A new piece of unused key art for Spider-Man: No Way Home has been revealed, suggesting there was some merit to a popular fan theory about the movie. In the art, shared by concept artist Marek Okon (and created by Okon with Maciej Kuciara), the three different live-action Spider-Men are squaring off against the Green Gobin...but it seems as though they have Doctor Octopus in their corner. Doc Ock was a complicated character in the original Raimi movies -- something that was reflected in No Way Home, where he was mostly not an outright villain, and fairly receptive to being reformed.
The lead to some interesting framing in various scenes, and when fans were scouring the trailer for clues about the movie's plot, fans noted that Ock wasn't always in an adversarial position to Spider-Man. A number of people on social media started to speculate that Dr. Octopus might fight alongside the Spider-Men against the other villains.
That did happen -- sort of. He never squared off with Norman Osborn as seen in this art, but Doc Ock did join the fray on the side of the Spider-Men, helping to cure Max Dillon as part of the heroes' plan to save the villains' lives by returning them home without their powers. It seems at one point, either there were plans for him to do more, or the artists were going from a loose plot synopsis that said Dr. Octopus helped out in the end.
Or, y'know -- maybe they just thought it looked cool, which it does.
You can see the image below.
Here is my favorite keyart from #SpiderMan #NoWayHome— Marek Okon (@okon_marek) January 17, 2022
Crated with always inspiring @maciej_kuciara
It felt like I was working on a fanart rather than production asset. With so many iconic characters in one frame I was geeking out the whole time :]#SpidermanNoWayHome pic.twitter.com/pmK3RaRYY5
In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) squares off against villains from the franchise's past -- but not against ones he has seen before. Instead, he battles the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe, Spider-Man), Dr. Octopus (Alfred Molina, Spider-Man 2), Electro (Jamie Foxx, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), and more.
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Loki, and What If...?, Marvel's multiverse seems to be more wide open than ever before, and even before it was officially happening, that had fans expecting to see Garfield's Spider-Man, as well as Tobey Maguire's, share the screen with Holland. Following the commercial success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, there's hardly a more commonsense character for Marvel to begin exploring its infinite Earths with.