Summary

  • Spider-Man 4 may face a problem similar to previous MCU movies in meeting the high expectations set by its predecessor.
  • The rumored return of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man 4 could undermine the legacy of No Way Home.
  • To avoid disappointment, Spider-Man 4 should follow a more grounded story and establish its own identity, as fan responses have shown.


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Spider-Man 4 is set to follow one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s greatest movies, but reactions to Spider-Man 4 casting rumors have demonstrated a problem the franchise has repeatedly faced. The very best movies in the MCU timeline have each generated an issue for the continuing franchise. The concerns that Sony will bring back Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield highlight the phenomenon particularly well, indicating that Spider-Man 4 could face a familiar problem.

Spider-Man: No Way Home brought several characters back from previous Spider-Man movies, including two different versions of the Web-Slinger himself, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. The dramatic conclusion to No Way Home prompted several potential narratives for Spider-Man in the MCU’s future, though it was previously assumed Spider-Man 4 would follow a more grounded, street-level adventure. However, the Maguire and Garfield rumor throws this into question, prompting speculation that Spider-Man 4 could follow a much grander narrative.

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Expectations For Spider-Man 4 Show How Hard It Is for The MCU To Follow Up Its Best Movies

Spider-Man: No Way Home set a very high precedent that Spider-Man 4 will struggle to match. No Way Home was a fantastic tribute to Spider-Man’s cinematic legacy, told with an equally compelling narrative. With the movie’s enormous success, expectations are very high for Spider-Man 4 expectations that will be incredibly hard to satisfy. This is further complicated by the differing opinions on how the movie should unfold. It is even rumored that Sony and Kevin Feige disagree on the correct course, suggesting that Sony wants to bring back Maguire and Garfield, while Feige wants a street-level narrative.

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The consensus is that No Way Home could never be replicated, and bringing back Maguire and Garfield would undermine No Way Home‘s legacy. Understandably, Sony would want to repeat No Way Home‘s success, but it’s a near-impossible task. The MCU’s best movies have often posed this problem, leading to some disappointing sequels. Thor Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy are particularly good examples of MCU movies that were so perfect that their sequels struggled to maintain their quality. The MCU’s biggest problem could be its success, producing movies so beloved that following them up becomes a daunting and fraught process.

How Spider-Man 4 Can Avoid The MCU’s Post-Endgame Problem

Promotional shot of Spider-Man on top of a bridge in Far From Home.

The entire MCU was arguably in the same position following Avengers: Endgame, producing a movie so fantastic that subsequent movies were bound to be underwhelming. While Spider-Man: Far From Home was successful in handling The Infinity Saga fallout, other movies from Phase were less so, leading to a brief post-Endgame slump in quality and audience enthusiasm. Largely, this was due to each handling the cosmic consequences of Endgame while establishing the burgeoning Multiverse narrative.

Spider-Man 4 is expected after The Multiverse Saga concludes, suggesting it could handle the fallout of Avengers: Secret Wars. However, it could avoid potential disappointment by following a more grounded story rather than trying to match Secret Wars‘ grandiose adventure. Many of Phase 4’s releases were unable to do this, as they were bound by the franchise’s plans, jumping straight into establishing the multiverse. Spider-Man 4 would be wise to avoid this pitfall and instead carve a fresh identity, as fan responses have demonstrated.

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