If you ask the Internet, every character from Marvel universes past and present will be appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
With so many of Spidey's allies, acquaintances, and assailants potentially on the table, it is difficult to decipher who exactly will be showing up in the movie. Set photos have indirectly confirmed some actors' returns, while others have mistakenly revealed their involvement themselves.
Recent merchandise has also provided some insight into who will star alongside Tom Holland's Spider Man, with toys and action figures unveiling some surprising inclusions in the webslinger's third solo adventure.
The Direct is here to parse through who will be joining Peter Parker this time around and the characters that are still churning away in the rumor mill...
SPIDER-MAN (TOM HOLLAND)
It would be a bit weird if he wasn't in it, right? Leading star Tom Holland is of course back in the suit to portray the wallcrawler once again, picking up where he left off in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
This time, Peter will be decked out in a multitude of outfits, with the webslinging hero gaining the hybrid Integrated Suit (a combination between his red and black Upgraded Suit and the Iron Spider costume) and the aptly-named black and gold suit. In addition to his new fits, Spidey will also be receiving a few new abilities, as he seems to possess web-inspired magical incantations in some merchandise.
As of now, this is the last film that Holland is contracted for. But, given that Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios seem to have found a way to make things work going forward, it wouldn't be surprising if Peter Parker stuck around in the MCU for just a bit longer post-No Way Home.
What are best friends for? Peter Parker's day one is back again to help his pal out with his identity crisis, with an all new look for No Way Home. Ned seems to have wrapped in Peter's troubles, given that he has been forced to seek refuge with him and MJ at the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Hopefully the combined forces of Spidey and the Sorceror Supreme will be enough to prevent Peter's friends from getting into harm's way.
Zendaya returns as Peter's recent girlfriend MJ, following on from their romance in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Their relationship may be tested in the Spider-Man threequel, now that MJ is burdened with the knowledge of Peter's secret identity.
MJ isn't one to just sit idly by though. She proved herself to be adaptable when she brought a Mysterio drone down with a mace, and it seems she'll be doing something similar with a candelabrum if LEGO is to be believed. However MJ plays into the plot, it will be undoubtedly be exciting to watch.
Marisa Tomei confirmed that Aunt May will be returning for Spider-Man: No Way Home, possibly expanding on her role with helping the local community in the second Spidey installment. A set photo teased that the charity organization F.E.A.S.T. would be making an appearance, suggesting that May Parker will continue to give back to the people of New York City.
Despite the plot becoming larger than life with sci-fi weirdness and multiversal madness, it is nice to know that the film should still have some grounded moments with Peter's supporting cast.
One of Peter's goofy teachers is locked in for the Spider-Man threequel, that being J. B. Smoove's Julius Dell. Now a well-travelled man after the events of Far From Home, Mr. Dell will undoubtedly be wiser and more capable to grapple the concept of the multiverse.
Fitting in time for Peter's educators in an already stacked film will be a tough task, but perhaps Julius could help to teach Peter a thing or two about the theory of the multiverse. Or maybe he'll just run away again like he did last time.
From one teacher to another, another staff member of Midtown School of Science and Technology will be finding his way back into the film. Hannibal Buress was rumored to appear in No Way Home, and subsequently confirmed himself after posting a video of cast members playing ball on the school's courts.
It seems that, despite the potentially world-ending calamity that could be caused by the multiverse, there will still be some time to shoot some hoops.
Now that Flash Thompson AKA SpideyNo1Fan knows that his greatest idol is also his greatest rival, how will feel about Spider-Man? Luckily, Tony Revolori is confirmed to reprise his role as Peter's lovable bully in No Way Home, so fans will likely get to see his inevitable heartbreak.
Another of Peter's classmates will also return, with Angourie Rice reappearing to portray Ned's ex-girlfriend Betty Brant. It seemed that the two maturely left their relationship on good terms, but their may still be some unfinished business between the two.
Benedict Cumberbatch is perhaps the first major addition to Spider-Man: No Way Home's cast, as the Sorcerer Supreme signals some maddening elements to come in the threequel. With the multiverse on the horizon and an angry mob of villains in tow, Peter Parker will need a helping hand from a magical pal to keep things in order.
Doctor Strange's appearance in Spider-Man 3 will tee the hero up nicely for his own solo jaunt with the Scarlet Witch, as indicated by a few key tidbits of information from merchandise. Stephen Strange's casual outfit seems to suggest that Peter Parker will be causing a rude awakening, so Spider-Man may be the one to inform the wizard of all the multiversal havoc plaguing New York City.
The Eye of Agamotto also seems to be making a return, despite the Time Stone being destroyed and the device being absent in Avengers: Endgame. Perhaps Doctor Strange has found a new use for the golden necklace, such as to amplify his powers or keep a few snacks inside when he's on the go.
