Spider-Man: No Way Home is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious superhero films this side of Avengers: Endgame.
Despite that, Marvel and Sony have entirely held off on promoting the film in any way, shape, or form, much to the chagrin of Marvel fans everywhere. Though the two studios are keeping the film’s secrets close to the vest, a new No Way Home set photo leaked online this week, offering fans a sneak peek at the blockbuster ahead of its December release.
The image itself doesn’t reveal much, though it offers fans a first glimpse at one scene between Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange — while potentially setting up the introduction of a major new villain in the MCU.
The Leaks — This Spider-Man: No Way Home set photo comes courtesy of Twitter user @3CFilm; it depicts Holland’s Spider-Man standing across the street from what’s presumably Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, with the Sorcerer Supreme himself standing right outside. Holland’s Spider-Man appears to be waving to Cumberbatch’s Strange.
However unofficial, the image is our first look at Cumberbatch’s Strange in No Way Home. (The character’s involvement in the film has been known for over a year at this point.) But while it’s exciting to see Spider-Man and Strange sharing the screen again, there’s more of note in the image than their reunion.
A truck in the background sports a logo that reads FEAST, suggesting No Way Home could introduce a version of the FEAST project from the comics. This in turn suggests that Mister Negative could be headed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A FEAST For Sore Eyes — In the comics, FEAST was founded, by a man named Martin Li, as a charity to help homeless individuals in New York City. However, the comics eventually revealed not only was Martin Li secretly the crime lord Mister Negative, but also that FEAST was a front for Li’s criminal activities. Following this revelation, the organization was shut down for a time before being revived by none other than May Parker, Peter Parker’s aunt, who turned it into a legitimate charity.
Given the housing crisis present in the MCU right now — as explored in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — it’d make sense for No Way Home to introduce an organization like FEAST. 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home also established the charitable spirit of Marisa Tomei’s May Parker, which means that most of the pieces are there for FEAST to exist in the MCU.
What is less clear is how/if Marvel will incorporate Mister Negative’s connection to FEAST into the version of the organization featured in No Way Home. Is it possible Martin Li will show up as one of the mysterious villains? Or will the film instead use the introduction of FEAST as a way to set up Mister Negative as a villain in a future Spider-Man film? It’s hard to say right now, but the link between Li and FEAST feels too integral for Marvel to ignore.
The Inverse Analysis — Spider-Man: No Way Home is already shaping up to feature a massive cast — one made up of members from all of Marvel and Sony’s previous live-action Spider-Man franchises. Most of the film’s notable characters have either already been confirmed or leaked online, leaving potentially less room for a character like Mister Negative to appear in any substantial way.
That doesn’t mean Mister Negative won’t be a villain in No Way Home, nor does it mean that he won’t show up in some cameo capacity. It’s just difficult to guess at Marvel’s plans for FEAST and Mister Negative, with so little known about No Way Home.
This is all assuming Marvel doesn’t completely disregard Mister Negative’s connection to FEAST — a definite possibility, however fans may feel about it.
Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters on December 17, 2021.