Spider-Man: No Way Home's first trailer was a soft confirmation that this next Spider-Man movie from Marvel Studios and Sony will be an event film that pulls Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and a whole bunch of their former onscreen foes (Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, Alfred Molina's Doc Ock) together for a major Marvel Multiverse showdown. With that framework in place, fans have been probing everything we've seen and heard from Spider-Man: No Way Home to discern which villains could be showing up in the film. Well, one Marvel theory predicts that Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio will return - in a signature twist surprise reveal!
Spider-Man: Far From Home revealed Gyllenhaal's Quentin Beck/Mysterio to be a master manipulator who was able to use his cutting-edge illusion technology to create entire false worlds that Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) never detected. Far From Home ended with Mysterio's (apparent) death - but also with the reveal that the scheming villain had thought several steps ahead, enough so to leave a video package exposing Peter Parker as Spider-Man to the entire world.
Well, according to some Marvel fan theories, Quentin Beck isn't yet finished messing with Peter Parker's head. In fact, the theory goes that Mysterio's entire larger plan was to expose Peter Parker's identity in order to herd him toward some kind of larger trap - and that Peter coming to "Doctor Strange" is all just a setup by Mysterio.
The scenes with Doctor Strange in the trailer for No Way Home are striking some fans as odd, with Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange seeming a bit too silly and rascally than we've seen him before. Is that just Spider-Man director Jon Watts putting his comedic spin on Doctor Strange? Or is "Strange" just Mysterio having found a convenient place to hide? The Sanctum Sanctorum looks to still be in shambles after Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame; we already know Wong (Benedict Wong) will be busy doing some cage match fighting (see: Shang-Chi), and the "real" Stephen Strange could arguably be off handling the larger threat to the multiverse (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness). It could be the perfect time for a sneaky little villain like Mysterio to slip in and mess with Peter all over again.
The particulars of this theory do get a little tricky - but so does the larger question of how the multiverse plays into Spider-Man: No Way Home. It really does seem like Doctor Strange wouldn't be so caviler about granting Peter's insane wish to memory-wipe the populace - or that banter with Peter would make the Sorcerer Supreme screw up such a crucial spell with such big ramifications. It also seems weird that Strange would just-so-happen to cause a separate breach in the multiverse that's totally independent of the events of Loki. It's possible Mysterio starts out pulling a mystical con on Peter again - only this time, the con actually takes a very real turn when Sylvie Laufeydottir unleashes the multiverse timelines.
At the same time, Doctor Strange does seem to exhibit some of his very real-looking mystical abilities. That includes pushing Peter's astral form from his body, and making space bend and wrap around. So it looks like the real Doctor Strange could indeed come into play at some point - but that doesn't mean that Mysterio isn't going to first take the sorcerer's identity for a ride. And, if Mysterio ends up joining forces with the actual Sinister Six from the multiverse, things could get even hairier for Peter.
Spider-Man: No Way Home will be in theaters on December 17th.