As the final moments of Loki opened the doors to the multiverse with the death of Johnathon Majors' He Who Remains, the scope of the MCU has truly changed forever.
Under a year after its introduction, Marvel Studios already has multiple projects lined up to take advantage of the multiverse including What If...?, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
After months of being shrouded in mystery, Marvel and Sony have finally pulled back the curtain of Tom Holland's Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel with the recent release of the film's first official trailer.
While the film's overall plot remains just as cryptic and confusing as ever, it hinted towards some aspect of what fans can expect. Fortunately, many of the rumors surrounded the sequel have clearly paid off as it will serve as Marvel's first live-action multiverse romp.
NO WAY HOME'S RETURNING HEROES AND VILLAINS
As fans await confirmation of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's return as their versions of Spider-Man, many of their antagonists have already been teased for the sequel. Villains from across the multiverse appear slated to unite against Tom Holland's Spider-Man as the Sinister Six assemble in live-action for the first time.
From Maguire's films, Alfred Molina is confirmed to be returning as Doc Ock while rumors suggest Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin and Thomas Hayden Church's Sandman may join him. Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx's Electro and Rhys Ifans' Lizard are both expected to reprise their roles from the controversial The Amazing Spider-Man films.
While moviegoers are bound to be excited to see classic heroes and villains return in the MCU for the first time, the implications of their appearances look to be far greater than many have yet to comprehend.
If these villains are indeed from the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's universes in which they debuted, that would seemingly make Sony's past Spider-Man films canon to the MCU.
TOBEY MAGUIRE JOINS MCU CANON
While questions remain as to how deceased villains will return in the aftermath of their deaths, Marvel Studios is undeniably setting up Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man franchises as canon to the MCU.
The move likely comes in a push from Sony to involve their historic characters in future projects to capitalize on nostalgia. This strategy is clearly working as the No Way Home trailer recently broke the record for the most viewed in a 24-hour period.
The ending of No Way Home is bound to have drastic consequences for the future of the wall-crawler in the MCU as it could open the doors to involving multiple Spider-Men in further projects.
Should all the Spider-Verse rumors pay off, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's heroes will probably either die or return to their own timelines in the film's conclusion. However, it wouldn't be shocking to see either actor return once again in other future projects, potentially even the next Avengers film.
After all the anticipation surrounding the potential of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sony and Marvel are bound to have a tough time matching the same level of interest with a potential fourth installment.
THE MARVEL CINEMATIC MULTIVERSE
With the birth of the multiverse, Marvel Studios has truly changed the definition of what is to the MCU. Nowadays, there appear to be two types of MCU canon: events that take place in the main timeline, and those happening in another universe but the same multiverse.
Marvel Studios is beginning to involve heroes and villains from films it had no involvement in for the first time yet. The MCU's canon appears to be expanding in a big way to include Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man ventures, and potentially a lot more.
Ultimately, every film, series, or comic ever released by Marvel could now be considered canon to the MCU without causing any real issues for the timeline. This game-changing shift could open the doors to returning characters from other past Marvel franchises such as Hugh Jackman's Wolverine or the other Fox characters.
Should Marvel Studios ever wish to address the canon issues which exist within its TV properties such as Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, and The Defenders, the multiverse could be used as an easy method of explanation.
Agents of SHIELD already explored time travel and alternate realities within its seven-season run, so it isn't inconceivable that it may take place within an alternate reality with great similarities to the MCU itself.
Whatever the case, the multiverse is bound to become a key tool in Marvel's storytelling arsenal in the years to come as it opens the doors to truly endless possibilities. Within the next year alone, the infinite universes will play a critical role in multiple projects including Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters December 17, 2021.