The new trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home has shattered records after bringing in familiar villains from alternate realities, but what’s going to happen if Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield don’t actually appear? From what we know based on the trailer, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) tries to restore Peter Parker’s secret identity by altering the past. This splits open the multiverse with disastrous consequences, including the arrival of supervillains from different cinematic universes.
Marvel fans have been waiting for the introduction of the live-action multiverse in the MCU ever since the animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse found great success by teaming up multiple Spider-Men. There have long been rumors of Maguire and Garfield partnering with Tom Holland in No Way Home, but this has yet to be officially confirmed. Last year, a Sony rep told ET that “those rumored castings are not confirmed,” and the company hasn’t addressed them since.
The Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer gives us an official confirmation that Doc Ock (Alfred Molina) is back from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, giving us a clear shot at the supervillain. Jamie Foxx’s Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is also teased with his signature bolts shown exploding police cars. At the very least, we know that Holland’s Spidey will be forced to face some of the villains from the Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man movie universes. It remains to be seen how the other Spider-Men will factor in, or if Holland will simply fill in for them by fighting their respective foes alone.
There have been some signs in the past that this unity will not happen. Last December, Holland told Esquire that the two actors “will not be appearing in this film. At the time, he added, “Unless they have hidden the most massive piece of information from me, which I think is too big of a secret for them to keep from me. But as of yet, no. It’ll be a continuation of the Spider-Man movies that we’ve been making.”
For his part, Tobey Maguire hasn’t spoken about the rumors as he keeps a rather low profile these days. He is also very selective about his roles, as he hasn’t appeared in a movie since 2014’s Pawn Sacrifice. It’s possible that he was given the offer of coming back as Peter Parker and turned it down for whatever reason. If so, Marvel might figure that it may not be worth doing the multiple Spider-Men gimmick if only one of the two previous actors were to come along.
In any case, Andrew Garfield has flat out denied that he appears in the sequel. Back in May, the actor broke his silence on the No Way Home rumors by claiming that he still “ain’t got a call” from anyone involved. He did admit that he’d be interested, hoping that he wasn’t jinxing his chances by talking about it, but Garfield was adamant that he wasn’t involved.
“I can’t speak for anything else, but for myself. They might be doing something, but I ain’t got a call,” Garfield told Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. “”I see how often Spider-Man is trending and it’s like people freaking out. And I’m just like, ‘guys, guys, guys’ – I wish I could just be able to speak to everyone and say, ‘I recommend that you chill.’ I would’ve gotten a call by now. That’s what I’m saying.”
In a separate interview with Access Hollywood, Garfield added: “I’ve heard all the rumors of everything and to be frank, I think it’s a really cool idea. But as a fan, just as a pure fan, it’s a really cool idea. But yeah, as I’ve said previously, it’s not something that… I hate being given the responsibility of disappointing people. It’s not something that I’ve been asked about or anything like that. But you know, never say never.”
Given everything we know, it seems more likely than not that Maguire and Garfield will return, as only bringing in their villains instead would feel like a rather cruel tease for fans. You also can’t fault Sony for keeping their possible inclusion secret, as it’s imperative to save some secrets for the theatrical experience. The same can be said for Holland denying their involvement, Maguire staying quiet, and Garfield possibly playing coy. You can’t argue with the results, either, and the trailer did just fine with breaking records even without an official confirmation of Maguire and Garfield.
Because the previous Spideys showing up is now more of an expectation than a hope, it’s likely that many, many Marvel fans will be deeply disappointed in Spider-Man: No Way Home if the duo doesn’t swing in. Even if everything else about the movie is solid, the ensuing controversy could result in review bombing along with widespread backlash on social media. Once word got out, it may even affect ticket sales in a big way, as the anticipation of seeing all three Spider-Men together is what’s really selling the movie for many fans.
Marvel fans just might riot if Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are not in Spider-Man: No Way Home. It might seem more likely than not that we’ll see them in the movie in some capacity, but just in case, don’t walk into the theater with your hopes too high. We’ll all find out for sure what happens when the anticipated sequel is released in theaters on Dec. 17, 2021.