Sony and Disney confirmed a few days ago that the unthinkable has happened: Spider-Man will disappear from the MCU just as unexpectedly as he appeared. Sony believes it can make billion-dollar hits like Homecoming and Far From Home without the help of Marvel and the extended MCU. Sony, of course, is wrong and it apparently fails to completely understand what made these last two Spider-Man films so popular with fans. Marvel, on the other hand, built an amazing universe of characters and interconnected stories, and it initially did it all without being able to use one of its best heroes, Spider-Man.
While the two giants might reconcile in the future and bring Spider-Man back to the MCU, they both need to think of ways to deal with that massive cliffhanger at the end of Far From Home. And fans have already thought of solutions for Marvel to get out of its Spider-Man predicament.
Far From Home takes place right after Endgame, and it’s the kind of lighthearted superhero adventure that was needed after the bittersweet ending of Avengers: Endgame. But the story is still very connected to the bigger MCU picture, and the two post-credits scenes make that very clear.
It’s one of the two scenes that both Sony and Marvel will have to address in the near future, especially if the two parties fail to reach a new deal. You know, the scene where Spider-Man’s secret identity is revealed to the world, which is a surprising move from Sony and Marvel, something that hasn’t been done before with other Spider-Man movies.
That was a bold decision for Far From Home, one that will inevitably affect Peter Parker’s entire character arc going forward. And just because it doesn’t happen in the MCU doesn’t mean Marvel has a bigger problem than Sony. Also, Sony might be the first to address the cliffhanger, given that it has to make more Spider-Man sequels to keep the rights to the character. Marvel, on the other hand, has all the time in the world to come up with a good excuse, because MCU Phase 4 films don’t really have to mention the character at all.
A Marvel fan already suggested a movie where Marvel could fix the Far From Home cliffhanger, and that’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which premieres on May 7th, 2021. Redditor RusVir came up with two potential solutions, each making use of one of the main characters of the movie: Scarlet Witch, who has also been confirmed for Doctor Strange 2.
According to the Redditor, Marvel has two options. The more drastic choice would be to eliminate Spider-Man from the MCU completely:
In the post-credits scene of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, Peter approaches Strange for help after he’s been framed and exposed. Strange offers him a portal into an alternate universe which he has determined is ‘very much like this one, except you and your aunt don’t exist there, so you should be able to fit in.’ None of the Avengers exist there either, but there are also almost no cosmic or otherwise Avengers-level threats, so it’s relatively safe. Left with no choice, Peter takes one last longing look at the world he’s leaving, and then he and May disappear into the portal.
[Continued in Sony’s Spider-Man 3] Having arrived in the ‘Venom-verse,’ Peter and May try to settle in and start a new life. But soon Peter realizes that Dr. Strange was wrong — there IS another version of himself in this universe — he just goes by a different name: Ben Reilly; and he’s got spider powers too!
This makes some sense, but I would certainly not appreciate a scenario like this, because it would be incredibly stupid of Doctor Strange not to see all that. Also, it’s unlikely the other Avengers would sit and watch as Peter Parker’s reputation is tarnished.
The Redditor also came up with a simpler solution, one where Spider-Man’s departure isn’t permanent. They’d just have to remove Peter from the MCU for a period of time, and then never look back unless Sony comes to its senses.
Scarlet Witch might be able to help him out. Using her Mind Stone powers, she could possibly make the whole world forget Spider-Man’s identity.
But, as a consequence, literally everyone forgets about him — including Ned, MJ, May, Happy, Pepper, Fury/Talos, Hill/Soren and all of the Avengers, even Wanda herself! Now Peter is truly on his own — no Stark tech, no SHIELD support, no Avengers affiliation. We finally get an independent Spider-Man like many fans wanted, without leaving the MCU!
Now this proposal has more merit to it, but it’s not perfect either. For starters, Wanda should never become that powerful, so let’s not even go there. The second issue is that this “fix” implies that Sony’s so-called Venom-verse would become a subsection of the MCU, but one where none of the other heroes would show up to help. After all, even if they all forget Peter Parker exists, they’d still want to tackle the same adversities Spider-Man would face in the Venom-verse. If there’s no friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to deal with Sony’s Spider-Man villains, who you gonna call?
That said, we’re still in the early days of fan theories for a post-Spider-Man MCU. They’ll probably get a lot better once the action in Phase 4 gets underway. The first movie of the next MCU phase is Black Widow, which premieres on May 1st, 2020, more than a year before Doctor Strange 2.