With only a few days left until the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, it feels like the film is so close yet so far. While there have been plenty of amazing films that have come out this year, many have been waiting in anxious anticipation for the third installment of the MCU Spider-Man films. It’s being helmed as the Avengers: Endgame of the MCU Spider-Man series — and with the plot synopsis and cast roster such as this one, there’s good reason to believe as much.
Spider-Man: No Way Home drops us back in after 2019’s Spider-Man: Far from Home where Peter Parker (played by Tom Holland) has been exposed as Spider-Man by who he believed was his close peer and mentor, Mysterio (played by Jake Gyllenhaal). Parker is left to deal with a media frenzy back in New York and enlists the help of his friends MJ (played by Zendaya), Ned Leeds (played by Jacob Batalon), and fellow Avenger, Doctor Strange (played by Benedict Cumberatch) to help sort through the chaos of his newfound fame.
Along the way, we are set to meet some familiar faces, however, these are faces we haven’t seen in a while — because they don’t belong to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Parker is not only tasked with finding a way to reverse time in order to spare his no-longer-secret identity, but also to fight villains from other Spider-Man universes.
Before you jump into watching the most hyped film of the year, we should get you reacquainted with these characters. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen them.
Name: Flint Marko
Last film we saw them in: Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Flint Marko (played by Thomas Hayden Church) has a villain origin story that started off like many do — trying to save someone that they love the most. In this case, that someone was his daughter, Penny Marko. In 2002, Marko and his accomplice Dennis Carradine robbed a wrestling venue while Marko, attempted to steal Uncle Ben’s car to make his and Carradine’s escape with the cash.
Ben reasoned with Marko, but Carradine’s arrival at the getaway car shocked him and he shot Uncle Ben at point blank accidentally. The police identified Carradine as the killer alone, but Marko is eventually arrested and imprisoned for unrevealed reasons.
In 2005, while on the run from the police after escaping from prison, Marko accidentally falls into an experimental particle accelerator that molecularity binds him with sand, giving him shapeshifting sand abilities. In Spider-Man 3, we see Marko reconcile with his dark past and the hurt he inflicted on Spider-Man, prompting him to switch sides — helping Spider-Man (played by Tobey Maguire) and Harry Osborn (played by James Franco) defeat Venom (played by Topher Grace).
Name: Dr. Curt Connors
Last film we saw them in: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Dr. Curt Connors (played by Rhys Ifans) is a brilliant scientist that lost his arm during a war, and went on to be a scientist for Oscorp Industries (Norman Osborn’s company). At Oscorp, he meets Richard Parker, who vows to help Connors find a regenerative cure for his lost limb. When the Parkers mysteriously go missing, Connors shuts down the project indefinitely, only to bring it back years later by order of his boss Dr. Ratha — in hopes of finding a cure to save their dying CEO, Norman Osborn.
Peter Parker (played by Andrew Garfield) finds Dr. Connors and tells him that he is Richard Parker’s son, giving Connors his father’s “decay rate algorithm” that he had been working on prior to his disappearance. Peter Parker eventually inputs the decay rate algorithm into the Oscorp system, using a mouse as a test subject. The mouse successfully grows an extra limb and Dr. Ratha moves to begin human trials at a V.A. hospital, under the guise of the flu shot.
Connors refuses to take part and injects himself first with the serum. While Connors’ arm did regenerate, it quickly morphed into something unexpected, with the regenerative serum turning him into a human-lizard hybrid.
Name: Maxwell “Max” Dillon
Last film we saw them in: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
It’s worth noting that this Electro looks very different than the one we saw in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. In the 2014 film, Jamie Foxx’s Electro was a bright blue but in the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, we see him donning a more comic book accurate villain get-up. With the change in wardrobe, it’s hard to say if this is the same Electro with the same backstory and motivations.
