Breaking Down Spider-Verse Shadows in the Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer

Breaking Down Spider-Verse Shadows in the Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer
Bad things come in sixes, Mr. Parker. (Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios)

Our latest look at Marvel and Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home is here, and Peter Parker’s got new mentors, new foes, and a whole new multiverse of mess to deal with in his latest superhero movie. Let’s break down the new trailer and see what secrets we can speculate about for our latest trip into the Spider-Verse.

Screenshot: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Screenshot: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

The trailer opens with a rain-soaked, bloodied Peter Parker (Tom Holland, although we hear other Peters Parker are available). “Ever since I got bit by that spider,” Peter says, as we cut back to the fallout of the climax of Far From Home — J. Jonah Jameson (the returning J.K. Simmons) exposes Peter’s identity publicly — “I’ve only had one week where my life was normal.”

Screenshot: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Screenshot: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

“That was when you found out,” Peter continues, as we see that this conversation is part of a phone call with MJ (Zendaya) previously seen in the first trailer, where she asked him if it was better the world knew he was Spider-Man. But, Pete, man: that week you had to fight your replacement father figure and stop London being blown up by killer drones with guns? How was that normal?

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Anyway, a few more shots of Peter and MJ’s swing around NYC later, we fade back into new material of Peter visiting the Sanctum Sanctorum. But this time we get to see the fallout of the meeting with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) we saw in the last trailer. For a man that was very excited to do some dangerous memory-altering magic, he’s very quick to blame a teenager for a magical whoopsie. “When you botched that spell where you wanted everyone to forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, we started getting some visitors,” Strange chides, as we once again see the fallout of the spell seen in the first trailer.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

What kind of visitors? Well, bad ones, mostly — the kind who don’t bring a housewarming gift when they step into a new reality unless it’s an incendiary device. Case in point: another extended glimpse of a shot from the last trailer, of one of the Green Goblin’s (another returning face, Willem Dafoe, but as we’ll see later… there could be more) pumpkin bombs rolling along the highway we previously saw Peter fighting another old foe on.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

“From every universe,” Strange emphasises. As long as that universe is contractually obligated by deals between Sony Pictures and Marvel studios, that is. We cut to a nighttime battle, as Peter flips away from a bolt of lightning churning up the earth. This is, of course, returning villain Electro (played by The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s Jamie Foxx), but it should also be noted that Peter (presumably) is in a new suit as well. Primarily black with gold webbing, previous merchandise for the movie named this suit simply as the “Black and Gold” suit — and as we’ll see a bit later in the trailer, it appears to have been in part a gift from Doctor Strange.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Back to another villain fight, we now return to that highway to see Peter battling the returned Doc Ock (Spider-Man 2‘s Alfred Molina). This time we get a little more than a “Hello Peter.”

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Underneath the highway now, Ock has Peter — whose Iron Spider- Suit has been partially damaged — all wrapped up, forcing its adaptive materials to peel the mask from his face when Ock goes to strike his exposed chest. “You’re not Peter Parker,” Ock says, because Otto Octavius is us, we are Otto Octavius. An interesting point to note: unlike the scenes on the highway above, Ock’s metallic arms now have red accents to them. It seems like, given that the Iron Spider suit has been damaged in their fight, the good Doctor has somehow found a way to at least strip off some of the nanite armour material and bond it with his own creations.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

It seems the fight goes back in Peter’s favour though, as we cut to him, MJ, and Ned (Jacob Batalon) interrogating a now-captured Ock in what looks like it could potentially be an underground area of the Sanctum Sanctorum. Otto tells them his real name, and they laugh because it’s what you do when you’re in a superhero movie and have to deal with a name from the comic books. Spider-Man 2 came out 17 years ago folks, we can handle Otto Octavius being the guy who turns into a villain called Doc Ock.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

“There are others out there,” Doctor Strange intones, as we cut to a night sky, with flashes of yellow, over New York — and very interestingly what looks like the Statue of Liberty getting an upgrade to become the sentinel of liberty, an addition of Captain America’s shield to the iconic monument in the wake of Steve Rogers’ exit from this slice of the Marvel universe in Avengers: Endgame. Other Captains America are also available.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

“We need to send them back,” Strange continues, as we see that aforementioned gift from him on Peter’s new Black and Gold suit: a mystical armlet that glows with the runes of Strange’s magic, as it’s made all the more clear that Peter is indeed fighting Electro here. Another interesting detail: Peter’s suit actually has a device strapped to its chest, holding what appears to be a video feed of Ned and MJ. Why are they watching him fight?

