Almost no movie in history has had the buzz that's surrounded Spider-Man: No Way Home, which will soon make its long-awaited debut in theaters. Taking into account that this movie almost didn't come to fruition at all due to behind-the-scenes drama from Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, it's something of a minor miracle that it's arguably the biggest theatrical event since 2019's Avengers: Endgame.
Looking at this film's current state, five villains from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man movies are confirmed to play a role alongside Tom Holland's MCU web-slinger. Particularly with Spider-Man's journey in the MCU having gone through its ups and downs ever since he arrived in Captain America: Civil War, it seems only right that he completes his trilogy on the highest of high notes.
As fans and media alike prepare for what should be the movie event of 2021, it's also an appropriate time to look back on how long this thrilling journey has been for more than two years.
On that note, The Direct invites fans to look back on every major event in the development process for Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: No Way Home, from announcement to release.
Every Major Event in Spider-Man: No Way Home's Journey
September 27, 2019: Spider-Man 3 is a Go
After temporarily disagreeing over the rights to keep Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures restored their relationship and came to an agreement. This set up star Tom Holland for at least two more MCU appearances as Peter Parker, including in the untitled Spider-Man 3, which was set to release on July 16, 2021.
September 27, 2019: Spider-Man Will “Cross Cinematic Universes”
On the same day that Spider-Man 3 was confirmed, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige teased that Tom Holland's hero would "cross cinematic universes" in this film while Sony continued to "develop their own Spidey-verse." Feige kept details on that endeavor to a bare minimum.
September 27, 2019: Jon Watts Is Back
During the announcement confirming Spider-Man 3 to be in development, news revealed that Jon Watts was in final talks to direct the film for the MCU. He previously served as the director for both 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming and 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home.
December 30, 2019: Spider-Man 3 Set for Summer 2020 Shoot
At the end of 2019, news confirmed Spider-Man 3 to start shooting in Summer 2020, about a year before its planned release.
March 17, 2020: Charlie Cox Rumored for Spider-Man 3
Comic book movie legend Kevin Smith teased in March 2020 that Charlie Cox would reprise his role as Matt Murdock/Daredevil in the MCU's third Spider-Man movie. The rumor hinted that Murdock would serve as Peter Parker's lawyer after his identity was revealed publicly in Spider-Man: Far From Home, coming in from the Netflix Daredevil series.
March 31, 2020: COVID-19 Delays Production
Two weeks after the Daredevil rumors, COVID-19 made its mark on Spider-Man 3 with the movie officially facing production delays. The pandemic forced the same delays to this movie as the rest of Marvel Studios' Phase 4 slate, meaning that the threequel would miss its reported Summer 2020 filming start date.
April 24, 2020: Spider-Man 3 Delayed to November 5, 2021
Once Spider-Man 3's production was delayed, a further delay for the film's theatrical release seemed as inevitable as the Mad Titan Thanos. That delay officially came about a month after production was, pushing the movie's release until November 5, 2021.
April 29, 2020: Cox Denies Involvement in Spider-Man 3
About six weeks after rumors pointed to Charlie Cox playing Daredevil in Spider-Man 3, Cox denied hearing anything about the reports surrounding him. He made it clear that should Matt Murdock be involved with the film, someone else other than him would be playing the role.
May 30, 2020: J.K. Simmons to Return for Spider-Man 3
About a month after Charlie Cox denied his appearance in the threequel, J.K. Simmons went the other direction by confirming his contact status with Marvel and Sony. When asked if fans should expect to see his J. Jonah Jameson come back to the MCU after Spider-Man: Far From Home, Simmons revealed that he's contracted for multiple future appearances as the Daily Bugle leader.
July 23, 2020: Spider-Man 3 Delayed to December 17, 2021
Amidst the regular delays for the releases of Marvel Studios' movies, the debut for Spider-Man 3 was pushed back six weeks to December 17, 2021. That marked the final release schedule change for the Spidey threequel, now coming about five months after it was originally set to debut.
October 1, 2020: Jamie Foxx in Talks for Spider-Man 3
Following more than two months of silence, early October 2020 came with internet-breaking news regarding additions to Spider-Man 3's cast.
That shocker came quite literally with news that Jamie Foxx was set to play Max Dillon, aka Electro, in the Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures threequel. He previously played the role in 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, with Foxx later confirming that he would play the same role, at least, until he deleted his social media posts on the matter.
