Theory Thursday: The Spider-Verse Paradox
Multiple topics are trending amongst Marvel fans. The upcoming finale of WandaVision and the premiere of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier are on everyone’s mind. Yet, perhaps nothing riles up all four corners of the fandom quite like Spider-Man. Last week, the official title for the upcoming threequel got revealed via a social media post, Spider-Man: No Way Home. The title reveal has sparked multiple theories ever since. They range from possible plotlines based on crossed-out names to the suspicious use of hexagons across the board.
Yet, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Spider-Man: No Way Home will incorporate the multiverse. Kevin Feige confirmed that the events of WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will tie into the third entry. As such, there is a high probability that we will witness some multiverse shenanigans. With that in mind, it would imply that we could see former iterations of the character return to the silver screen. Yet, Tom Holland has denied any potential cameos by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield on multiple occasions.
The rumor of a live-action Spider-Verse has gotten rumored for quite some time. This time, the concept seems plausible. So, in the case that Spider-Man: No Way Home does go that route in December, we might wonder how they would approach this storyline. We are talking about characters that haven’t been on the silver screen for some time. Andrew played the character around seven years ago, while Tobey hasn’t donned the suit since 2007. Keep in mind that Far From Home takes place in 2024. So, how do we bring them from their respective timelines into the MCU? Let us try to answer this Spider-Verse Paradox.
In my Phase 4: Reality Checked feature, I talked about how Marvel Studios explicitly defined the MCU’s time travel concept by taking the multiverse approach. In essence, any alteration in the past would create a new timeline, which ruptures the flow of time into a new universe. It’s pretty much a butterfly effect on a larger scale. So far, we know that it will get presented in the upcoming Disney+ shows Loki and the animated What If…? series. They seem to exist in alternate timelines (and therefore alternate universes), proving the existence of a Marvel Cinematic Multiverse. That theory is for another day. Now that we have a clear picture of the MCU timeline. So, let’s take a look at other universes.
Let’s apply the concept of the multiverse to another franchise: Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man trilogy. Based on the multiverse concept, the Raimi films exist in another timeline and therefore are pretty straightforward. The same principle would apply to The Amazing Spider-Man films, which exist in a separate timeline and universe. Now, how will Marvel Studios bring them all together for Spider-Man: No Way Home?
The Spider-Verse Paradox Theory refers to the diagram above. In essence, all of the alternate universes have their separate timestreams. When that flow gets disrupted by an event caused within the MCU, whether it’s caused by Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision or something else entirely, we will have a convergence-style event. It will be similar to the one we witnessed in Thor: The Dark World. Yet, instead of the nine realms, multiple universes converging towards the center of the singularity. At the center of it, all will be the MCU’s New York City.
What is the point I’m trying to make? The timelines of each universe will flow linearly and converge during Spider-Man: No Way Home. As it is set in 2024, then that means that the other timelines have to be in the same year. It means that Andrew Garfield‘s Peter Parker would have been Spider-Man in the TASM universe for about ten years, and Tobey Maguire‘s version will have existed for nearly 20 years. It would be interesting to revisit the character after that many years on the job.
We can only imagine how many stories they could tell. There is also the possibility they hung up on the mantle. Perhaps Maguire‘s Peter settled down with Mary Jane Watson and started a family. What happened after Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man came back in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and took on Paul Giamatti‘s Rhino? The possibilities in those stories are endless. It’s all just a matter of waiting to see if it comes to fruition.
Source: Walt Disney