In Spider-Man: No Way Home's final scene, audiences see Spider-Man in a brand new red and blue suit swinging through the streets of NYC, and, as the script says, "Peter Parker is no more, but Spider-Man lives on..."
The next Spider-Man film will be a fresh start for the character, but who, where, and when this is going to happen remains unclear.
Will Tom Holland Return as Spider-Man?
During press for No Way Home after the movie was released, Tom Holland was surprisingly non-committal about returning to the character. Holland praised the way his trilogy ended and said, "part of me like it's the perfect time to jump off the building and swing off into the sunset."
To Holland's credit, he has portrayed his role in six different movies (seven by counting Venom: Let There Be Carnage) as everyone's favorite webhead and there's a chance he does feel like he's given it all he has and would like to move on.
However, Holland is notorious for exclaiming how much he loves playing the character and even played a key role in getting Peter Parker back in the MCU. In 2019, Holland reportedly called then-Disney CEO Bob Iger in hopes to get Spider-Man back into the MCU after news broke that he was leaving after Far From Home.
When Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios came to another two-picture agreement (one Spider-Man film, and one MCU film that Holland would appear in), it seemed that the future was bright for Spider-Man's place in the franchise.
Fast-forward to Summer 2022 and there is no formal update on a Spider-Man 4 movie; there's not even news on whether the two studios have come to another character-sharing agreement.
In actuality, Holland is now an MCU veteran who has been a part of some of the franchise's biggest films, is a growing movie star, and probably wants a massive new contract. In May of this year, Sony chairman Tom Rothman said he hopes to get the "whole group" back from a fourth Holland-led film.
Earlier this summer, The Ankler's Jeff Sneider wrote "And while plans are in motion for another Spidey trilogy starring Tom Holland, I don’t believe he has actually signed a deal yet, so those plans remain unofficial for now." He continued by adding that he's "sure that more Spidey adventures with Holland are a top priority for Rothman & Co..."
Sony decided to abandon Andrew Garfield and The Amazing Spider-Man franchise in order to bring the character into the MCU, bringing better results than its executives could even imagine - two back-to-back billion-dollar grossing films and the discovery of star Tom Holland, whom they want to lead their future Uncharted films.
It'd be shocking if Holland didn't re-sign for a multi-picture deal playing Peter Parker for years to come. With that being said, Marvel is moving forward with the rest of its Multiverse Saga, so where would Spider-Man 4 fit into its upcoming phases?
When Will Spider-Man 4 Release?
Marvel CCO Kevin Feige stood up on stage at Hall H during San Diego Comic-Con and not only revealed Phase 5 of the MCU but also teased Phase 6 and the culmination of the Multiverse Saga.
Despite all the excitement, Spider-Man wasn't mentione, besides briefly in a post-panel interview.
It is important to keep in mind that, despite the lack of Spidey's presence, this isn't a major sign of concern. When Sony and Disney re-hashed their new deal for No Way Home, the MCU quickly altered its plans.
Before it was titled, No Way Home was initially set for July 16, 2021, then to November 5, 2021. At that time, this shifted Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness from that same date in November to March 25, 2022. Thor: Love and Thunder was also altered from Feb. 18 to Feb. 11, 2022.
Ironically, all of those altered dates were delayed, but it still proved that Marvel Studios is willing to adjust for a Spider-Man solo flick.
Release Option 1: Phase 5
Sony Pictures has been punctual with its Spider-Man films since 2012. Spider-Man has appeared on screen at least every two years since then.
In most recent memory, the Homecoming trilogy was spread out over just five years. If the studio wanted to continue this pace, that'd mean a new live-action Spider-Man film would be released by late 2023.
Considering the contractual circumstances and the fact that this next film would likely begin a new trilogy, that seems unlikely.
Here's the current MCU film schedule for Phase 5:
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania - February 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 - May 5, 2023
- The Marvels - July 28, 2023
- Blade - November 3, 2023
- Captain America: New World Order - May 3, 2024
- Thunderbolts - July 26, 2024
Despite the summer season already being crowded, Sony Pictures could be eyeing a Summer 2024 release date. This would be roughly two and a half years after No Way Home and return the character to a season he has often been released during. The release months of Spider-Man since the 2002 original are May (three), June (one), July (three), and December (one).
This would involve another shift in release dates by Marvel and Disney, something that has become normalized since the pandemic began in early 2020.
Spider-Man 4 in theory could be fitted into mid-June 2024 with a possible push back from the Thunderbolts to August or September, finishing off Phase 5.
If Holland's fourth Spidey film doesn't come out by then, he'll be headed to Phase 6.
Release Option 2: Phase 6
The possible June 2024 release date would have a domino effect on the beginning of Marvel's sixth phase.
Here's the currently set MCU film schedule for Phase 6:
- Fantastic Four - November 8, 2024
- Avengers: The Kang Dynasty - May 2, 2025
- Avengers: Secret Wars - November 7, 2025
In theory, this could still work. Phase 4 films Captain America: New World Order on May 3, 2024, (hypothetical) Spider-Man 4 arriving on June 14, 2024, Thunderbolts on September 6, 2024, then starting Phase 6 with Fantastic Four on November 8, 2024.
That's one scenario, but what is Sony wants another December release date, three years after the massive success of No Way Home. Avatar 3 is set to release on December 20th, 2024, but Sony could still choose to place Spider-Man 4 two weeks earlier, on December 6, 2024. The MCU adjustment to this date would likely be Fantastic Four either moving up to October or September or delayed to the spring before The Kang Dynasty.
The Phase 6 timeline was mainly fill-in-the-blank, with eight empty time slots for potential projects. Two of those time slots were allocated to Summer 2025, in between the two Avengers films. July 2025 could be a marquee placement for Spider-Man 4, riding the high of The Kang Dynasty and continuing the intrigue heading into Secret Wars.
Similarly, Captain Marvel was released in between Phase 3's Avengers films and led into Endgame, and it grossed over $1 billion, despite getting a mixed reception from critics and fans.
Especially if Spidey plays a pivotal role in either film, this could be another smart deal between Sony and Marvel, spreading the character's arc in between Avengers films and a solo adventure.
The final possibility is if a deal with Holland, direction for a new trilogy, and agreement between the two studios is much further away than fans would expect.
December 2025, acting as an epilogue to Phase 6 (similar to Far From Home ending Phase 3), could be an opportune time for Spider-Man 4. This time, there isn't a new Avatar juggernaut taking over the month and it could slingshot the MCU into its next saga.
As it stands, the possibilities are endless for when Spider-Man 4 could be announced and released. All signs point to Sony Pictures wanting Holland back to lead the next trilogy and history shows that Marvel Studios would be willing to change its plans to make room for everyone's Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.