October 8, 2020: Benedict Cumberbatch to Appear in Spider-Man 3
One week after the Jamie Foxx news, the Spider-Man 3 cast got a magical upgrade thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch. News revealed that he would star as Doctor Strange alongside Tom Holland's Peter Parker, who teamed up with Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
October 10, 2020: Tom Hardy Rumored for Spider-Man 3 Role
October 2020 quickly became a hotbed for Spider-Man 3 news with a rumor that Tom Hardy was set to join the cast as Eddie Brock/Venom. This marked the first time that any character from Sony's non-MCU movies would cross over into the MCU after Hardy first starred in 2018's Venom.
October 13, 2020: Tobey Maguire & Andrew Garfield Rumored for Spider-Man 3
While Spider-Man 3 was teased to be a major crossover event in early October, the month's midway point brought the bombshell of all rumors.
Multiple sources hinted that Marvel and Sony had brought back Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to reprise their respective Spider-Men alongside Tom Holland in the MCU threequel. At the time, rumors and reports teased that they were in discussions to join the cast but that no deals had been signed.
October 16, 2020: Spider-Man 3 Begins Filming
Following months of COVID-19-related delays, Spider-Man 3 officially began production in October 2020 in anticipation of its December 17, 2021 release date.
November 6, 2020: First Spider-Man 3 Set Photo
In the first week of November 2020, Spider-Man 3 star Tom Holland shared the first photo from the set of his third solo movie. This photo showed Holland suited up as Spider-Man while also sporting an additional medical mask on his face.
November 25, 2020: Alfred Molina Rumored for Spider-Man 3
Thanksgiving 2020 came with news that left MCU fans truly thankful, with the first rumors surfacing about Alfred Molina's return from 2004's Spider-Man 2 as Dr. Otto Octavius.
The report revealed that Molina had already been on set for a few weeks practicing stunt work and filming material for the movie. Molina joined Jamie Foxx as the movie's second rumored villain, as news had him set to bring back the highly-praised Doctor Octopus.
December 8, 2020: Emma Stone & Kirsten Dunst Rumored
On the same day that Molina was reported to be officially joining Spider-Man 3, rumors hinted that both Kirsten Dunst and Emma Stone would reprise their roles as Mary-Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy respectively in the film. Stone was also pregnant at the time, putting some doubt into her potential comeback from Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man movies.
December 10, 2020: Spider-Man 3 Confirmed to Tie to Doctor Strange 2
While Spider-Man 3 wasn't featured at Disney Investor Day 2020, Feige confirmed that the film would tie into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with both of them starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
December 14, 2020: Willem Dafoe & Thomas Hayden Church Rumored for Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3 already boasted a pair of powerful adversaries in Electro and Doc Ock before the villain count doubled in mid-December 2020.
Rumors teased that two actors from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, Willem Dafoe and Thomas Hayden Church, were in talks to reprise their roles as Green Goblin and Sandman in the MCU threequel.
January 10, 2021: Kevin Feige Addresses Maguire & Garfield Casting
After the turn of the new year, speculation on Maguire and Garfield's returns as Spider-Man hit a fever pitch.
Feige admitted that he'd seen rumors like this, teasing how news is sometimes spot-on and sometimes completely off the mark. Being the man behind the entire MCU, he wouldn't confirm anything one way or the other.
January 11, 2021: WandaVision Director Confirms Collab With Spider-Man 3 Director
A few days prior to the release of WandaVision, the MCU's first Phase 4 project, director Matt Shakman confirmed that he'd collaborated with Spider-Man 3 director Jon Watts and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi. In that quote, he also praised both directors and the MCU as a whole for their conversations as filmmakers.
February 4, 2021: Spider-Man 3 Called Most Ambitious Solo Hero Movie Ever
Tom Holland teased what fans should expect out of his third MCU solo movie by calling it "the most ambitious solo superhero movie ever made." If the film's star himself was saying this about the movie that he'd spent weeks to that point working on, it certainly set up something that continued building anxiety and excitement among the fan base.
February 4, 2021: Holland Denies Maguire & Garfield Roles for First Time
While rumors continued to tease a Spider-Man trio team-up in Spider-Man 3, Tom Holland emphatically denied that there was any truth to those rumors.
Holland admitted that he'd never met Mary-Jane actress Kirsten Dunst and said he'd met Garfield and Maguire a few times each. While telling reporters that he had no idea if they were in the movie, he said both actors were great people and hoped they like the movie when it was released.
February 23, 2021: Spider-Man 3 Fight Scene Hyped
Holland revealed in his next interview that his third Spider-Man solo film features one of the best fight scenes he's ever seen in a superhero movie. Once again teasing how ambitious the film is, he shared how excited he was for fans to see said fight scene he'd recently worked on.
