Spider-Man: No Way Home is the actual name of the third entry in the Spider-Man trilogy starring Tom Holland, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios announced Wednesday. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 17.
Holland’s Spider-Man sounds like he’s in trouble, well, he probably is. Not only is the sense of danger in line with what we’ve heard about the movie, it also connects to three theoretical titles for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man 3 that the cast used to fake out fans on Tuesday night.
Late on Tuesday on Holland’s Instagram, the actor “revealed” the third installment of the Marvel-Sony franchise as Spider-Man: Phone Home. The subtitle kept with the trend of high school-themed Homecoming and European vacation sequel Far From Home, and created even more distance from Peter Parker’s home of New York City. (Also, good E.T. nod.)
In a separate post, costar Jacob Batalon shared a different still from the set with a different title treatment. Were fans ready for ... Spider-Man: Home-Wrecker?
Wait, there was more! Zendaya showed up a little later to the party to reveal her own title: Spider-Man: Home Slice.
Based on casting reports that neither Marvel Studios nor Sony Pictures have yet to technically confirm, Spider-Man 3 will see Spidey sucked up into the multiverse. Holland, Batalon, and Zendaya’s title goof, along with the actual subtitle No Way Home, play right into the premise.
The pivot to an actual multiverse comes after Mysterio pranked the world into thinking there were other planes of existence in Far From Home ... only for audiences to learn through a post-credit scene cameo by J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson that maybe everything is connected (and that Peter Parker is Spider-Man — but that’s an entirely different can of worms). After Evan Peters’ Quicksilver from the Fox X-Men films showed up on WandaVision a few weeks ago, all cross-franchise shenanigans seem plausible with Marvel Studios in control of its properties once again.
Spider-Man 3 is said to shift Doctor Strange into the fatherly role Tony Stark filled back in Homecoming, and rope in villains from far beyond the MCU — including Jamie Foxx’s Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man 2. There’s been no formal casting or announcement of a key villain, but rumors have circulated that series director Jon Watts’ dream of bringing Kraven the Hunter to screen may actually happen. (So cross your fingers he’s hunting Spideys through the multiverse.)
Whatever doors the movie opens to the larger universe, and whatever the heck they wind up calling it, Spider-Man 3 promises to be the biggest installment of MCU Spider-Man yet. “The film is incredibly ambitious, and I’m delighted to say that we’re succeeding in making it,” Holland recently told Yahoo. “It’s going really well. We watched a fight scene that we had shot a few weeks ago, and I’ve never seen a fight scene quite like it in the MCU. I’m really excited for audiences to see that.”
Spider-Man: No Way Home, currently filming in Marvel’s home base of Atlanta, Georgia, is once again directed by Watts, who has the rare honor of helming every installment of a single MCU hero franchise (and he’ll step up again for a non Sony Marvel movie, Fantastic Four, in the not-so-distant future). Like the entire Marvel movie calendar over the last year, theater availability and state-to-state re-openings amidst the COVID pandemic could change plans in a flash, but for now, Spider-Man: No Way Home is set for a Dec. 17 release date. At least Sony and Disney actually managed to strike a deal to make it happen in the first place.
Update (Feb. 24): Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios cleared up the confusion around the third Spider-Man film’s name on Wednesday: Its real, actual title is Spider-Man: No Way Home, the companies announced.