Spider-Man 3 is sounding more and more intriguing by the day. We already know that Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx will be featuring as Doctor Octopus and Electro, respectively. Benedict Cumberbatch will appear as Doctor Strange. It's a key chapter in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). And, on a slightly more flippant note, star Tom Holland has been sharing the limelight with his brother Harry, who's rumoured to be making a cameo appearance.
Tom Holland has now been talking up the scope of the movie (no spoilers, thankfully), directed by Jon Watts who made Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home. The two most recent Spidey movies cemented Holland's winning portrayal of Peter Parker, yielding critical and commercial success (Far From Home is currently Sony's biggest global box office hit with more than $1 billion in the bank). Even so, both films sound like a dry run compared to Spider-Man 3.
"I can say that it’s the most ambitious stand-alone superhero movie ever made," Holland tells Variety. "You sit down, read the script, and see what they’re trying to do, and they’re succeeding. It’s really impressive. I’ve never seen a standalone superhero movie quite like it.
"And I’m just, you know, again, that lucky little s**t who happens to be Spider-Man in it. We got a lot more shooting to do. We started before Christmas and shot for like seven weeks. We stopped for the Christmas break, and then we’re starting again. I’m just as excited as everyone else to see it, let alone be a part of it."
One can speculate as to the level of that ambition. The presence of non-MCU villains Doctor Octopus and Electro signals an expansion of the live-action Spider-Man universe, likely pointing towards the multiverse concept. This approach worked wonders in 2018's Oscar-winning animation Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a movie that made a virtue of importing all manner of quirky web-crawling characters.
The presence of Doctor Strange, the superhero able to shift dimensions of time and space, would appear to back up this notion. (He's soon to get his second MCU movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.) Aside from all that, we're eager to see how the third movie wraps up the threads left hanging at the end of Far From Home. That movie culminated with Spider-Man's identity being leaked to the wider world, a vicious, posthumous act of revenge from villain Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).
That the news was publicly announced in Times Square by belligerent Daily Bugle newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) is another talking point. He's another character who originated outside of the MCU, in Sam Raimi's three Spider-Man movies starring Tobey Maguire. Again, this seems to fuel the rumours of a multiverse that will stitch together characters from different Spider-Man franchises.
Spider-Man 3 is due for release (at the time of writing) on 17th December 2021. Do you think it will be, as Holland promises, the most ambitious standalone superhero movie of all time? Tweet us your thoughts @Cineworld.