Max Dillon (played by Jamie Foxx) was a nobody. Just another faceless person that you passed by on the street. His first encounter with Spider-Man (played by Andrew Garfield) was as a civilian being saved from a hurtling taxi. Since he was severely unnoticed throughout his entire life, the mere act of being saved sent Dillon into an obsession with Spider-Man, claiming to others that he and Spider-Man were friends.
After he finds out that hardly anyone has remembered his birthday and his ideas for a new power grid were stolen by his colleagues at Oscorp, Dillon is forced to fix an electrical problem in one of Oscorp’s genetics labs. Dillon climbs into the vent and attempts to reconnect a loose cable, but he is unable to stop the electrical current going into it and it malfunctions in his hands.
He looses his balance and falls into a large tank of electric eels being used for experiments. They sting him multiple times until the tank shatters. Dillon awakens in a morgue. He escapes and makes his way to Times Square, where he accidentally causes a scene whilst trying to charge up himself with a power cable. Spider-Man arrives but doesn’t remember Dillon’s name. Angered that his hero forgot his name, things get worse for Max when he is fired at by the police after Spider-Man assured him that he would not be shot at.
Name: Dr. Otto Octavius
Last film we saw them in: Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Dr. Otto Octavius (played by Alfred Molina) dedicates his life towards researching and building a sustainable fusion power reactor with his wife’s help. He finds funding for his project from Oscorp under the leadership of it’s new head of research development, Harry Osborn (played by James Franco).
In an effort to assist him with his experiments, Octavius developed a set of artificially intelligent mechanical arms — impervious to both heat and magnetism. Though the experiment becomes highly unstable, Octavius refuses to halt it, leading to devastating results. His wife is killed, the neural inhibitor chip which prevented the advanced AI of the arms from influencing Octavius’s mind is destroyed, and the arms are fused to his spine. While unconscious, he is transported to a hospital to have the appendages removed, but the tentacles develop their own ability to move at will and brutally kill the surgeons, allowing Octavius to escape.
After acquiring funds from his bank robbery, Dr. Octopus has completed rebuilding his fusion reactor, but is still in need of the tritium (which fuels the reactor). He approaches Harry Osborn for it, and after threateningly dangling him over the edge of the Osborn mansion balcony Osborn proposes a deal. He agrees to give Octavius all the tritium he needs in exchange for capturing Spider-Man and bringing him back to him alive.
Name: Norman Osborn
Last film we saw them in: Spider-Man (2002)
The Green Goblin (played by Willem Dafoe) is aptly regarded as one of the scariest Spider-Man villains to-date, despite only being the main villain in one Spider-Man film.
General Slocum of the United States Army visits Oscorp to see the results of their new super soldier formula. When one of Norman Osborn’s top scientists, Dr. Stromm warns him the formula is unstable, General Slocum threatens to pull all of the military’s funding from Oscorp. Later that night, Osborn exposes himself to the formula as its first human trial, gains superhuman strength and agility, but is driven partially insane and kills Stromm and steals two other Oscorp inventions, an exoskeleton suit, and a jet glider.
Soon after, Slocum visits Quest Aerospace, Oscorp’s chief competitor, to view their progress towards the contract. While viewing a demonstration of a new battle suit, the Green Goblin attacks a weapons test at Quest Aerospace. Their prototype is destroyed and General Slocum is killed.
Norman basks in his company’s eventual success: Quest Aerospace has to reorganize after the debacle that killed Slocum, Oscorp has been given more government contracts and the company’s stock is soaring. He allows Harry and Peter to be roommates in a loft he got for them. Osborn then learns that the board of directors has chosen to accept a buyout from Quest Aerospace and moves to vote Osborn out of Oscorp.
His insane aggression manifests itself in a split personality — the driven yet confused Norman Osborn, and the murderous, scheming villain who will soon become known as The Green Goblin.
For more on Spidey, read how the No Way Home ticket sales broke the internet and there’s a title for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2.
Photos via Marvel and Sony Pictures