And what's a Sorceror Supreme without another fellow Master of the Mystic Arts? Benedict Wong reprises his role as Doctor Strange's partner-in crime, fitted with similar casual winter clothing to his buddy. In contrast to the Sorceror Supreme, Wong is wearing his fluffy coat over the top of his magical robes in a bold fashion statement.
It seems the two will be busy shovelling snow upon Spidey's arrival, so they may not be expecting a multiversal war to break out. As Wong will be first appearing in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, it will be interesting to see how the character has changed between movies.
J. JONAH JAMESON
JK Simmons' portrayal of the loud-mouthed, inflammatory Daily Bugle editor-in-chief J. Jonah Jameson is arguably one of the most beloved performances in the entire Spider-Man franchise. Because of this, it was an absolute treat for fans when Simmons returned to the role once again in the post-credits of Far From Home.
Simmons previously stated that another J. Jonah Jameson was imminent, saying that he was "pretty sure people know that I might be showing up in Spider-Man Land again." The actor also noted that another scene with Jameson is already "in the can," though it is unknown if this is for No Way Home or another Marvel project.
Merchandise seems to double down on Jameson's involvement with Spider-Man 3, as he is receiving his own action figure as part of the new wave of products. Hopefully it won't be too long before fans get to see JK Simmons bad-mouthing NYC's greatest menace again soon.
The first multiversal villain unveiled to star in Spider-Man: No Way Home was Jamie Foxx's Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The actor went on to confirm his casting social media, but swiftly retracted his statement in a likely attempt to avoid the Marvel Studios ninjas.
The shocking addition of Maxwell Dillon to the Spider-Man 3 cast is an exciting proposition, especially considering he will supposedly not be blue this time around. Could it be the right time for Marvel Studios to adapt the classic green and yellow starfish suit that many fans are hoping for? One can only dream.
Another past Spider-Man actor has spoken on his imminent MCU appearance, that being Doc-Ock actor Alfred Molina. After portraying Doctor Octopus in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2, Molina will be wearing the tentacles once again to bring Otto Octavius to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The arrival of Doctor Octopus, among the many other villains in the film, could be heralding a Sinister Six team-up, assembled from all corners of the multiverse. Alternatively, Otto may actually help out Spider-Man with his villain problem, given he made a noble sacrifice in the final moments of the second Spider-Man flick. Whatever the case, it will be incredibly exciting to see Alfred Molina return to Doctor Octopus in a unique way.
SPIDER-MAN (TOBEY MAGUIRE)
Doc-Ock is (supposedly) not the only character to come from the Raimi-Verse. The leading man of the original Spider-Man movies has been long requested to crossover with Tom Holland's incarnation and No Way Home would be the perfect time for their worlds to collide.
Maguire was rumored to have signed onto the project alongside another familiar webslinger's actor, being one of the many signs that the movie would be headed to the multiverse.
The rumor has of course been met with denial after denial from the film's cast and studio, but some evidence about the film's production does give some hope for Maguire's inclusion. Hopefully the rumblings are true after all, and fans get to see three Spider-Men of different eras finally team up.
MARY JANE WATSON
Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker may not be alone though, as Kirsten Dunst's name has also been thrown out into the rumor mill. Bringing in Peter's love interest would be an interesting direction, especially if she were to be brought through a portal.
It may be more likely that No Way Home would visit Mary Jane Watson in her own universe and how she has grown alongside Peter since fans last saw them. Nevertheless, Dunst's return to the role would prove incredibly satisfying to see alongside Tobey Maguire.
SPIDER-MAN (ANDREW GARFIELD)
The other Spider-Man up in the air is the Amazing version, that being Andrew Garfield. The actor somewhat lost out after not being a given a full trilogy like his other Spider-Man contemporaries, so his appearance would tie a fitting bow on Garfield's tenure as the character.
Despite this, Andrew Garfield has been adamant that he has not received a call from Marvel Studios, though told fans to "never say never." Conflicting statements aside, a Garfield return would be, pardon the pun, amazing to see play out on screen, especially alongside his fellow Peter Parkers.
Each Spider-Man actor brings out and hones in on a unique aspect of Spider-Man's character, and these differences could make for interesting character interplay and conflict between the trio.
If Mary Jane Watson is coming along for the ride, then it would be criminal for Gwen Stacy not to come back too. Rumors indicate that she could be joining the film, though Emma Stone's real life pregnancy may prevent her from taking part. Stone has even responded to the rumors head-on, saying is not in the film.
Assuming for a moment that Gwen Stacy is integrated into No Way Home somehow, the only way that she could be brought back is through the character of Spider-Gwen. Stacy is canonically dead in the universe of The Amazing Spider-Man, so it would be a bit difficult to utilize this version of the character for obvious reasons.
A live action Spider-Gwen could counteract this, allowing Stone to play a new incarnation of a familiar character and also possibly creating some unique conflict for Garfield's Spider-Man when he finds out that another Variant of his former partner is still alive.
Happy Hogan has played a surprisingly important role in both of Spider-Man's solo films, so it would make sense for him to make a return for a third time.
