After Quentin Beck (Jake Ghyllenhaal in archival footage) framed Peter Parker (Tom Holland) for his murder and revealed his identity as Spider-Man, his girlfriend MJ Watson (Zendaya), best friend Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) are interrogated by the Department of Damage Control. Lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) gets the charges dropped against Parker, but the negative publicity is a bitch. Their college applications to MIT are rejected. Parker goes to the New York Sanctum in Greenwich Village to ask Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help. He tries to make everyone forget that Parker is Spider-Man, but Parker keeps interrupting to ask for exceptions and Strange stops the spell and kicks him out.
Parker tries to convince an MIT administrator to reconsider MJ and Ned’s applications, but he is attacked by Otto Octavius or Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina). Doc Ock rips Parker’s nanotech from his iron spider suit, but Parker is able to disable’s Doc Ock’s tentacles. Norman Osborne (Willem Dafoe) attacks as the Green Goblin. Doctor Strange teleports Parker back to the Sanctum and locks Octavius in a cell next to Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), The Lizard. Apparently, the unfinished spell summoned people from other universes who knew Parker’s identity. With help from MJ and Ned, Parker captures Matt Dillon (Jamie Fox) as Electro and Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church) as Sandman.
Osborn reclaims his body from his alternate personality as Green Goblin. Osborne, Octavius, and Dillon realize that they were pulled from their universes just before their deaths. Strange wants to send them back to die, but Parker argues that they should strip them of their powers and cure their insanity to change their fates on their return. Parker steals the spell, traps Strange in the mirror dimension and with Aunt May takes the villains to the apartment of Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) of Stark Industries, where he cures Octavius, but the Goblin takes control of Osborne and convinces the others to betray Parker. The Goblin kills Aunt May.
Ned discovers that he can create portals with Strange’s slide ring and tries to use it with MJ to locate Parker. What they do is summon alternate Peter Parkers from alternate dimensions (Andrew Garfield and Toby McGuire). The three Peter Parkers bond and vow to fight in Aunt May’s honor. They work together to produce cures for the villains. They lure Dillon, Marko, and Connors to the Statue of Liberty. Peter-One and Peter-Two cure Connors and Marko and Octavius arranges to cure Dillon. Ned frees Strange from the mirror dimension.
The Goblin appears and unleashes the spell that ruptures the barrier between universes, pulling in more people who know Spiderman’s identity. Strange tries to kill the Goblin, but Peter-Two stops him. Peter Three helps to inject the Goblin with the cure, restoring Osborne’s sanity. Peter One asks Strange to erase himself from everyone’s memory and promises MJ and Ned that he will find them again. Everyone is returned to their proper universes, including Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), who leaves a piece of Venom behind. Parker decides not to reintroduce himself to Ned and MJ and has a conversation with Hogan at Aunt May’s grave.
The film was directed by Jon Watts and written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. This is an absolute treat for Spider-Man fans, with all three, all great, Spider-Man actors and the main villains played by the original actors, all of whom jumped at the chance. It garnered raves from critics, received numerous awards, and the box-office was amazing. It is incredible that they managed to pull this off during a pandemic, and actually kept the casting secret, mostly. It gets 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Benedict Cumberbatch did not read the whole script because he wanted to be surprised. JK Simmons was thrilled to reprise his role as J. Jonah Jameson, evolved from a hard-nosed newspaperman to an obnoxious media blowhard. Alfred Molina was digitally de-aged and his tentacles were completely CGI. Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin scared the bejesus out of everybody on the set. He went to the premier in a green facemask. Tom Holland began filming two days after finishing Uncharted (2022).
Tom Holland and Zendaya were dating, as were Toby McGuire and Kirsten Dunst, and Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in their day. Eleven visual effects companies worked on the film. Waiting at one point to enter the tear in reality, sharp-eyed fans discovered, are Rhino, Kraven, Scorpion, Mysterio, and Black Cat. The five villains in the movie were all produced by industrial accidents at Oscorp. Toby McGuire was 45 and Andrew Garfield 37. Both talked about how difficult it was to fit into the Spider-Man suit. They were glad that new suits were made and they didn’t have to wear the old ones.