Screenshot: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Screenshot: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

“So… Scooby-Doo this crap!” Strange concludes, as we return to the Sanctum and find the Sorcerer Supreme being kind of a massive douchebag to some kids. He decided to do the spell in the first place! At least MJ gets him to insult them and send them on their quest… more politely.

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Another extended shot from the last trailer of dust and lightning kicking up a storm around police cars and news vans (including a Daily Bugle one). Like we mentioned in our last breakdown, this is a logo different from any of the Bugle imagery we saw in Far From Home, but the extended shot does give us a very excited J. Jonah Jameson in the flesh, so this is presumably the MCU iteration of the outlet. “You’re flying out into the darkness…” Otto growls, as we see the storm split into separate dust clouds and bolts of electricity — hammering it over your head if you didn’t presume before that this is no storm, but the combined work of Electro and Sandman. Sandman, a.k.a. Flint Marko, of course previously appeared in Spider-Man 3, played by Thomas Haden Church, who is rumoured to have returned to reprise the role here.

Screenshot: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Screenshot: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

“… to fight ghosts” Otto continues, as we cut back to his imprisonment under the Sanctum. When Peter asks what he means, Strange provides the answer over more footage from Peter’s initial fight with Ock: “They all die fighting Spider-Man. It’s their fate.”

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Another brief shot gives us Peter trying to catch a pumpkin bomb before it detonates. This appears to be inside the building we just saw Electro and Sandman attacking, as we see the aftermath of the explosion rip the entrance and the cars that were previously outside it apart. But who are the villains trying to attack here?

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Back under the Sanctum, Strange apologizes to Peter, who in turn apologizes back before he tries to steal the mysterious cuboid artefact we saw in the first trailer. We get to see an extended version of that shot from the first trailer too, as Peter swings his way out of the Sanctorum, only to be magically caught by Strange and promptly punted into his Astral form. The box, perhaps then, is what Peter and Strange need to send these villains back to their own realities.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Another extended shot from the first trailer as Strange and Peter float along subway trains and the two argue over the fate of these multiversal villains. It’s clear the young man doesn’t want to use it if it means essentially consigning these people to their deaths, but Doctor Strange flatly tells him it’s the only way to protect the universe.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

A few more quick shots follow. One of Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) looks an awful lot like she could be running through that lobby Peter was trying to stop getting pumpkin bombed earlier. The other shows us Ock attacking Peter and the acquisition of the red plating on his arms, making it definitely look like it’s nanite material from the Iron Spider suit.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

From here on in, we’re pretty much seeing what looks like it’s going to be No Way Home’s CG-fest explosive third act battle: Spider-Man versus some kind of Sinister Sextuple, over the aforementioned Statue of Liberty. First up, Foxx’s Electro lights up, revealing a very cute homage to Electro’s classic comics suit as electricity forms a star-shape around his head. Also interesting to note: this is very, very different from the design Foxx’s Electro had in Amazing Spider-Man 2, so perhaps this is either a similar Electro from another slide of the multiverse or that specific Electro has been brought back in a new form somehow. “You’re not going to take this away from me,” Electro yells, as he blasts… Doc Ock with his attack? Looks like the Sinister Six could be down a member, and Ock seemingly switches sides to help Peter stop the multiverse from being torn apart by these villains’ restoration.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Peter pulls his mask down, magical box in hand, as he flees Electro on the Statue of Liberty. We’ll see a few better shots of it later, but this actually another “new” suit: merchandise labels it the “Integrated Suit,” and it appears to be Peter’s black-and-red design from the climax of Far From Home, accented with golden armour plates from the Iron Spider suit, presumably giving Peter a level of enhanced protection and access to his spider-legs from that version. A cute nod that the material can be bonded with other items after we saw it happen with Ock’s arms.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Over a few more shots — Peter and Strange in their astral vision, a better look at Green Goblin’s updated look (heavily inspired by the Raimi version), Peter thwipping from the Statue of Liberty’s head, a shot of him embracing MJ, and a previously-seen glimpse of Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) being surrounded by the laser sights of armed soldiers. “Peter… you’re struggling,” Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn growls, over all this, “to have everything you want while the world tries to make you choose.”

