Theory: ‘Spider-Man 3’ Will Loosely Adapt 2005’s “Breakout” Storyline, *Not* Spider-Verse

In this article, I will be going over why I think the upcoming Spider-Man 3 movie is in fact not adapting the Spider-Verse storyline.

While many fans are expecting a live-action Spider-Verse in the upcoming Spider-Man 3, I believe Electro, Scorpion, and J. Jonah Jameson will be the central antagonists of the film, with the possibility of other villains. The multiverse, specifically previous live-action incarnations of Spider-Man and his rogues gallery, isn’t something I see happening in this film.

Rumors continue to swirl about the currently in-production third installment of Marvel Studios and Sony’s Spider-Man franchise. So, I’ve done a bit of digging of my own, and I believe we may get a far more simple movie than most are expecting. The only concrete info we have received about Spider-Man 3 is the involvement of Jamie Foxx’s Electro and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange. Despite Foxx having previously played Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man universe and the Doctor Strange sequel invoking the multiverse, I think that is just a really unfortunate coincidence that has led to a lot of misinformation.

The previous Spider-Man movie, Far From Home, ended with Peter Parker being revealed to the world as Spider-Man. Additionally, he is being framed for the murder of Mysterio. Meanwhile, it is also shown that the Skrulls are on Earth, allowing Nick Fury to take a much needed vacation, but could prove to have far more sinister implications. These are the two most important elements in Far From Home that set up Spider-Man 3.

Peter will likely have to deal with the fallout of being framed for murder, and seeing him sent to prison is most definitely not out of the question. There are two ways that the post credits scenes could influence the events of Spider-Man 3, with the first being the Skrulls. In Brian Michael Bendis’ Breakout storyline, the Skrull Pagon hires Electro to stage a massive prison break in The Raft. While the Skrulls we’ve met so far seem to be benevolent, we could always meet some Skrulls with malicious intent in the future. It would also play into what we already expect to see from Phase 4 projects: a build up to Secret Invasion. The Raft doesn’t have to be the prison the breakout happens at either. Currently, Vulture and Scorpion are locked up together in a different New York prison, one that Peter could also easily be locked up in. Michael Mando, who portrayed Mac Gargan, aka Scorpion, is readily available to film, while Vulture actor Michael Keaton only has time to film a cameo or small role due to his commitments to Hulu’s Dopesick miniseries. That works out though, because Vulture currently does not want to kill Spider-Man.

The other way the post credit scenes could impact Spider-Man 3 is if J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson, the reporter who revealed Peter’s identity, hires Electro to stage the prison break. There is precedent for this in the comics, with Jameson having paid Electro to fight Spidey on TV in The Amazing Spider-Man #82. Jameson could possibly want to frame Parker as a fugitive, rather than just a murderer, which would garner him even more publicity for his news show. If Scorpion is broken out, Jameson could hire him to go after Spidey too, something that also happened in the comics.

Whether the Skrulls or J. Jonah Jameson hire Electro, both play into what Kevin Feige previously revealed about the film:

And now people know Peter’s identity. People now think he’s a villain, Mysterio plays one last trick on him and succeeds… [so that] means everything’s different. Where it goes, we’ll see. But it’s exciting that it once again sets us up for a Peter Parker story that has never been done before on film.

The Spider-Verse, which would include Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire reprising their roles as Spider-Man, has repeatedly been mentioned to feature in the film by various non-trade scoopers. This is something that had never been brought up before the involvement of Jamie Foxx and Doctor Strange in the film. Before that, the general scooper consensus was that Kraven the Hunter would be the antagonist, but that seems to have been forgotten with new trade information. Kraven could still be in the film, but that seems unlikely with no information and the continued development of his solo film at Sony. Garfield is currently in New York shooting Lin Manuel Miranda’s Tick, Tick… Boom!, which makes his involvement near impossible. Meanwhile, Maguire has not been in a live-action film since 2014’s Pawn Sacrifice, and is not reprising his role as Adult Tim in The Boss Baby sequel for unknown reasons. Not to mention, both actors were burned by their respective experiences playing the role, with Maguire’s run being rebooted unexpectedly and Garfield getting fired for supposedly being sick and unable to attend a meeting. All of this, along with the peculiar way the Spider-Verse rumors have been coming about; a way that, as a former scooper, leads me to strongly doubt their legitimacy.

Jacob Tyler contributed to this article.

Thomas Polito

Senior Editor for The Vulcan Reporter. Former Film & TV Reporter at The Cinema Spot. Former Senior Editor at The GWW. Writing since August 2018.
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