“Spider-Man: No Way Home” Trailer Feels Like Classic Spider-Man

One of the most eagerly awaited pieces of marketing in recent memory has been the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, and for good reason. With so many rumors and so much speculation surrounding the film, and with little officially confirmed, many fans were excited to finally get some answers as to what they can expect from the December release.

I’ve been a fan of Spider-Man my entire life. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002) came out when I was four years old, and seeing the posters and marketing for the film all over the place certainly made an impression on me. I devoured the original 1960s Stan Lee and Steve Ditko/John Romita comic book run, and I’ve been hooked on the character ever since.

The proposition of what No Way Home could be is very interesting. The idea of a live action Spider-Verse with the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield Spider-Men is fascinating, but could it be more than just a gimmick? Would it actually work as a movie?

And, despite what some people online would have you believe, neither Tobey Maguire nor Andrew Garfield have been confirmed to be in this movie. Garfield has even gone the extra mile to say he isn’t in the movie, and that they never contacted him about being in it. Now, he very easily could be lying; it wouldn’t be the first time something like that has happened. But when there is zero confirmation, and even an active denial, it’s hard to be super invested in the idea that Maguire and Garfield are definitely in the movie.

Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx are the only actors officially confirmed to be returning. We know for a fact that Molina will actually be his character from Spider-Man 2, as he stated in an interview that things will pick right up where we left him in that movie.

How exactly they fit into the story, we haven’t known for sure. Coinciding with the speculation surrounding Maguire and Garfield is the online belief that No Way Home will see the formation of a multiversal Sinister Six. Joining Molina and Foxx would be Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, as well as the CG baddies Lizard and Sandman from The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 3 respectively. Again, none of this is confirmed. This is all still speculation at this point.

BUT… the Spider-Man: No Way Home does give a little leeway on some of this speculation. We do see a Raimi-era pumpkin bomb. While this in of itself isn’t a confirmation that Willem Dafoe will be putting on the green Power Rangers suit again, I’d be shocked at this point if we see a pumpkin bomb in the movie and Dafoe doesn’t show up, even if it is just briefly.

I was surprised by how potent the nostalgia was in hearing Molina’s menacingly simple delivery of, “Hello Peter.” His take on Doc Ock is one of my all-time favorite comic book movie villains. Even if the de-aging CGI does look a little wonky, I am very curious to see what they do with his character.

My favorite part of the trailer wasn’t seeing Molina back as Doc Ock. It wasn’t seeing the pumpkin bomb. It wasn’t seeing the blink-and-you-miss-it shot that everyone online is claiming to be the Lizard, which we have absolutely no reason to believe it is. My favorite part of the trailer is the set-up for the story.

If No Way Home is actually a live action Spider-Verse, they are employing a gimmick. Gimmicks aren’t in of themselves a bad thing, but when a movie relies on a gimmick to be what hooks the audience, it can lead to an under baked narrative. What this trailer does first and foremost is it hooks you on the story. Peter Parker is revealed to the world to be Spider-Man, and he goes to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange for help. If this movie does end up being a live action Spider-Verse, the gimmick will seemingly derive from that story.

The story feels very “Spider-Man” in nature. What I love about this scenario of the world now knowing Spidey’s identity is that it reaffirms why Peter has always fought so hard to keep his identity a secret. Peter has always said, both in the comics and in the movies, that he keeps this secret in order to protect those closest to him. What No Way Home seems to be doing is showing us exactly what would happen if the world learned who Spider-Man was, and how it would in fact put his loved ones in danger.

It shows exactly why Spider-Man needs his identity kept secret, which is such a core and foundational part of his character. One of my favorite shots is the big screen with the half Peter Parker/half Spider-Man face, which is such a classic image from the comics. That image always expressed the duality of Spider-Man, and it visually fits this theme perfectly.

The story of Spider-Man trying to solve a personal problem, which inadvertently puts other people in jeopardy, and he has to then make a personal sacrifice to save others, is so inherently Spider-Man. While I was watching this trailer, I couldn’t help but feel like this is the exact kind of story we’d see in a Spider-Man annual comic: Steve Ditko’s trippy world-bending artwork paired with Stan Lee’s wild storyline about alternate realities colliding. The promise of the premise feels so much like Spider-Man, and that excites me beyond anything else.

We still don’t know what’s going to happen in this movie. So many different things have been speculated online that it’s impossible for them all to be true. Maybe we’ll get the multiversal Sinister Six with all three Spider-Men fighting side-by-side. Maybe it’ll be something completely different, which may end up being even better. Maybe, regardless which direction the movie goes in, it ends up being a hot mess and disappoints everyone.

What I will say is that the story they introduce in the trailer hooked me, and whatever direction the movie ends up going in I am 100% curious to see how it all turns out.

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I’ve been writing about movies since 2014. I studied film at Fitchburg State University, and I’ve written and directed some short films. @nathanaelmolnar

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Nathanael Molnár

I’ve been writing about movies since 2014. I studied film at Fitchburg State University, and I’ve written and directed some short films. @nathanaelmolnar