How the post credit scenes from Spider-Man: No Way Home sets up Spider-Man 4 and it's villains
Updated: Dec 22, 2021
First, I will start this article with what we do in fact know already. Amy Pascal has stated that Tom Holland will be returning for Spider-Man 4, 5, and 6 with Marvel Studios continued presence in the films alongside Sony. It seems as though both studios have realized that cooperation is the best solution for not only making an immense profit at the box offices but also for us fans. We can also assume that a Venom 3 is in the works because of how financially successfully it was at the box office.
Spoilers Alert: Come back after you've seen Spider-Man: No Way Home
At the end of the movie, Peter asks Dr. Strange to cast the spell for everyone to forget who Peter Parker is in order to reverse the spell that brought the villains to their universe. We then saw J. Jonah Jameson declaring Spider-Man as a menace and he should unmask himself, thus demonstrating that people have in fact forgotten who Peter Parker. The question remains though do people still have their memories of Spider-Man when he wore a mask? Which leads to speculation about the other heroes who fought alongside Peter against Thanos? Would Dr. Strange and the other heroes still remember he fought alongside Spider-Man but they just doesn't remember his identity as Peter Parker anymore? When Sam Wilson is rounding up heroes to fight in the next Avenger's movie will he and Bucky remember fighting him in Civil War?
Considering everyone in End-Game saw Peter either at Tony's funeral or on the battlefield it's safe to say they all knew his identity, therefore they won't remember Peter anymore. It also begs the question of how this will effect Stark's legacy considering Tony gave E.D.I.T.H. to Peter Parker, granting him access to all Tony's protocols, so will Pepper Potts or James Rhodes eventually notice someone can easily take dominion over Stark's satellites and drones? We could see this alluded to in Don Cheadle's 2023 Disney+ series War Machine or more likely could be a beginning scene as part of the next Avengers film with Rhodes and Sam speaking about recruiting Spider-Man. Also the rules for the forgetting incantation were not outlined fully so who knows, perhaps Tony left Pepper and Rhodes a note to watch after Peter Parker or Spider-Man.
Post Credit Scenes and what they mean going forward:
Following the post-credit scene of No Way Home, we saw Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock and Venom at a Bar in Mexico (picking up where we saw him last from Venom 2 post-credits scene). Eddie is shocked to hear that the Avengers exist in this universe. He decides to go visit Spider-Man in New York and have a word with him but before he does he is transported back to his universe the same way the other villains were. There are a few questions that resonate as you leave the theaters, starting with how did Eddie and Venom get transported to the MCU?
Venom tells Eddie he has knowledge of 80 billion light years of hive mind information across Universes; thus implying that the symbiotes are not only aware of the multiverse but they know information of other symbiotes within the multiverse. Therefore, in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 when Venom uncovered that Spider-Man and Peter Parker were one in the same, it meant that Sony's Venom had learned that information as well. Thus explaining the reason he was transported to the MCU in the first place and subsequently back to his own universe after Dr. Strange completed the spell.
This then leads to the question of how did a piece of symbiote remain behind? Well that could perhaps be Venom creating an offspring because it knew it was in a different Universe and wanted to collect knowledge about this universe. Not only does that bring Symbiotes to Earth and the MCU, it also creates alternative directions for the studios to go in should they have creative differences.
So What Could Spider-Man 4 look like?
We saw Peter walking into his new apartment as he then begins to unpack and we were shown a GED Book. Suggesting that Peter will not be returning to High School and will be making a new career path for himself. We did see Peter congratulate MJ on getting into to MIT so we know the MIT lady must have already put into the online registry for them to be students. So it begs the question will Peter's name be on there as well or did MJ and Ned appeal the letter and were now accepted because everyone has forgotten Peter is Spider-Man? Regardless if he is now accepted to MIT or not, it's safe to assume that Peter is also going to need to get a job to pay rent and where does that bring Peter Parker too most likely? The Daily Bugle and taking pictures of Spider-Man for J. Jonah Jameson.
When Peter approaches MJ at the café, he clearly wants to tell her everything but ultimately decides not too. It begs the question, is he keeping it a secret to protect her, or did he decide maybe I shouldn't unload this all at once. Before the forgetting spell was cast, MJ did say if you don't find us, I will figure it out again anyways. Which leads me to speculate this will be a plot point in the next movie as Peter tries to hide his identity because he doesn't want to lose anyone else and he is aware the next villain already knows his identity. How? Well since the symbiote was left behind with that knowledge and as the symbiote is making its way to NYC for Spider-Man it reveals his identity as Peter to its next host to track him down more easily.
Will the symbiote combine with the MCU's version of Eddie Brock and it will map out similar as in Spider-Man 3 with Peter taking over Brock's position at the Daily Bugle? I would hope and assume that won't be the case because we've already seen it before. What about another Villain becomes the host for the symbiote such as Scorpion (who we last saw in Prison speaking with Michael Keaton's Adrianne Toomes) and he was very interested in learning who Spider-Man really was.
