Spider-Man: No Way Home's Latest TV Spot Makes Big Change to Key Doctor Strange Moment

The latest Spider-Man: No Way Home TV spot seems to have changed a line of dialogue from Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and in so doing, some fans think the meaning of the line itself is significantly different. It all centers around the mechanics of the spell that audiences saw in the first trailer for the film. If you'll recall, Spider-Man (Tom Holland) came to Doctor Strange, asking for a magical fix to the fact that the whole world now knows his secret identity. The spell goes wrong when Spider-Man interrupts it to try adding a bunch of caveats and conditions to its execution, and shortly after that, villains from other dimensions (read: previous incarnations of the Spider-Man film franchise) start appearing to cause trouble.

The exact line read in question was spotted by somebody over at MCU Direct. It seems there might be a sinister interpretation -- that's kind of what they're going with -- but it's also possible that the two interpretations of the two lines are actually intertwined. In one version of the teaser, Strange says to Spider-Man, "ever since you botched that spell where everyone forgets that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, we started getting visitors." 

In the new promo, he instead says, "when I shut that spell down...we started getting visitors." MCU Direct takes this to mean that Doctor Strange terminated the spell before Spider-Man could "botch" it, which certainly would be a different take. It would raise questions as to how the multiversal visitors managed to gain entry to our world, since the botched spell never happened.

Another interpretation is that the original line read, which feels pretty exposition-heavy, was an alternate take recorded for publicity materials, and the final version of the film will include the second version. Just because Strange stopped the spell, after all, doesn't mean there couldn't have been magical or multiversal damage to the world. It just means that in addition to all that damage, we may also still have a Spider-Man with a public identity.

The idea of the multiverse has been a part of superhero storytelling since 1961's "The Flash of Two Worlds" by Garner Fox and Carmine Infantino, but live action had generally steered clear of it until pretty recently. The idea has the feeling of harder science fiction than most superhero stories, and for years it seemed Hollywood didn't believe audiences would buy in. The popuarity of The Flash, which started using the multiverse as a storytelling tool in 2015, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) proved that wrong.

1comments

Following the events of Avengers: EndgameLoki, and What If...?, Marvel's multiverse seems to be more wide open than ever before, and that has some 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. 

Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Alfred Molina, and Benedict Cumberbatch, Sony and Marvel Studios' Spider-Man: No Way Home is scheduled to open in theaters on December 17.