Spider-Man: No Way Home is so full of big, huge, spoilerly surprises, somehow, its two credit scenes may not even register. Part of that is because almost every single Marvel movie to this point has had at least one scene, so everyone knows to sit in the theatre until the very end to see some kind of a surprise. It’s just that No Way Home delivers that both in the body of the film, as well as the end credits.
We’ll break down some of the in-film spoilers soon, but for now, let’s talk post-credit scenes specifically and their larger implications across the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The first post-credit scene in Spider-Man: No Way Home involves Venom. Which, after the post-credit scene in Venom: Let There Be Carnage involved Spider-Man, was a safe bet. Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is still at the tropical resort we saw him at in that scene. Now though, thanks to Venom, he’s in our dimension. So Eddie (and Venom by proxy) is asking the bartender (played by Ted Lasso’s Cristo Fernandez) about this world. He can’t fathom that this world, the Marvel Cinematic Universe that he’s been brought into, has so many heroes. He mentions the rich guy with the metal suit, he mentions the big green guy, and even the purple alien who likes stones. Both Eddie and Venom are blown away by all this when, out of nowhere, they disappear.
Two things here. One, the way Venom disappears is the same way all the characters in the film disappear. Meaning, the actions of Peter Parker and Doctor Strange at the end of the movie meant to send everyone home have worked. Anyone who does not belong in this dimension goes back to their dimension. This happens not only in New York City with the No Way Home characters but, in this tropical bar with Eddie Brock. Second, and more importantly, Eddie/Venom leaves a tiny piece of black symbiotic behind. Dun dun dunnnnnnnn.
The immediate, and frankly strange, implication is that Venom may soon exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he won’t be possessing Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock. Which would be kind of crappy, right? Tom Hardy rules, and to be denied him in this world feels either contractual or tonal. Either Marvel isn’t sure they want to pay him (or Sony has some objection), or Marvel wants a different take on the character. Sony’s Venom is mean, but he’s not exactly a bad guy, and maybe Marvel Studios wants Venom to be not just formidable, but beatable, for Spidey. There’s also the possibility this is just an obstacle that will make Eddie Brock’s journey back to the MCU a bit more in-depth. On the surface though, it seems obvious and plausible that this little speck on the bar will find another host, and then that host will be the MCU Venom. However, if Eddie and Venom got zapped back to their home never to return, why did this little piece of symbiote stay behind? Seems like a bit of a cheat.
That’s credit scene one. Credits scene two is way, way larger. In fact, it’s basically a full trailer for Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness, which isn’t out until May 6! I must admit, more than anything that happens in No Way Home, this surprised me. Mainly because it’s a Sony movie advertising a Disney movie Sony will get zero dollars for. If Disney just created the trailer and asked theatres to play it before Spider-Man? Sure. But to attach it and make it part of the movie? That’s kind of wild. And yet, as a postscript to No Way Home, the addition works on numerous levels.
First of all, Multiverse of Madness is directed by Sam Raimi who, a few hours earlier on that very same screen, had not two, not three, but four of his Spider-Man characters resurrected in the MCU. Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church), and the first Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire.) And don’t worry, we’ll get much more into that soon. But that it’s a Raimi film ending a film so influenced by Raimi is beyond cool.
Then, obviously, No Way Home was Doctor Strange’s most direct interaction yet with the mysterious multiverse. So the fact his next movie moves on from there makes this credits scene maybe one of the most revealing we’ve seen in a Marvel movie. The trailer shows that Strange will bring Wanda back and mention the events of WandaVision, a few familiar creatures, a new look at Mordo, and, finally, what looks to be Strange Supreme, the evil Doctor Strange from another dimension we first met in episode four of What If?. How any of that happens we can’t rightfully say since the movie isn’t out until May 6, 2022. But it should be fun to discover.