Another villain we could perhaps see in Spider-Man 4 could be Aaron Taylor-Johnson who has been casted as Sergei Kravinoff AKA Kraven the Hunter in his upcoming movie set for 2023. It seems unlikely he would be the leading villain for Spider-Man 4 especially since early ideas for No Way Home were to use Kraven. If he was to appear it's likely it'd be a smaller role and perhaps it will set him up as an anti-hero or a future member of the Sinister 6.
Although it is unlikely we will see Shocker or Tinkerer return (unless its a Sinister 6 movie). It's possible that we could see the return of Donald Glover's Prowler who in Spider-Man: Homecoming, was a small time crook but he could have been making a name for himself since 2016. Miles Morales was referenced by Prowler in it's post credits scene and considering Sony has already begun having internal discussions about making a live-action Miles Morales movie. This would be a great introduction and then bringing him into the 5th (or 6th) Spider-Man movie with Peter as his mentor. Prowler could have found the symbiote and bonded with him but ultimately leaves him because of his suit emitting sonic waves. The symbiote could also bond with another villain such as Scorpion or Marcus Conrad. If we don't see the Prowler or one of these other two bonded with over by a symbiote perhaps his boss will?
Considering Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin has made an appearance in the Hawkeye series (he's also expressed interest in being in a Spider-man film). Perhaps he will also end up being Spider-Man's main adversary for Spider-Man 4. As Spider-Man keeps crime fighting in NYC and disrupting his supply chains with the smaller gangs, Kingpin puts a bounty on Spider-Man. Also because we saw Charlie Cox's appear in No Way Home as Matthew Murdock it would tie in perfectly for the next movie, as it sets up Kingpin as the main villain as he attempts to run for Mayor in Spider-Man 4. Interestingly enough, Peter would tell Murdock that they have met before and Murdock would know that Peter was telling him the truth and trust him. This would also set up a future Daredevil movie or Disney+ Series especially since Marvel recently said they have no specific plans yet for the character following She-Hulk. Not to mention it would be amazing to see a Spider-Man versus Symbiote Kingpin fight.
By having the symbiotes involved and assumingly we'd see Spider-Man wearing the Symbiote suit maybe the symbiote tells Peter how to cross dimensions or at least how to start.
This could set up Venom 3 as Tom Holland tries to return the symbiote to Tom Hardy's Venom in his universe. Upon conclusion of the film in the post credits scene, we see Peter and Eddie saying their goodbyes and instead of Peter heading home he transported to Madame Web's domain. She explains that Morlun of the Inheritors (energy vampires that feed off Spider-Man's) are coming after each universes Spider-Man and he has to recruit other web headed heroes across the multiverse in order to defeat them.
If not Madame Web, it could instead be Gwen Stacy AKA Spider-Ghost (or Spider-Gwen) who is recruiting Peter. Since it has already been rumored that we will see Harry Osborne and Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 4. As we saw in Into the Spider-verse 2 trailer, Gwen has already been shown traveling to another multiverse and perhaps this is Olivia Wilde's live-action Spider-Woman movie that could come set up Into the Spider-Verse for Spider-Man 5. Considering the deal between Marvel and Sony it's been suggested that since Dr. Strange was borrowed for the movie therefore Marvel get's to use one of Sony's characters. So perhaps this character could be a Gwen Stacy movie just because of Kevin Feige's love for the character and his rumored involvement in the film.
Quick note side note on Harry Osborne's potentially role would likely be small, playing the the part of Peter's newest friend. Since their is no Oscorp in the MCU (at least not yet) he could be used as a character that is overtaken by the symbiote as part of Kingpin's strategy to keep Spider-Man busy.
Will we still see a Tom Holland and Tom Hardy crossover movie?
Why would Sony and Marvel include this in the post-credits scene if it wasn't going to happen. They easily could have introduced a symbiote in the MCU at any time. The question comes down to how do they meet each other, if at all? Based on rumors from when Andrew Garfield signed on to appear in No Way Home that Sony offered another movie to him, if this were to be true perhaps Tom Hardy's Venom actually exists within Garfield's universe. Meaning when they get transported back they travel to New York to see if Spider-Man exists in his universe as well. There are a few ways this could map out; it's possible that Marvel doesn't want Tom Hardy's Venom in the MCU and they want to set up a different villain to use the symbiote. Or, Marvel just wants to keep it separate but allow Tom Holland's Peter to go to different multiverses without it affecting the MCU timeline and considering he's gone to space already that seems more likely.
An alternative idea is that the symbiote being left behind will be the purpose of Avenger's 5. It will lead to the symbiote communicating with God Knull subsequently awaking him. God Knull was created after the deal with Sony so technically he is not a Sony villain and Marvel can use his character as they like.
Considering the God Knull created not only the symbiotes but also the Ebony Blade that we saw in Eternals it also ties in those heroes as well which could serve as a one-off villain like Ultron as Marvel sets up more for Kang and Doctor Doom. Let us know what you think? Who would you most like to see in the next Spider-Man movie villain or hero?