Spider-Man: No Way Home is undeniably the most anticipated Marvel film since Avengers: Endgame. While this is in part due to the dramatic cliffhanger of Far From Home, the rumors of a long-awaited Spiderverse team-up have fan theories swirling.
Technically speaking, the history of Spider-Man in film dates back to the 1970s as Nicholas Hammond starred in three live-action superhero epics. But as far as most fans are concerned, Tobey Maguire's web-slinging trilogy was the first real attempt at bringing the Marvel hero to life on-screen.
Originally, Maguire's journey was intended to continue into a fourth installment, however, interference from Sony led director Sam Raimi to depart the project which lost its lead with him. In order to continue to capitalize on the popular hero, the studio moved to reboot the franchise with Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man.
After two divisive films led by Andrew Garfield, Sony's excessive focus on building a larger cinematic universe from the franchise began to get in the way of Webb's vision, putting an end to yet another Spider-Man series.
Since then, Sony formed a strong partnership with Marvel Studios that has allowed the character, played by Tom Holland, to star in a trilogy of solo films and multiple team-up blockbusters.
As the MCU begins to build up its live-action multiverse, No Way Home appears set to capitalize on the newfound opportunities by bringing in villains from Maguire and Garfield's Spider-Man films. Naturally, many fans are hoping that the legendary wall-crawling actors will reprise their heroic roles once again to team up with Holland in the first live-action Spiderverse film.
Just days following the leak and official release of Spider-Man: No Way Home's first trailer, new evidence suggested Andrew Garfield may be set to reprise his role for the upcoming sequel.
SONY TAKES DOWN ANDREW GARFIELD SPIDER-MAN LEAK
Earlier this week, an image leaked online which appeared to show Andrew Garfield donning his iconic Spider-Man suit on a production set. Those who were sharing the photo online claimed that it was taken on the set of No Way Home.
Days later, Discord user JaredEx#2015 shared on the r/MarvelStudiosSpoilers' channel that the leak was taken down from social media following a copyright notice.
The copyright strike was filed by Elliot Ingram from Entura International, an anti-piracy enforcement agency on behalf of Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony.
NEW EVIDENCE OF GARFIELD'S SPIDER-MAN RETURN?
Sony's decision to take down the leaked image of Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man does seem to add further credibility to the rumors he will reprise his role for No Way Home.
However, it's important to note that the copyright notice was filed by a third-party representative of Sony as opposed to the studio itself. As content protection agencies typically have minimal knowledge of a film's plot, it's not uncommon for fake leaks or legitimate content to be accidentally taken down.
Back in 2015, Entura International, the same agency referenced in the copyright notice in question, accidentally took down Sony's official trailer for Adam Sandler comedy Pixels.
With The Amazing Spider-Man villains Electro and Lizard set to return in No Way Home, the evidence certainly appears to be leaning toward Andrew Garfield reprising his heroic role for the movie.
However, the legitimacy of the leaked image is a much tougher question and one that will be impossible to determine until Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17, 2021.