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

But among these is a very interesting shot… of another Green Goblin? Well. Maybe. This is clearly not the Goblin we saw above the Highway earlier, and its design appears to be very different from either Dafoe’s Goblin, Dane DeHaan’s in Amazing Spider-Man 2 (although it is probably the closest aesthetically), or James Franco’s “New Goblin” in Spider-Man 3. The bombs are reminiscent of the Raimi Goblin above all when they split into the razor-bat style bladed boomerangs. The green light accents are more evocative of the style of DeHaan’s goblin glider, but this person is wearing a hood and goggles, quite different from any we’ve seen before. Considering Electro looks different, maybe this is indeed Dafoe’s Goblin with his own “upgraded” form?

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Back at the Statue of Liberty again, Strange’s magic explodes from the statue. Presumably an attempt to re-open the Multiverse that we see tear through the sky later in the trailer, bringing together…

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… a Terrible Trio! Alongside Electro and a Giant-Sized Sandman is none other than Amazing Spider-Man’s take on Curt Connors, a.k.a. The Lizard. Played by Rhys Ifans in that movie, it’s hard to say if the actor’s reprising the role here, as we only see him in his lizard form and he didn’t speak.

Screenshot: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Screenshot: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

“This is all my fault, I can’t save everyone” Peter laments to Aunt May, presumably in the aftermath of that pumpkin blast. So… looks like that attack definitely takes out someone Peter knows, right?

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Peter leaps into action against Sandman, Electro, and Lizard… but as people have noticed, it feels like a very oddly-framed shot. It’s weirdly empty, and only Sandman is looking near Peter — Electro and Lizard are leaping in completely different directions. Almost like, say, they’re fighting different targets. Targets that have been cheekily digitally edited out of the frame to preserve certain identities from being glimpsed before the movie is out. Of course, we’re talking about the repeated rumours about the appearance of both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s cinematic iterations of Spider-Man in No Way Home. The actors can deny all they want, but it definitely seems like something’s being hidden.

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And… not hidden well. If you watch the version of this trailer tweeted by the official Sony Pictures Brasil account, you’ll spot that it has a version of this shot that is about a second longer… and you can see Lizard jerk his head like he’s taken a punch from an invisible arm. Tired: Andrew Garfield got digitally edited out of the shot. Wired? It’s Miles Morales using his camo abilities. Either way, something is up.

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

As Peter dodges and weaves through scaffolding, the Captain America shield affixed to Lady Liberty plummets… endangering Ned and MJ — who really shouldn’t be there. Especially as MJ goes all Gwen Stacy on us and slo-mo plummets to potentially certain doom. It’s like poetry, it rhymes.

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At least this Peter knows it’s safer to actually lunge down and grab her instead of shooting out a web. Maybe there’s another Parker around off-camera who told him that so he can learn from their mistakes?

Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios Gif: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

One title card later, the trailer actually ends with a very intriguing shot. After all the scaffolding has fallen down from the Statue of Liberty, Strange and Peter see purple tears rip through the night sky. “What’s happening,” Peter asks, as Strange gravely intones: “They’re starting to come through… and I can’t stop them.” Now, if Sandman, Electro, Lizard, Ock, and presumably Green Goblin are already here — they’re the ones who destroy all that scaffolding! — then who is coming through these new tears: foe… or friend?

Although we get to see a lot more going on in this second look at No Way Home compared to our first, it’s a lot in the visual sense — more so than actually telling us any more than we really already knew about the film. Instead, it’s left to us to imagine what is left unsaid by this preview — most notably those lingering rumours of just what other visitors the multiverse could throw at Peter Parker and his friends. Whether or not those rumours play out as fans expect (and there’s seemingly enough evidence to suggest they will) likely won’t be seen for sure until No Way Home swings into theatres in a month’s time on December 16.