Sandman actor Thomas Haden Church teased a potential future for his Marvel character on the big screen.
Church, who made his Marvel debut going up against Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man/Peter Parker in 2007's Spider-Man 3, recently popped back up in the super-powered world, appearing as the character in the Tom Holland-led Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The actor only appeared as a CG character in the MCU Spidey threequel, taking on the three Spider-Men in a (now iconic) battle atop the Statue of Liberty (which actually reused footage from another wall-crawling blockbuster).
And, despite his character getting another chance to shine on the big screen, Church himself was never actually present on the No Way Home set, not getting the full costumed return he may have wanted.
A Future Teased for Marvel's Sandman
In an interview with Pilot Productions, Spider-Man 3 and Spider-Man: No Way Home star Thomas Haden Church revealed that his time as Marvel's Sandman may not be done.
When asked if he would be interested in reprising his super-powered role, Church confirmed that he, No Way Home director Jon Watts, Sony producer and executive Amy Pascal, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige "all had a lot of conversations," including talks "about the possibility of Sandman coming [back]:"
"Jon [Watts], and I had, and Amy Pascal the lead producer, and Kevin [Feige], we all had a lot of conversations. And I would say… conversations have been had about the possibility of Sandman coming into a future iteration of it. The conversation has happened about him coming back, and maybe picking up a more fulfilling story with Flint and being not just Sandman, but returning to human form, because there was a story of that."
The acclaimed actor remarked that "there's a reason" Sandman "can’t be human" in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and that he and Watts have "talked about the possibility in the future that [the character] can come back as Flint Marko" down the line:
"There’s a reason that he can’t– that in 'No Way Home,' he can’t be human, until the very end when you just see him very briefly, which is really a screen grab from 'Spider-Man 3,' because they kind of wanted to be that throwback thing, where you see him the way he was, and because… there’s a chain of events where he could not be human. And now… Jon and I have talked about the possibility in the future that he can come back as Flint Marko. So yeah, that’s been discussed.”
Where Does Sandman Make Sense in the MCU?
After Thomas Haden Church's Sandman/Flint Marko seemingly got his final wave goodbye (along with the other Mutliversal villains) at the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, it looked as though the book had closed on that iteration of the character.
However, that does not look to be the case if these "conversations" ever actually turn into something.
Of course, there is always the chance that he comes back to play the MCU's Earth-616 Sandman in the eventual Tom Holland-led Spider-Man 4. There has been no villain confirmed for that film, and with the sequel being teased as a more "street-level" Spider-Man story, Sandman could be the perfect big bad for the webhead to take on.
What seems more likely is the idea of this character appearing somewhere in the Sony Spider-Man Universe. The way Church mentioned getting to tell a "more fulfilling story with Flint" has serious 'villain-focused' solo movie energy surrounding it.
So while Sandman (and, in turn, Flint Marko) may pop up in a Spidey movie proper, something more along the lines of Venom, Morbius, and Kraven the Hunter feels like the better bet to happen if Church's return as the character is actually going to happen.
Thomas Haden Church's Flint Marko can be seen in Spider-Man 3 and Spider-Man: No Way Home, which are available to purchase on most digital storefronts.