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Lately, there's been a lot of uncertainty regarding Spider-Man's future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe following the release of No Way Home (now playing). First, Amy Pascal said that Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios were already developing the next three Tom Holland movies. That was cast into doubt, however, when Sony CEO and Chairman Tom Rothman clarified her comments at the world premiere of No Way Home last week, stating that "nothing has been determined ... but, on the other hand, everything is still possible."
But now we have confirmation from Marvel Studios head honcho, Kevin Feige himself.
"Amy and I and Disney and Sony are talking about — yes, we’re actively beginning to develop where the story heads next, which I only say outright because I don’t want fans to go through any separation trauma like what happened after Far From Home," he revealed to The New York Times. "That will not be occurring this time."
"At the end of the movie we just made, you see Spider-Man make a momentous decision, one that you’ve never seen him make before," added Pascal. "It’s a sacrifice. And that gives us a lot to work with for the next film."
Notice how neither of them said anything about Holland returning to the role specifically, though? While it wouldn't make much sense to recast, the young actor did tell People that he would be open to taking a hiatus from Hollywood to figure out the next chapter of his personal life. "I've spent the last six years being so focused on my career," he explained. "I want to take a break and focus on starting a family and figuring out what I want to do outside of this world."
***WARNING! The following contains major plot spoilers for No Way Home!***
Wherever the MCU decides to take Peter Parker next, fans can be certain of one thing: the slate has been wiped clean. As most of us know by now, No Way Home ends with Peter fixing the multiversal mess of his own making by instructing Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to make everyone forget that he and Spider-Man are the same person. Initially planning to reconnect with MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon) in order to remind them of his secret, Peter ultimately decides to let sleeping spiders lie and continue his life in complete anonymity. Such is the terrible price of being a notorious superhero.
So, where will he go from here? Can another trilogy even top the sheer delight of seeing Holland's wall-crawler take down three generations of bad guys alongside Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's iterations of the character?
"You can’t think about topping yourself in terms of spectacle. Otherwise movies just get larger and larger for no reason, and it’s not a good result," Pascal added. "But we do want to always try and top ourselves in terms of quality and emotion. Kevin and I never want to lose sight of one thing: Peter Parker. That he’s a normal kid. That he is orphaned over and over again. That he’s a teenager, so everything in his life is at a heightened pitch and everything matters more than anything. That he’s fueled by goodness and guilt. That he’s striving for a greater cause, and he’s vilified by the press."
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters everywhere. Despite growing pandemic concerns related to rising cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the film nabbed the third-highest box office opening in history this past weekend — both domestically and globally. With $253 million in North America and $587.2 million worldwide, No Way Home now ranks just behind two other MCU titles — Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War — for the largest box office debut of all time.