Next month we’ll see the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the sequel to Sony and Marvel Studio’s critical and box office hit Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Marvel’s Kevin Feige has revealed the film will be the final installment in Phase 3. That reveal in itself carries clues as to what implications the film’s narrative may have for the future of the Spider-Man franchise and the next phase in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Far From Home subtitle could be important in some way, the obvious reference could be significant to the narrative in that the story removes our characters from the New York City setting to a student trip to Europe.
However, there might be a bigger meaning to the title and implications that could be felt throughout Phase 4.
In a clip that originally aired on The Ellen Show, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck aka Mysterio explains he is from an alternate Earth, one that is without heroes like Spider-Man and Nick Fury explains due to the snap a breach to the Multiverse has been created leading Mysterio to be stranded on what he calls ‘Earth 616’.
The Far From Home title may not even apply to our hero Spider-Man but could be more likely directly applied to the mysterious Quentin Beck aka Mysterio, who seems to be portraying himself as a hero. Then again, Beck is a con-man and there might be an angle here using the Multiverse.
While the idea of the Multiverse is something quite new to the MCU, the Spider-Man series has dealt with alternative realities/dimensions before in previous cartoons and films, most recently with Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Earth 833, the version of Earth Quentin Beck claims to be from is renown for being the home of William Braddock aka Spider-UK.
This poses multiple questions.
It is possible that Quentin is lying when he says ‘We could use someone like you on my world’? In that case, what are the implications for a Peter Parker who is lulled into thinking Beck is an ally? Could this end with Peter Parker being stranded in another dimension/universe leading to Spider-Man 3?
There had been references to Agent Braddock in Avengers: Endgame, but it remains to be seen which version of Braddock they may have been referring to.
There will be much speculation about how the Multiverse will be a factor moving forward with Phase 4 and beyond, but one thing that is very evident is that Marvel is striving to do new things with the character and put him in new situations and predicaments. As a lifelong Spider-Man fan myself, I have grown used to seeing Spider-Man as very much a friendly neighborhood Spider, being an iconic hero of New York City and seeing him in new locales like London, Prague and even his foray on Titan in Avengers: Infinity War has been exciting.
Seeing him in alternative universes/dimensions might be just as exciting as there clearly wouldn’t be many limitations if Parker is exploring those possibilities, it might also be an excuse to team him up with Doctor Strange.
Its clear that bringing the Spider-Man into Marvel Studio’s fold has ushered in new things for the character but it also seems this movie introducing ideas like the Multiverse is also acting as a major jumping off point for the upcoming Phase 4 and will tackle issues related to the snap like the consequences of the five year time gap and how the returning students will deal with being five years younger than their peers as well as issues that will have ramifications on the entire future of the series.
The idea of a Multiverse has sprawling possibilities and can make bringing other heroes known (X-Men or Fantastic Four?) or obscure ones (Squadron Supreme anyone?) into the MCU or could be a device for bringing back certain characters that have left us. Whatever the future holds, Spider-Man: Far From Home could be pivotal in the direction of Phase 4 movies and even a yet to be announced Spider-Man 3.
There is an expectation that San Diego Comic-Con (via Kevin Feige) could give us some ideas of where Phase 4 be going beyond the films we already know are coming as the next era will kick-off with Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. However, it’s possible Feige might only confirm the movies we already know about.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is set for release on July 2nd.