“Spider-Man: No Way Home” takes home the title for Marvel’s most anticipated film

Photo credit: Julia Monteiro Martins

The anticipation for “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” the third and potentially final entry in the joint release between Marvel and Sony, surmounts any movie in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) history.

Photo credit: Julia Monteiro Martins

With fans on social media growing hungry for any existing leaks, Marvel and Sony decided to feed their audience one last time till the movie’s Dec. 17 release. The film’s second trailer appeared in select movie showings before dropping online on Nov. 16.

With Zendaya and Tom Holland reprising their roles, the trailer includes official reveals of several villains and some distressing foreshadowing for Zendaya’s MJ. Among the key details left out by MCU is how Holland can get the MCU back on track.

In the wake of “Eternals” becoming one of the MCU’s biggest missteps since “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the franchise needs a momentum boost.

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Exiting the “Infinity Saga” to move on from Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers was always going to be difficult. The passing of Chadwick Boseman, whose Black Panther was likely to step into the figurehead role alongside Holland, only intensifies these issues. Luckily, overcoming obstacles is a superpower of long-time producer and president of MCU, Kevin Feige.

Starting this new era with a lackluster movie slate does not help. With the exception of the excellent “Shang Chi,” MCU feature films this season have disappointed and the Disney+ original shows have been better with more interesting characters.

There’s also an “X” shaped shadow looming over every decision made, which Feige and others made worse.

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Bringing in Evan Peters to seemingly reprise his role of Quicksilver just to make a “boner” joke is one of the worst decisions made under Feige’s tenure. Except for Ryan Reynolds’ “Deadpool” series, no mutant related ideas were discussed by MCU publicly since 2019.

These struggles put an incredible amount of pressure on “No Way Home” to bring the MCU home. Tying both Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange as well as using the movie as a likely entry to “Doctor Strange in The Multiverse Of Madness” increases the importance of connecting here.

Featuring the return of classic villains like Alfred Molina’s Doc Oc and others from both Sam Raimi’s trilogy and Marc Webb’s reboot earlier last decade, “No Way Home” gives plenty that will excite audiences.

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Using vintage characters from separate universes provides an unintended consequence of opening Pandora’s Box for rampant theorizing of whether or not their unique Spider-Men will follow along. Appearances make sense and seem likely, but everyone involved, including past Spider-Men Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, denied the idea. It probably won’t go over well if they aren’t in it.

Feige and the MCU are in a war versus the standard set for themselves. While the ship is far from sinking, fractures are starting to show and unlike the Staten Island Ferry in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” webbing needs to pull it together this time.