There has been plenty of worry from fans on both sides who are concerned that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will overshadow Tom Holland's Spider-Man in Marvel Studios' upcoming Spider-Man 3. In contrast, others are afraid that the two former Spider-Men will only have minor cameos with no real effect on the threequel. Not to mention, there are even more former actors potentially joining the cast, including Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin and Thomas Hayden Church's Sandman.
Previously, it has been said that the size of the roles of Maguire, Garfield, and Charlie Cox will “probably” end up being the comparative to one another and that they will appear “mostly for the 3rd act.”
ComicBook.com recently posted an article questioning if all the returning actors will be cameos in Spider-Man 3. The outlet tweeted the story, asking their followers, “What if all these Spider-Man cameos are just fleeting glances? Will fans still be excited?” KC Walsh, an insider who has a proven track record with Spider-Man 3 scoops, simply replied with his own tweet, “They're not," likely in reference to the “all” qualifier.
When one of KC's followers asked him about the size of the roles for the returning villains in Spider-Man 3, KC said that “most if not all of them will have action and play into the plot of the film” and that “minor roles” can mean a lot of things.
Minor roles is a broad term, but most of not all of them will have action and play into the plot of the film— KC “Santa was a Mushroom” Walsh - BLM (@TheComixKid) December 16, 2020
When asked about other characters, KC says that he can't be certain about Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy, or Daredevil, but they “at least have moments.” So, it is unlikely that they'll only appear in the post-credit scene or, as KC put it, a “hey look I'm here too” type of appearance.
Can’t say for the Mar Jane’s, Gwens and Daredevils but it sounds like they at least have moments that aren’t just “hey look I’m here too”— KC “Santa was a Mushroom” Walsh - BLM (@TheComixKid) December 16, 2020
KC also adds that the reason that Marvel Studios and Sony are having these villains played by their original actors is so that audiences “don't need to spend a lot of time with them to know their motivations” before getting to the action.
Something to think about, they are using returning characters/people because we don’t need to spend a lot of time with them to know their motivations and they get right to the punchy punchy— KC “Santa was a Mushroom” Walsh - BLM (@TheComixKid) December 16, 2020
Andrew Garfield admitted that it's "never say never" for a potential Spider-Man return in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home.'
Andrew Garfield strongly denied the rumor that he is going to appear as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home.'
An official tie-in book for 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' was revealed in an Amazon listing, teasing a "magic" location that will appear in the film.
WHAT THIS MEANS
It seems, at the very least, none of these returning actors will be in Spider-Man 3 only to have a Stan Lee-like cameo for older fans of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. They'll either all have their own “moments” or be closely involved in big action scenes, specifically for the third act. However, if these returning actors, specifically the villains, won't have substantial roles outside the action, it's curious who the movie's primary villain will be.
A villain may be the one ultimately responsible for bringing Maguire and Garfield's characters to Peter's dimension as a means of killing him, with the other Spider-Men tagging along to help him out. One possibility circulated is that Spencer Smythe could be responsible for bringing all these former villains (and actors) into his reality to kill Tom Holland's Spider-Man.