking still has consequences, but the status quo is temporarily restored.
People may argue that the films should continue with an unmasked Spider-Man, due to the fact that secret identities are largely irrelevant in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but a lot of Spider-Man stories revolve heavily around his dual identity and his interpersonal, non-superhero relationships.
Having the unmasking become part of his gradual maturing and rounding out his high-school years could reaffirm why a secret identity is so important, and tell a superhero story unlike what we’ve seen in the MCU far.
But what happens next? Why should we see another pair of powerless villains?
Because with the addition of Kraven and Scorpion, you now have five tech-based villains who have something against Spider-Man: Vulture, Shocker, Mysterio, Kraven and Scorpion.
So, moving into the inevitable Spider-Man 4, having completed a trilogy of lesser-knowns, it would finally be time to bring back a previous Spider-Man foe. Namely, Doctor Octopus.
Alongside Venom and the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus is one of Spider-Man’s archnemesis, and perhaps has just as much claim to the title as Green Goblin, and certainly more than Venom.
The story could follow in the footsteps of Spider-Man PS4 and have Doctor Octopus cement himself as the biggest threat Spider-Man has faced by assembling the five aforementioned villains to join him as the Sinister Six.
Doctor Octopus would be the mastermind, Vulture would be air-support, Kraven the sharpshooter, Shocker and Scorpion the brawlers, while Mysterio could provide cover and tech-support. It’s a well-rounded group, filled with some amazing actors. Plus, their lack of actual powers means it’s not inconceivable that Spider-Man could eventually triumph over them.
Follow them up with a Green Goblin confrontation, and relegate the eventual Venom crossover to Venom 3, and you have a series that covers some of Spider-Man’s greatest triumphs, watches him grow from naïve teenager to experienced superhero, and then, if you really want to, you can round the second trilogy out with this Spider-Verse movie that everyone’s craving for some reason.
(Personally, though, I feel like the animated movie was good enough to scratch that particular itch.)
Anyway, thanks for reading! What do you think of my Spider-Man 3 suggestion? And what do you think would be the ideal way to round out the trilogy? Let me know in the comments below!
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