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‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’: Release date, trailer and everything else we know about the MCU movie

Spider-Man: No Way Home title card
(Image credit: Twitter.com/SpiderManMovie)

Ever since the first Spider-Man movie featuring Tobey Maguire was released in 2002, the web-slinger has been one of the most popular superheroes around. That has continued with Tom Holland’s rendition of the character, which was successfully brought into the MCU thanks to a deal with Sony (it’s complicated) and now is getting ready for his third film, Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Following the first two Tom Holland-led Spider-Man films (Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home), there are a lot of exciting things happening for Spidey and the larger MCU in general that could make Spider-Man: No Way Home an incredibly entertaining ride. Let’s not waste any more time and get into what lies in store for Spider-Man in his latest adventure.

What is the plot of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’?

We have our first true inkling of what Spider-Man: No Way Home will be about with the official trailer (see below) and an official synopsis being released. Here's the synopsis:

For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life from the high-stakes of being a Super Hero. When he asks for help from Doctor Strange the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.

Of course that unmasking came in the final moments of Spider-Man: Far From Home, when J.K. Simmon reprised his role as J. Jonah Jameson and showed a video of Mysterio revealing that Peter Parker is Spider-Man.

That, as well as some casting news and rumors, have led to a lot of fun speculation at what be in store for Spider-Man.

Who is in the ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ cast?

Most of the principal cast from the first two Tom Holland-led Spider-Man films will be back for Spider-Man: No Way Home. Of course you have Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man; then you have Zendaya as MJ, Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds, Marisa Tomei as May Parker, Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, Angourie Rice as Betty Brant, Martin Starr as Mr. Harrington, J.B. Smoove as Mr. Dell and Hannibal Buress as Coach Wilson. Officially joining the cast after his cameo in Spider-Man: Far From Home is J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson.

Three confirmed additions to the cast also help with the idea that the movie will incorporate Marvel’s new multiverse threat somehow. This includes Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, Alfred Molina as Otto Octavius/Doc Ock and Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro. Molina and Foxx are villains from previous Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man movies, leading people to believe (it hasn’t been confirmed) that they arrive in this movie after the multiverses split open.

Of course, with Molina and Foxx onboard, there is also wide speculation that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield may appear in the film as their version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Again, Marvel has offered no confirmation that this will happen. But if it does happen it certainly has been one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood.

When is the ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ release date?

Spider-Man: No Way Home is closing out Marvel’s massive 2021 (following a punted 2020) with a release on Dec. 17, 2021. The film is currently set for an exclusive run in theaters; whether or not that will change will be something to keep an eye on.

Disney, which owns Marvel, had been using a hybrid release strategy for its movies earlier in 2021, releasing them in theaters and on Disney Plus via Premiere Access on the same day. For Black Widow the move brought in a healthy flow of ticket sales and streaming buys, but it was not without controversy. However, as the pandemic continues to be present with the delta variant, Disney may see if it can revert back to its hybrid strategy.

Much could depend on what happens with Shang-Chi. Shang-Chi, releasing on Sept. 3, is getting an exclusive theatrical run with a 45-day window, as did 20th Century Studio’s (owned by Disney) Free Guy. Free Guy has been No. 1 at the box-office the past two weeks, though admittedly its numbers are judged on the pandemic curve. However, depending how Shang-Chi performs during its run, it could lead to Disney to rethink how to deal with the release of its other Marvel titles the rest of the year.

Is there a ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ trailer?

A funny thing happened recently. On Sunday, Aug. 22, apparently the first trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home leaked onto the internet and was shared on social media. Sony quickly acted and pulled the trailer (it had to do that process a few times), but not before a number of attentive fans got their eyes on it.

Just about 24 hours after the leak, however, Sony Pictures officially released the first trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home, and gave a shout on Twitter for the fans who didn't watch the leaked trailer. Watch the full trailer below.

Some quick highlights included the "careful what you wish for theme" that is a storytelling classic (this could kind of be like a Marvel equivalent of It's a Wonderful Life); a Green Goblin grenade (did they hide a Willem Dafoe/Dane DeHaan casting from us?); and of course Alfred Molina making his return as Doc Ock. 

There's a lot to chew on as we eagerly await Dec. 17.

How will ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ impact the MCU?

Ever since he debuted in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has been one of the most popular characters. Now, with Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Chadwick Boseman out of the MCU, Holland’s Spider-Man will probably take up a bigger part of the mantle.

Spider-Man: Far From Home officially closed out Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while Spider-Man: No Way Home will be the fourth film on Phase Four (Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals). Of course, Marvel movies aren’t the only thing contributing to the overall MCU storyline anymore, the Disney Plus originals will also likely factor in at some point, most notably Loki’s storyline of the impending multiverse war. No Way Home will at least dabble in the multiverse, if not take place fully after the events of Loki.

The multiverse storyline will definitely factor into the larger storyline that Marvel is laying out for Phase Four, which we can expect will eventually lead to the next Avengers team up movie (though that is not dated as of yet). The inclusion of Doctor Strange in the film could also point him in the direction of where his next movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is going.

How to watch the MCU movies in order?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going on now for 13 years, kicking off with 2008’s Iron Man. It also no longer is limited to the big screen, as the Disney Plus originals WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki and other upcoming series will contribute to character development and some plot points. With all that content, it can be pretty daunting to know where to dive in. Thankfully, we have you covered.

This all-encompassing article gives you the rundown of how to watch the MCU movies either by their release date or by where they fall in the storyline. 

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.