February 23, 2021: First Spider-Man 3 Stills Released
One of the early high points of Spider-Man 3's promotional tour was the night that Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon, and Zendaya shared the movie's first two official images. They also teased the impending release of the threequel's official title with Holland teasing the name Spider-Man: Phone Home, Batalon coming back with Spider-Man: Home Wrecker, and Zendaya rounding it out with Spider-Man: Home Slice.
February 24, 2021: Spider-Man 3 Titled Spider-Man: No Way Home
The next morning, after months of waiting, Holland took to Instagram to share a short video of himself, Batalon, and Zendaya revealing the movie's official title to be Spider-Man: No Way Home. The starring trio delivered a round of laughs as they debated over the title before officially revealing it on a whiteboard with dozens of other crossed-out options.
March 20, 2021: Evidence Points to Garfield’s No Way Home Action Scene
More teases pointing to past Spider-Men appearing in the newly-titled No Way Home came when Andrew Garfield's stunt double posted a video of himself alongside Tom Holland's stunt double. The post was quickly deleted, leading fans to believe this was more proof that Garfield was returning to his role as the web-slinger.
March 26, 2021: Tom Holland Celebrates Filming Wrap
Holland shared an image of himself with his personal trainer to celebrate their last day working together for Spider-Man: No Way Home, also indicating that he had completed filming for the Spider-Man threequel. The star showed how muscular he got for the role while thanking his trainer for everything they'd accomplished together.
April 4, 2021: Tobey Maguire’s Voice Dub Actor Confirms Involvement
Spanish voice actor Roger Pera shared in an interview that he was involved with Spider-Man: No Way Home. The significance of this news? Pera was the actor who dubbed the Spanish dialogue for Tobey Maguire's hero in the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man trilogy, although Pera wouldn't confirm how he would be involved with No Way Home.
April 5, 2021: Set Photo Teases Statue of Liberty Setting
Bringing another MCU connection into No Way Home, set photos showed a poster with an upgraded Statue of Liberty that was now holding Captain America's vibranium shield. Rumors teased that Lady Liberty would serve as "the backdrop for a KEY scene in the film."
April 16, 2021: Molina Confirms Character Details
In a shocking turn of events, Alfred Molina revealed much more than anybody expected about No Way Home by confirming his Doctor Octopus to be involved with the plot and how it comes to be. Molina revealed that he will be de-aged for the film and that his story picks up directly from the end of 2004's Spider-Man 2, all while calling himself "the worst kept secret in Hollywood."
May 4, 2021: Garfield Denies Involvement for First Time
In what would be the first of many instances, Andrew Garfield denied rumors that he would be returning as Peter Parker/Spider-Man for Marvel Studios in No Way Home. He doubled down on this claim within this same interview, although he admitted that he was keeping up with the online discussion surrounding those rumors.
May 27, 2021: Emma Stone Denies Involvement
Following Garfield's lead, The Amazing Spider-Man star Emma Stone denied rumors that she would appear in No Way Home as Gwen Stacy. She did say she wasn't sure if she should say anything at all, although she also expressed how much she enjoyed working with the team behind her first two Marvel movies.
May 28, 2021: Lizard & Rhino Appearances Rumored
New rumors teased that No Way Home was bringing back Rhys Ifans' Lizard and Paul Giamatti's Rhino from Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man movies. This brought the movie's reported villain count up to six, potentially bringing a full-blown Sinister Six into the MCU if those rumors were to be true.
May 28, 2021: Green Goblin Rumored as Main Villain
With six villains now rumored to play, questions began to arise regarding how they would all fit into this massive story. One of these questions was answered when Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin was teased to be No Way Home's main villain.
May 28, 2021: Sony Says Spider-Man: No Way Home Will Tease Future Crossovers
During the No Way Home madness, Sony Pictures President Sanford Panitch teased some of the company's plans for future crossovers with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He revealed that Sony and Marvel had a plan for this endeavor, one that would become a little clearer with movies like Venom: Let There Be Carnage and the Spider-Man threequel.
June 19, 2021: Dafoe Addresses Potential Role
Once Summer 2021 came along, it was Willem Dafoe's turn to tackle questions about his potential return as Green Goblin in No Way Home. Not only did he not address the Green Goblin rumors specifically, but he also didn't even mention No Way Home by name in regards to what he'd been working on recently.
July 2, 2021: Spider-Man: No Way Home Funkos Released
As the No Way Home promo tour moved further along, it seemed to be only a matter of time before the popular Funko Pop! got its chance to pay tribute to the movie, and it delivered in a big way.
Funko released half a dozen Pops!, which included three Spidey suits that will see screentime in the film. Also included were Doctor Strange Casual (wearing sweats and the Cloak of Levitation), MJ in a nice grey suit, and Ned in what appears to be a letterman jacket.
