Veteran Marvel actor Benedict Cumberbatch is set to reprise his role as magical superhero Doctor Strange in Spider-Man 3.
The move prompts speculation about the nature of the as-yet-untitled film, as it comes extremely soon after the news broke that Jamie Foxx is set to reprise his role as villain Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony’s previous incarnation of the webslinger that starred Andrew Garfield in the main role.
Combined with April’s announcement that Sam Raimi, director of the original Spider-Man trilogy in the mid-00s, is set to helm the Doctor Strange sequel, fans have been speculating that Marvel and Sony may be paving the way for a live-action Spider-Verse film.
The Spider-Verse was a concept introduced into Marvel Comics in 2014, and features a variety of Spider-based heroes from different dimensions. It was first brought to the big screen in 2018’s Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (itself due a sequel in 2022).
The move would certainly make a good deal of sense: after the tumultuous events of last year’s Avengers: Endgame, the MCU needs another big event to begin building towards. With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision looking set to introduce the ideas of alternate dimensions to the MCU, the Spider-Verse certainly seems to be on the cards – particularly with JK Simmons making a cameo as J Jonah Jameson in Far From Home, a role he originally played in Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.
Whether or not we’ll see the return of previous Spider-Men Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield alongside Tom Holland in Spider-Man 3 remains to be seen, but such an announcement would certainly make for an added layer of excitement to the already-packed Phase IV.
The next phase of the MCU has suffered a series of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with each upcoming film being delayed around a year from its original release date. Phase IV officially kicks off with the release of Black Widow next May, while the next Spider-Man and Doctor Strange films are set to start filming in the coming weeks.
Words by Matt Taylor
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