The Marvel Cinematic Universe has established a motif in its Spider-Man films. Parker has a mentor of some kind watching over him over the course of the film. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, that role was introduced with Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark. That concept was twisted in Spider-Man: Far From Home, where it seemed like that role was Mysterio but need up being Talos disguised as Nick Fury. Now, in the upcoming threequel Spider-Man: No Way Home, we have a new mentor entering the fray. Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Doctor Strange seemingly may take on this role. In the comics, these two have frequently crossed paths and Strange is no stranger to guiding the wall-crawler through the magical world. Now, the main question is how he will factor into this potentially multiversal storyline.
What We Know So Far
Spider-Man’s identity was ousted to the world and he is accused of murdering Mysterio. We know that most of the main cast from the previous two films will return, along with the addition of Cumberbatch reprising his role as Doctor Strange and not one, but two villains (so far) that will go toe to toe with our protagonist. What’s interesting about these antagonists is that they’re characters we’ve seen before in previous Spider-Man films, portrayed by the same actors. Jamie Foxx returns as Electro, which e played in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Alfred Molina also officially confirmed he will play Spider-Man 2‘s Doctor Octavius again. Ever since the news hit that we might get some legacy characters, the rumor mill started to spinning.
Many believe that this film could delve into the concept of the multiverse and a possible live-Action adaptation of the Spider-Verse storyline. The reason is that Doctor Strange’s involvement hints at a connection to his upcoming sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. So, his appearance is no accident. Having the Sorceror Supreme appear in the film certainly points this film in a more “magical” direction compared to the previous installments. With nearly dozens of different adventures to adapt in the comics, Marvel Studios’ approach is to often mix and match different moments from a number of comics. And with that thought, here’s today’s theory.
Taken from the Comics
In Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Vol. 1 24, Spider-Man goes to Stephen to see if he could help his Aunt May after a fatal gunshot. The doctor sadly couldn’t help him. As such, he decides to take matters into his own hands and tries to meddle with forces beyond his understanding. We’ve explored this idea if it may have gotten set up via WandaVision back in the day. They end up altering the fabric of reality. And in the Happy Birthday Story Arc, Doctor Strange is trying to keep evil forces from stepping into our reality. Spider-Man accidentally messes with the incantation that ends up throwing them across time and space. They end up reliving moments from their lives and facing countless villains, as well as peering into the future.
My theory is that the film could potentially combine these two events. It is possible that Peter could seek Doctor Strange for a magical solution to his current predicament, but is given the same answer as in the comics. In the heat of the moment, Peter may not listen to Strange’s warnings as he wants his old life back. As such, he’ll end up causing a ripple by meddling with magic beyond his comprehension, which affects the flow of time and perhaps even ruptures the fabric of the multiverse. As such, it’ll be up to the duo of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange to face whatever threats come their way, no matter how Sinister.