July 8, 2021: Paul Giamatti Denies Rhino Return
About a month and a half after No Way Home's villain count went up to six, Paul Giamatti brought that number back down to five by denying his reprisal of Rhino from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. He made that point definitively by saying he was "happy" to leave his appearance count at just one.
August 22, 2021: First Trailer Leaks Ahead of Release
After what felt like the longest wait for a trailer in MCU history, No Way Home's first look almost unsurprisingly leaked early online ahead of its scheduled release. Tom Holland, notorious for his own penchant for leaking spoilers, responded to this incident by simply telling fans "You ain't ready" for what's coming
August 23, 2021: First Trailer Officially Released
Less than one day after the No Way Home trailer leaked online, Sony and Marvel broke the internet by officially releasing the film's first three-minute trailer. Featuring Spidey and Doctor Strange dealing with Peter Parker's identity crisis, an epic adventure was teased, ending with a Green Goblin pumpkin bomb and the money shot of Alfred Molina's Doc Ock in his Marvel return.
August 25, 2021: First Trailer Breaks All-Time 24-Hour Record
Although the first Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer was expected to be a hit online, it ended up coming as a historic event for Marvel and Sony. The trailer shattered the record for the most-viewed trailer in its first 24 hours with 355.5 million views, beating out Avengers: Endgame's 289 million for its first trailer in 2018.
August 26, 2021: Sony Copyright Strikes Garfield Leak
During the madness that came from Spider-Man: No Way Home's first trailer being released, photos appeared online that showed potentially Andrew Garfield donning his Spider-Man suit on set in front of a blue screen. Fans believed that this photo came from the No Way Home set, particularly after Sony removed it following a copyright notice.
August 29, 2021: Runtime Listed as 2 Hours, 30 Mins
More information about No Way Home continued to spill online, including the MCU threequel's reported run time. A movie theater chain in the United Kingdom listed the film as being 150 minutes long, although there was no news confirming this to be true.
September 8, 2021: Garfield Responds to Leaks
The news then moved back to Andrew Garfield, who continued to deny his appearance in No Way Home and laughed off mentions of the leaked photos of him, all while turning a little red in the cheeks. However, he also shared his pride in being a part of the Spider-Man lineage with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.
October 14, 2021: Holland Calls Spider-Man: No Way Home ‘End of Franchise'
While speaking about how he and his castmates looked at No Way Home, Tom Holland expressed that the movie served as "the end of a franchise." However, he didn't close the door on future Spider-Man appearances, only saying that those would show "a different version of the story" than what was seen in the first MCU trilogy.
October 23, 2021: Watts Calls No Way Home ‘Spider-Man: Endgame'
Less than two months before the threequel's debut, director Jon Watts added onto previous comments regarding how ambitious Spider-Man: No Way Home is. He even compared it to the MCU's biggest box office hit by calling it Spider-Man: Endgame.
October 30, 2021: Leak Describes Maguire & Garfield Costumes
While a second trailer didn't come immediately, Spidey fans found themselves with details regarding leaked images of what appeared to be Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spidey suits on the movie's set. This also included details on the new suit for Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, which caused a stir among fans waiting to see more information and footage from the film.
November 5, 2021: Bus Poster Spotted
As the wait raged on for the first official Spider-Man: No Way Home poster, fans saw what appeared to be that first poster on the side of a bus in Australia. It featured Tom Holland's hero sporting his Iron Spider armor, complete with his arms extended, as he faces off against the arms of Doctor Octopus in front of a Multiversally warped New York City.
November 7, 2021: First Poster Released
Following that leak, Sony and Marvel made a few adjustments and released the movie's official poster about 48 hours later. This new poster removed the Iron Spider arms, but it also added a bolt of lightning to tease Jamie Foxx's Electro while showing a minuscule version of Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin in the upper right corner.
November 9, 2021: Major Leaks Hit the Web
For all the leaks that had already come out regarding No Way Home, this next one may have taken the cake as fans saw what appeared to be looks at Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock and all three Spider-Men suited up together. It's safe to say that fans had passionate opinions on the matter following the latest leaked images.
November 11, 2021: Dunst Denies Involvement
Jumping onboard the denial train next was Mary-Jane Watson star Kirsten Dunst, going so far as to say she "doesn't watch superhero movies" anymore. This came before definitively confirming that she won't be appearing in No Way Home.
November 13, 2021: Sony Announces Trailer 2 Fan Event
Due to the hype surrounding the second Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, Sony and Marvel decided to make a major fan event out of its release. The event took place in Sherman Oaks, California and allowed a select group of fans to watch the second trailer on the big screen with star Tom Holland in attendance.
