If there's one thing for which Marvel fans can always be counted on, it's to deliver a vast amount of wild theories and speculation for every new MCU film and series. In that light, almost no project has delivered more to speculate on than Spider-Man: No Way Home, as expectations for the trilogy-completing sequel are set higher than ever.
As the Multiversal blockbuster appears to be delivering the first live-action Spider-verse team-up, it will also be accompanied by the return of many classic villains.
Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, Alfred Molina's Doc Ock, and Thomas Hayden Church's Sandman are expected to return from Tobey Maguire's early 2000s franchise. Meanwhile, Rhys Ifans and Jamie Foxx will reprise their roles as Lizard and Electro, respectively, from Andrew Garfield's The Amazing Spider-Man films.
After two Tony Stark-centric Spider-Man films, No Way Home looks to be delivering a more Doctor Strange-focussed story packed with magical Multiverse elements. As fans prepare for this drastically different wall-crawler outing, a theory may explain how the Sorcerer Supreme will become involved with the villains' plot.
Is Lizard in Doctor Strange's Basement?
Based on the first teaser trailer and several promotional images, the basement of Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum has been highlighted many times, seemingly indicating it will be a critical location within the Multiversal blockbuster.
The crypt appears to be where the Sorcerer Supreme performs many of his magical incantations, as Strange can be seen using the ruined basement to cast the spell that will undo Mysterio's reveal of Peter Parker's Spider-Man identity.
Additionally, a seemingly separate shot sees the Sorcerer floating in a meditation-like pose, similar to what was seen as he explored the many possible outcomes of Thanos' mission in Avengers: Infinity War.
In the Spider-Man: No Way Home teaser trailer, one of the most hotly discussed scenes was the brief cameo of Rhys Ifans' Lizard, who attacked Peter Parker from behind, only to be blocked by a magical barrier.
The mysterious assailant wasn't immediately clear to be The Amazing Spider-Man's reptilian villain due to the dark setting, but lighting adjustments made by fans highlighted the Lizard in great detail.
On closer observation, the Lizard's attack can be seen to take place in Doctor Strange's basement, but it's unclear if the Sorcerer himself will be present.
Multiverse Villains and Doctor Strange's Basement
By all accounts, Lizard appears to be imprisoned in Doctor Strange's basement, potentially along with several of No Way Home's other returning multiverse villains.
Interestingly, the formal outfit worn by Peter in his basement encounter with Lizard can also be seen before his highway chase with Doc Ock.
Since newly-released images have indicated Peter will struggle against Alfred Molina's six-armed villain, perhaps Doctor Strange will be forced to help out before taking him and Octavius to the basement.
It appears as if Doctor Strange's memory wipe spell will cause the Multiverse leak that will see villains from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man universes appearing in the main MCU timeline.
Perhaps Benedict Cumberbatch's sorcerer will attempt to correct his mistake by trapping these villains in a magical prison as he searches for a way to send them back to their own universes. This would explain the film's title, as the multiverse villains would be stuck in the MCU with no way home.
Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17, 2021.