How Tony Stark's former right-hand man will play into the plot is currently unknown, but it is likely that he'll be there to give Peter a helping hand and a reluctant yet meaningful pep talk when he needs it. Though Jon Favreau is only rumored to reprise his role as Stark Industries' Head of Security, another chance to see Happy's glorious Blip beard would be quite the treat.
Martin Starr's character was rumored to reappear alongside fellow teacher Coach Wilson, which would make sense considering the former's continued appearances in the first two films.
As Peter's other teachers seem to be fulfilling their duties at Midtown School of Science and Technology, it would be odd for Mr. Harrington not to join his fellow colleagues.
GREEN GOBLIN (WILLEM DAFOE)
Another Sam Raimi Spider-Man villain has also been heavily rumored. The Green Goblin is a fan-favorite performance, all thanks to the genius of Willem Dafoe and his superb sense of range.
No disrespect to any of the other actors on this list, but the potential addition of Willem Dafoe would be a Michael Keaton or Jake Gyllenhaal caliber of casting that would elevate No Way Home to even greater heights.
While the Sam Raimi interpretation for the Green Goblin's Nike Air Flightposites-wearing costume is now iconic, it would be fun to explore a more monstrous side of Norman Osborn. Perhaps his MCU outfit could take more inspiration from the comics, giving him the classic green and purple spandex that was shot down for Raimi's films.
Thomas Haden Church's name has also been mentioned among the rumblings to possibly return as Sandman. The MCU already has a version of Sandman, though this was just a hologram created by Mysterio. Would this make a Raimi's Sandman a Variant or not then?
In any case, Flint Marko's change of heart at the end of Spider-Man 3 could indicate that he would be more of an ally to the Spidey gang than a foe. This could be the edge that the heroes need to fight back against the barrage of adversaries that show up on their doorstep.
GREEN GOBLIN (DANE DEHAAN)
Could another Green Goblin make his way into Spider-Man: No Way Home? Well, isn't that the question of the day. Dane Dehaan certainly played a unique version of the classic Spider-Man villain, considering that Harry Osborn took on the mantle in the Amazing Spider-Man universe.
Given that Tom Holland's Spider-Man has no connection to a Harry Osborn in his timeline, it will be interesting to see how conflict is created between these characters. Perhaps Dehaan's Goblin is still hellbent on harvesting Spider-Man's radioactive blood, making the MCU Peter an ample target for him.
It seems that Dane Dehaan is quite comfortable not returning to the role though, which may make an appearance from him even less likely.
Despite Dane Dehaan's reluctance to reappear, there are still some other rumored Amazing villains who could fill in the gaps. The Lizard was the first villain in Sony's attempted reboot, and was being primed for a Sinister Six-focused movie in a post-credits scene.
Curt Connors appearing in No Way Home would fulfil this promise set in 2012, finally giving the character the opportunity to be part of the infamous villainous squad in some form.
Rhino is another possible candidate to rise from the ashes of the Amazing franchise, rounding out the members of the film's Sinister Six. The character only got a few moments in his mechanical suit at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, so No Way Home could be a prime opportunity to show what Alexei Sytsevich can do with a mechanical animal.
For many, this is the big one. Matt Murdock has been long requested to join the MCU, and what better way than to have him run into a certain wallcrawler along the way. One rumor has suggested that Charlie Cox has been brought back to reprise his role as Daredevil, though it is unknown whether he will be portraying the Netflix incarnation or a brand new version of the character.
The other question is where Matt Murdock will be suited up at all. Could the hero be prowling the streets of Hell's Kitchen, or will he be needed to sort out some legal matters? The potential inclusion of Daredevil in the MCU opens up many possibilities for Spider-Man and the She-Hulk Disney+ series down the line, so hopefully Marvel Studios finds a way to bring the Devil of Hell's Kitchen into the fold ASAP.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE?
Ultimately, there are a ton of characters that are being packed into Spider-Man: No Way Home, or are still in the running to get an official confirmation. This doesn't even mention the countless other Spider-Man characters who have not received any sort of substantial mention.
Past villains from the MCU Spider-Man films are possible, but have not received much attention rumor-wise. The Vulture, The Shockers, Aaron Davis, The Tinkerer, Scorpion, and Mysterio could return for the third film, but there has been little talk of their appearances. The lead villains of Spider-Man's solo films both received new action figures and merchandise to coincide with No Way Home's line of products, but it is unlikely that this is evidence for their inclusion given that the toys are based on their respective films.
The Venoms are also possible contenders, considering that Sony Pictures supposedly has a plan for a potential crossover. Whether Topher Grace or Tom Hardy fills this role, it will be exciting to see Spidey deal with a symbiotic foe on screen again.
Ultimately, if Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios delivers on even half of this list, Spider-Man: No Way Home is guaranteed to be an absolute blast.
Spider-Man: No Way Home releases in theaters on December 17, 2021.