Spider-Man: No Way Home: Three Theories That Might Explain The Title

by : Tom Percival on : 25 Feb 2021 17:33

After trolling everyone with some ridiculous titles the other day (I’m a bit annoyed they didn’t go with Spider-Man: Home Slice), Tom Holland has finally revealed the title of the third MCU Spider-Man film: Spider-Man: No Way Home.

But other than the title, a few bits of casting news, and some persistent rumours about who may or may not be returning, we don’t know that much about the film itself. So we here at UNILAD Towers have put our best minds on the case, and tried to come up with some theories that might answer what this film will be about.

How we've spent the last few hours - FX Television

We’ve spared no expense to get to the bottom of the Spider-Verse’s mysteries; used all our journalistic skill, industry contacts, and comicbook knowledge to work out with 100% certainty exactly what Spider-Man: No Way Home could, potentially, maybe, probably, be about.

In the end, we whittled it down to three potential theories we think could plausibly happen – don’t @ us  (do the kids still say that?) when the film comes out if we spoiled it for you…

Spider-Man: Wanted

Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

Spider-Man: Far From Home ended with the shocking revelation that Mysterio had got his revenge on Peter Parker from beyond the grave by framing the Wall-Crawler for murder, while also – with the help of J. Jonah Jameson – revealing his secret identity to the world at large. 

It could be that No Way Home deals with the immediate fallout of Mysterio’s last spiteful act, and that the film is about the Web-Head trying to clear his good name of murder. In this hypothetical version of the film, Peter would be on the run with ‘no way home’, until he somehow proves to the world that Mysterio had pulled off one last con.

Molina’s Doctor Octopus and Foxx’s Electro (both of whom we know are returning) could just be hired mercenary types trying to bring Peter to ‘justice’, and it would also explain why there’s supposedly a big courtroom scene in the film. Presumably, Peter would have a lawyer with some experience working with superheroes.


Of all the theories we’ve got about the title, this is probably the one we hope doesn’t happen, and makes the least sense based on what we know. Why go to the lengths of rehiring two former cinematic Spidey foes if you’re not going to do something so straight forward with them?

It also doesn’t really explain the rumours of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield making cameo appearances in the film – we know Tom Holland denied them, but he would say that – nor why Doctor Strange would get involved. Unless they were planning some dreadful One More Day style retcon, but we refuse to believe Marvel would ever adapt the worst Spider-Man story ever.

No, it’s much more likely that with Doctor Strange appearing in the film, his alleged cameo in WandaVision, and the title of Doctor Strange 2 that Peter Parker will find himself…


Lost In The Multiverse Of Madness

Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

Ever since the rumours of Maguire and Garfield making an appearance in No Way Home began, fans have been convinced that we’re getting a live-action Spider-Verse movie, and the easiest and most convenient way to do this would be to make use of the Multiverse.

Perhaps in this version of the film, Peter – with no Tony Stark to help – goes to his old pal the Sorceror Supreme and asks him to use his magic to somehow make everyone forget who’s under Spidey’s mask. Unfortunately, the old ‘Parker Luck’ then strikes, and while the good Doctor’s putting his mojo on Peter he somehow accidentally knocks him into a parallel dimension with ‘no way home’.


Just when it seems like our version of Peter is going to be lost forever in these parallel realities, he’s saved by his multi-dimensional counterparts. As things stand, this seems to be the way fans think the film will go, for a few reasons.

Sony Pictures

The first is Jamie Foxx and Alfred Molina returning as Electro and Doctor Octopus respectively. We haven’t actually had any word on if they’re playing the original versions of their characters or rebooted versions, but fans have convinced themselves these will be the versions we’ve seen before.

We’ve already seen Marvel tentatively dip its toes into these waters with WandaVision and its decision to use Evan Peters’ Quicksilver over the MCU’s original choice silver speedster, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, so we know Marvel Studios isn’t afraid to get weird with casting these days.

Using the multiverse would also allow for the return of Maguire and Garfield in a way that makes sense narratively, and could serve as a nice bookend for those two versions of the Wall-Crawler, both of whom had slightly ignominious ends.

Marvel Studios

The second primary piece of evidence fans of the Multiverse have is the return of the MCU’s grumpiest wizard, Doctor Strange, who will be travelling the myriad of parallel realities that make up the Multiverse in his own movie.

This version of the story probably makes the most sense, to be honest. The Multiverse is the new hot meta thanks to Into The Spider-Verse, and we know that Sony has expressed an interest in trying a live-action version, plus it allows them to tangentially link its own Marvel Universe to the MCU.

If we’re honest though, we’re not exactly chomping at the bit for this version of the story either. We love the Multiverse and Spider-Verse, but it’s not the only game in town when it comes to cosmic shenanigans, and it does the varied, creative and downright bonkers world of the source comics a disservice to keep relying on it.

Thankfully there’s another option…

Happy Birthday

Marvel Studios//Marvel Comics

Finally, and this is perhaps our favourite theory although we can’t take credit for coming up with it, No Way Home could adapt the ‘Happy Birthday’ storyline first told in Amazing Spider-Man #500.

‘Happy Birthday’ dealt with Spidey getting involved in a battle in downtown New York between Doctor Strange and Dormammu. The story sees the Web-Swinger get accidentally caught in one of the Bleeker Street magician’s more potent spells, after which he’s himself transported to a void outside of space and time.

Lost, and with ‘no way home’, Peter must follow Doctor Strange’s astral presence through his own timeline and he’s basically forced to jump Quantum Leap style through his greatest battles, past, present, and future, in the hopes of reaching the point in time when he first interrupted Doctor Strange and Dormammu.

NBC/ Sony Pictures

The story was perfect for an anniversary issue but it could work quite nicely as a film, and it ties together with what little we’ve had confirmed about the film. Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus and Jamie Foxx’s Electro could both feature in the montage of battles, presumably being villains Peter will eventually fight sometime in the future.

Not only that, it would be a nice way to bring back both Mysterio and the Vulture, while also allowing director Jon Watts to bring in some more iconic Spidey comic moments without necessarily having to go to the trouble of actually making an entire film based on that particular storyline.

We know Benedict Cumberbatch is set to make an appearance in the film, so we’ve already ticked the Doctor Strange box, and you could easily write in Garfield and Maguire as alternate future versions of Peter. This is the version of the film I’d like to see: a celebration of all things Spidey, and a poignant end to Holland’s first trilogy of Spider-Man movies.

Spider-Man: No Way Home swings its way into theatres Christmas 2021.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

Topics: Featured, Andrew Garfield, Far From Home, Film and TV, Jamie Foxx