Spider-heads, assemble. The Marvel Cinematic Universe had one heck of a long 2021, and it ended that with the MCU’s bread and butter, an event film, that stretched into 2022. And oh boy, what an event it’s shaped up to be. Rumors aside, Spider-Man: No Way Home has made lots of money and is cracking open the multiverse, assembling some familiar MCU faces like Doctor Strange, and even bringing in villains from the 2000s Spider-Man trilogy to The Amazing Spider-Man — and possibly from other projects, but in lieu of spoilers, we’ll stop there.
So if you haven’t seen it yet, we’ve put together a friendly neighborhood watchlist of Marvel media to dig into ahead of the latest Spider film, and we even listed them in order of importance because we know not a lot of us have the time. Anyways, enjoy!
Right off the bat, I’m going to suggest the second movie in Tom Holland’s Spider-Man series. Why? Well, because Spider-Man: No Way Home picks up directly after Far From Home’s surprising post-credit stinger — the reveal of Spider-Man’s identity and the (re?)introduction J.K. Simmons’s J. Jonah Jameson. (You can also watch Spider-Man: Homecoming, which as of now is probably still the best Holland Spidey movie, as a treat, if you have the time).
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy
Not only will Sam Raimi soon return to direct a superhero film — though this time for the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel — but his work on the original 2000s Spider-Man films is being brought into the fold of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While rumors have been swirling at a breakneck pace around Tobey Maguire possibly making his Spider-Man return, what we do know for certain is that a trio of Raimi’s main villains in Green Goblin, Doc Ock, and Sandman are appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Though the best refresher for Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock is probably just this video of him on the set of Spider-Man 2.
The Amazing Spider-Man & The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man series really is the misunderstood middle child between the Raimi and current MCU films, but No Way Home may change that opinion, or at least shine a new glow of nostalgia on them because like Raimi’s films, the MCU is also pulling villains from Marc Webb’s Spidey films. Completing the group of dastardly, multiversal foes is Jamie Foxx’s Electro (this time he’s yellow??) and Rhys Ifans’s incredibly creepy-looking Lizard. And yes, like the rumors surrounding a possible Maguire cameo, there’s also chatter swirling that even Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man could appear. One can dream!
If you’re not too familiar with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, it may be a good time to get acquainted with, I say this with love, the magic-wielding asshole. Along with his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home, next year’s Doctor Strange sequel (In the Multiverse of Madness) will serve as a close companion film to this week’s No Way Home. It’s multiverse time, baby! So you might as well learn how the sausage (magic) is made.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
And speaking of multiverses, we shall give credit where credit is due, and that’s to Into the Spider-Verse. It’s easily the best Spider-Man film on this list, and while it’s not exactly necessary to watch before No Way Home, it did help general moviegoing audiences understand the intricacies of multiple worlds and characters. Plus, it’s just so damn good.
Avengers: Infinity War
Do you reallllllly need to watch all of Infinity War? Probably not. I mostly added this to the list because if anything, this Avengers film help set up the connection between Doctor Strange and Peter Parker (or Spider-Man, if we’re using their made-up names). Or maybe you can watch the video below to see the passing of the ward from Tony Stark to Doctor Strange. He’s your problem now, Strange!
And a Little Extra Sp(oilers)ice
As of writing I have not yet seen Spider-Man: No Way Home, so I swear this is not a spoiler but just incredible intuition, speculation, and some fun well-wishes. But, so you don’t end up yelling at me: Possible spoilers ahead!
Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Now, No Way Home is not a Sinister Six movie, or at least it’s not promoting itself to be, but we do curiously have a current lineup of five villains. Wouldn’t it be convenient to just throw in another one of Spidey’s main villains, this time played by Tom Hardy (sorry Topher Grace), while we’re at it? And folks who’ve seen Venom 2 may be keen to know how *coughs* Venom could be so inclined to join in on the party.
Daredevil (Not Ben Affleck’s, sorry)
When the first trailer for No Way Home hit, the internet went berserk, naturally, but one of the main fan theories that spurred from the teaser was that, well, Matt Murdock would appear as Peter Parker’s lawyer. But maybe we’re all fools. It’s very possible that Cox’s Matt Murdock (a.k.a. Daredevil) won’t be in this, but just the slight possibility that he will be has sent many fans to start rewatching the 2018 series. Feige himself recently confirmed to CinemaBlend that when we do see Murdock, he’ll be played by Cox, so might as well check out the first episode, if anything.
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