Electro joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe came as a shock given the historical separation between Sony’s Spider-Man films and Marvel Studios, but all signs suggest Jamie Foxx is set to return as the electrical engineer-turned-supervillain in Spider-Man 3. We still don't know what it means that Marvel and Sony seem to be connecting the MCU and the poorly received The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but recent leaks suggest Spider-Man 3 could be the single most important movie in Marvel's schedule for one unexpected reason.
Foxx recently posted (and then deleted) an image of three Spider-Men standing atop a roof while staring in shock at some sort of electrical storm in the sky. Among the clouds, Electro's eyes stare menacingly as purple and blue electricity sparks around him. The photo is reminiscent of the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, right down to the glitch effect used to depict an aberration in the multiverse.
Foxx included a caption that hinted at how the Spider-Man 3 version of Electro would be noticeably different from his original live-action incarnation.
“Tell Spidey let’s run it back!... super excited to [be] part of the new marvel Spider-Man new installment… can’t wait for y’all to check the new one. And I won’t be blue in this one!! But a thousand percent badass!!!”
The post all but confirmed that Electro in Spider-Man 3 won’t be the same character from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which means that Marvel may be building towards a DC-style multiverse that involves duplicate versions of its characters. The rival comics-maker has already incorporated the multiverse across its TV shows and films, linking them permanently during last year’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover with more to come in The Flash movie.
Marvel is hinting towards the multiverse with its next Doctor Strange movie, but Into the Spider-Verse already showed us the storytelling potential of multi-dimensional doppelgangers. Meanwhile, Spider-Man: Far From Home (intentionally or not) introduced the idea of non-canonical Spidey characters showing up in the MCU when J.K. Simmons reprised his role as The Daily Bugle’s editor-in-chief J. Jonah Jameson from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies — and some sketchy new rumors suggest Kirsten Dunst and other ex-Spider-Man actors could show up in Spider-Man 3 too.
It’s possible Spider-Man 3 could merge the Marvel and Sony universes together to do its own take on Into the Spider-Verse. The fact that Foxx included a picture of three Spider-Mans can’t be a coincidence, so it seems likely Tom Holland’s Peter Parker will discover the multiverse and join forces with other Spider-Men to take down Electro (and possibly other villains).
It may be too far-fetched to hope the MCU is working towards a Sinister Six movie, but Sony had planned to make one in years past. Marvel producer Amy Pascal openly teased a potential Sinister Six movie down the line. Electro's return could heavily play into their formation.
Alternatively, in the comics’ Spider-Verse storyline, Earth-803’s Electro, a member of the Six Men of Sinestry, led Electros from across the multiverse in a battle against the Spider-Army (comprised of the multiverse’s spider-enhanced superheroes). It could be that Spider-Man 3 is aiming to do the same thing.
What’s more, Sony’s Venom and the upcoming Morbius are also loosely tied to the MCU’s Spider-Man. Now that both studios are more intertwined than ever, the time to merge their universes has never been more worthwhile.
Spider-Man 3 hits theaters December 17, 2021.