"Hello, Peter..." The first trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home has whipped the Marvel fandom into an absolute frenzy. Not only did the first batch of footage set the stage for Doctor Strange's own multiversal sequel, but it also confirmed the return of Tobey Maguire-era villains like Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) and Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina).
"My phone has gone mental," Holland said on his Instagram story Tuesday. "The love and support you guys have shown for the film is so exciting. Honestly, that is just the tip of the iceberg. You have no idea what else is to come. I'm so excited to share more with you guys. And it feels so good to be back with Spider-Man, to be showing you trailers, to have films coming out. So yeah, I love you all. Thank you for your support and enjoy the trailer."
Viewers are analyzing every single millisecond of the 3-minute trailer, hoping to glean even more intel on what else is in store for Tom Holland's third outing as New York's friendly neighborhood wall-crawler. As if dusted with Miracle-Gro, a great deal of theories have sprung up overnight like weeds (the teaser has amassed nearly 30 million views so far).
A cursory Google search shows numerous theories about how Charlie Cox may reprise his Netflix role of Matt Murdock/Daredevil. Others insist that Doctor Strange's reckless behavior in casting a spell to erase the planet's memory of Spider-Man's true identity hints at either an evil variant of the Sorcerer Supreme or the father of all lies himself, Mephisto. Though someone involved with Marvel made clear a while back that all the Mephisto theorizing has gotten a bit tiresome — even before this trailer drop.
"If Mephisto showed up at this point, everybody would just laugh," Loki's head writer, Michael Waldron, said during an interview with SYFY WIRE earlier this summer. "I don’t even think it’d be cool … He’s just a meme character at this point. We ruined him."
Waldron, who wrote the screenplay for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (out next March), actually tweeted out a screenshot of a winking Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) from the No Way Home trailer.
Philip Lewis, an editor for The Huffington Post, brings up a good point: "Nothing about Dr. Strange's character suggests he'd be so reckless to alter reality just because a teenager asked him to." At the same time, though, we're dealing with the same arrogant guy who traveled to the ends of the earth in a selfish effort to regain his status as a world-renowned surgeon. He's probably been itching for a chance to flaunt his skills as the Sorcerer Supreme after so much isolation at the Sanctum Sanctorum. Not to mention the fact that comic book Doctor Strange has bitten off more than he can chew plenty of times.
And then you have all the discussion surrounding cameos from additional villains beyond Norman Osborn and Otto Octavious. Some fans swear that the trailer also references Electro (to be fair, Jamie Foxx has been confirmed to return), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), and the Lizard (Rhys Ifans). The evidence for those three is circumstantial at best and let's not even get started on the belief that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield may come out of web-slinging retirement to fight the budding Sinister Six alongside Holland's current iteration of Peter Parker.
Spider-Man: No Way Home exclusively swings into theaters everywhere Friday, Dec. 17.