One of the more remarkable aspects of the new Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer isn't just the potentially status quo-altering story reveals, but that the concept of alternate Earths, and a multiverse, can be so casually introduced without bringing the action to a screeching halt to explain the concept to the general audience.
The filmmakers and the marketing team have Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse to thank for that. The acclaimed animated feature placed the Marvel Multiverse at its center, and explained the concept over and over again in its marketing. Something that might have been difficult for the average moviegoer to grasp a few years ago is now basic sci-fi and comic book movie knowledge. The "snap" tore a hole in our dimension? Why, of course it did!
Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio might be a visitor from another dimension, as he claims. There's precedent in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics in which Mysterio sent an android copy of himself from the 616 universe to the Ultimate universe. He might also be lying, of course. Remember, in his original comic introduction story, The Amazing Spider-Man #13, Mysterio lied about being an alien when he was merely a human illusionist.
Whether Mysterio is telling the truth or not, though, Nick Fury believes him, and Peter Parker doesn't seem to have any trouble accepting this story. Presumably, the viewing public won't have any trouble either.
Now Spider-Verse can't take all the credit for setting audiences up for a Marvel Multiverse. Doctor Strange dealt heavily with alternate dimensions, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had a storyline involving an Interdimensional Gate. Infinity War's Decimation demonstrated just how fluid reality could be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Endgame, which presumably everyone seeing Far From Home will have seen, deals in diverging timelines so complicated the writers and the directors don't even agree with each other on how it all works.
That the first major MCU film character to originate from another universe is in a Spider-Man film, however, does not seem to be any coincidence. Remember, even if Marvel Studios is in charge of all the Tom Holland Spidey films, the films are technically Sony releases, and Sony has been trying to put together its own plans for Spider-Man characters outside of the main MCU films.
Throughout the development of Venom, Sony's first Spider-Man-adjacent film following the Marvel Studios deal, there were many conflicting answers regarding whether it was connected in any way to the MCU. The final film, despite early reports, didn't show any signs of an MCU connection whatsoever.
Sony's next Spider-Man project, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, featured a whole host of Spider-People (and animals) from six different dimensions, and proved Sony's seemingly anything goes approach to their Spider-Man license could result in genuinely great films. If the film's relatively small opening weekend made it seem like general audiences were initially reluctant to get on board with such a geeky and complicated multiverse story, its incredible word-of-mouth success proved the public could understand and enjoy such stories.
Introducing multiverse crossovers into Spider-Man: Far From Home right after Into the Spider-Verse proved itself a success could very well be Sony's master plan for opening up connections between their disparate projects. With interdimensional crossovers no longer off limits for the MCU, Sony can get away with introducing elements from its solo projects into its Marvel Studios collaborations and vice versa.
What could this possible crossover-heavy future hold? A Tom Holland cameo in one of the Spider-Verse sequels seems like the easiest bit of surefire fan service, but there are other possibilities, too. For one thing, multiple dimensions is the best way you could introduce Spider-Gwen, a popular character whose backstory hinges on a dead Peter Parker, into the MCU. Miles Morales could potentially also be an interdimensional crossover character, though that seems less necessary with Miles already implied to exist in the MCU.
What about Tom Hardy's Venom? Audiences liked that antihero far more than anyone could have reasonably predicted, and the final film avoided any R-rated content that could make Disney antsy about a crossover, so maybe he gets to meet Peter Parker at some point. We don't think anyone really wants to see Jared Leto in the MCU, and it seems especially unlikely with James Gunn (who has specifically called out Leto for sexual misconduct) working at Marvel again, but if Morbius is a hit, who knows. The new Phil Lord and Chris Miller-produced TV shows for Sony and Marvel Television could possibly tie in to these plans as well.
The interdimensional floodgates are open, and Into the Spider-Verse removed any doubt that audiences would be willing to follow along. We can't wait to find out what the MCU could have in store.
Opening July 2, director Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Far From Home stars Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon and Martin Starr, with Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal. Avengers: Endgame is currently in theaters.