November 15, 2021: New Poster Released
The day before Sony and Marvel released No Way Home's second trailer, the studios delivered a second full poster for the movie. The new image centered on Peter Parker in his Iron Spider armor alongside Doctor Strange with Doc Ock's arms in front of them and the Green Goblin flying in the background.
November 16, 2021: Trailer 2 Released; Electro & Goblin Footage Revealed
After a seemingly endless wait, fans feasted upon the second full trailer for the MCU's Spider-Man threequel.
This trailer expanded on Doc Ock's role in the film while also teasing a struggle between Peter Parker and Doctor Strange. The closing seconds even featured a massive villain team-up while other shots showed Jamie Foxx's Electro and Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin in all their glory.
November 19, 2021: Garfield Is ‘Done'
As questions kept coming toward Andrew Garfield regarding his potential role in No Way Home, the Spider-Man star seemed to have had enough of it. Responding to a question about his comeback, the star simply said "I'm done" on speaking about that matter anymore.
November 21, 2021: Lots of Spots Released
With less than a month remaining until No Way Home's release, Sony and Marvel decided to unleash more material than ever before for the movie's promo tour.
Six new TV spots premiered over the span of about one day, featuring teases for the Multiverse and the movie's various villains. From Jon Favreau's Happy Hogan asking who these new villains were to Doc Ock commenting on Peter's Iron Spider suit, these spots gave fans new ideas of what to expect from some of the story beats.
November 22, 2021: Raimi & Webb Involvement Rumored
With many characters from past Spider-Man movies making an appearance in No Way Home, it was revealed that the film's production team consulted with directors Sam Raimi and Marc Webb to make sure everything was consistent from their movies.
November 29, 2021: Tickets Go on Sale, Crash Sites
November 29 brought the first opportunity for fans to purchase tickets for Spider-Man: No Way Home's opening night, which caused mass mayhem all over the world. Multiple ticket websites crashed within minutes of sales opening, and the hype surrounding this experience came with comparisons to that of Avengers: Endgame.
November 29, 2021: Sequels Confirmed
In the lead-up to No Way Home's debut, Sony producer Amy Pascal confirmed that this threequel is far from the end of Spider-Man's MCU journey. She confirmed that at least three more Spidey sequels are in the early stages of development in Sony's partnership with Marvel Studios.
November 29, 2021: Press Tour Begins
Following the news of Spidey's secured future in the MCU, Tom Holland and Zendaya kicked off the Spider-Man: No Way Home press tour at the Ballon d'Or Festival in France.
December 1, 2021: Rating Revealed
Following in the footsteps of every Marvel Studios movie from years past, Spider-Man: No Way Home officially received a PG-13 rating. This came along with specifics for the rating such as "sequences of action/violence, some language, and brief suggestive comments."
December 2, 2021: Villains Posters Released
As the calendar flipped into December, Sony and Marvel kicked up its promo tour internationally with new posters featuring the film's major villains. Electro, the Green Goblin, and Doc Ock all got their own individual posters that show them standing in front of Tom Holland's Spider-Man.
December 4, 2021: Dafoe, Molina & Foxx Join Press Tour
Less than two weeks before No Way Home's premiere in theaters, the CCXP Comic-Con in Brazil featured a panel for the movie with Jamie Foxx, Alfred Molina, and Willem Dafoe discussing their villains' paths in this new outing.
December 5, 2021: Soundtrack Leaked
The day after fans saw this villainous trio sitting together, the movie's entire musical score found its way online through yet another No Way Home leak. As was the case with the leaked Garfield images, this link was struck with a copyright claim from Sony and subsequently removed from the internet.
December 13: Red Carpet Premiere Held
Now, after more than two years of hype and anticipation, Marvel and Sony delivered the world premiere red carpet event for Spider-Man: No Way Home in Los Angeles, California. The movie's cast and crew, along with critics from all over the world, became the first to see this movie as they shared their spoiler-free thoughts on what fans can expect to see on December 17, 2021.
Spider-Man: No Way Home Ready to Release
Particularly considering how difficult of a time comic book movie fans have had for the past couple of years, it's been an absolutely epic journey from beginning to end for the MCU's third solo Spider-Man film. Going back through the last 27 months is quite the endeavor in itself, but from what's been said so far about No Way Home, it all appears to be worth it.
Now, the wait will only last a little bit longer for fans that are on the edge of their seats looking forward to the one-of-a-kind experience coming in this massive blockbuster. No matter what comes to screen, it's sure to be an event unlike almost anything the MCU has ever seen through the past 13 years.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to debut in theaters worldwide on December 17, 2021.