No Way Home

Spider-Man 3 leak reveals a surprising What If? Easter egg

Frankly, it’d be disappointing if No Way Home didn’t do this.

The closer we get to the finale of What If…? Season 1, the more curious its viewers become about the Disney+ series’ place within the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What If..?, which takes place in various different alternate realities scattered throughout Marvel’s growing multiverse, exists largely apart from the events of the MCU’s prime reality. At least, that’s been the case so far.

Heading into its upcoming season finale, however, Marvel fans remain convinced that What If…? will end up connecting in some major way to an upcoming MCU film or TV show. Based solely on how Marvel seems to be structuring Phase Four of the MCU, though, it doesn’t seem like we’ll get to see any major connections emerge between What If…? and another MCU title anytime soon.

But that doesn’t mean the series won’t be referenced in less obvious or important ways in the near future.

The Leak — The Cosmic Circus reports that Spider-Man: No Way Home will feature a small, but hilarious reference to What If…? Season 1. The outlet claims the upcoming MCU film will feature a moment in which Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) uses his Cloak of Levitation to capture a fleeing Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and force him to come face-to-face with the Sorcerer Supreme.

The outlet goes on to report that the moment will be a quick, tongue-in-cheek nod to What If…? Episode 5, which also saw Peter briefly donning the Cloak of Levitation. However, unlike in What If…?, No Way Home won’t see the Cloak wrapping itself around Peter to protect him but to capture him.

Peter Parker wearing the Cloak of Levitation in What If...? Episode 5.Marvel Studios

Strange’s Greatest Ally — As is always the case with these kinds of Marvel leaks, make sure to take this with a grain of salt. After all, there’s no way of knowing how accurate this report is until we actually get to see Spider-Man: No Way Home for ourselves when it hits theaters this coming December.

That said, it certainly seems possible — given Strange’s presence in the film — that Peter could wear the Cloak of Levitation at some point in No Way Home. The first trailer for the film even briefly teased a fight between Peter and Strange, which adds further validity to these claims. However, the outlet’s assertion that Peter’s Cloak of Levitation moment in No Way Home will come about because he steals an artifact (the weird cube he’s seen holding in the film’s trailer) from Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, is less easy to verify at this point.

But regardless of whatever the circumstances may be, it’s undeniably fun to think about what it’ll look like to see Tom Holland’s Spider-Man wearing the Cloak of Levitation in live-action form. Given how memorable of an image it already was in What If…? Episode 5, we can only imagine what it’ll be like to see it brought to life in a similar fashion on the big screen.

Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) separating Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) astral self from his physical body in Spider-Man: No Way Home.Marvel Studios

The Inverse Analysis — Spider-Man: No Way Home is shaping up to have more than its fair share of memorable, jaw-dropping moments. From its inclusion of past Spider-Man movie characters like Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock to its multiverse-breaking premise, all early signs suggest that it’s going to be one of the most ambitious standalone films that Marvel Studios has ever made.

Now, fans can just add this moment to the list of exciting things they might get to see in No Way Home. Personally, we hope it happens, if only to see what Peter’s reaction is to being bested by a floating cape. Something tells us that, if it does indeed end up happening in the film, it’ll work on its own and as a subtle reference to What If…? Episode 5.

Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters on December 17, 2021.