Yesterday evening we saw Sony Pictures finally drop the second trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home as the pic focuses on Peter Parker having to deal with at least five villains from previous Spider-Man films with Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Electro, The Lizard, and Sandman seen in the last two incarnations of the franchise.
For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero’s identity is revealed, bringing his Super Hero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk. When he enlists Doctor Strange’s help to restore his secret, the spell tears a hole in their world, releasing the most powerful villains who’ve ever fought a Spider-Man in any universe. Now, Peter will have to overcome his greatest challenge yet, which will not only forever alter his own future but the future of the Multiverse.
While the Multiverse can be a fun thing to explore, there are some landmines that Marvel Studios needs to avoid so audiences don’t get bored or exhausted by the new plot device that is expected to play a huge role in multiple films and television shows.
Story and character development shouldn’t take a backseat to Easter Egg hunts and cameos.
It’s hard to deny that the potential return of existing Marvel characters/actors has seemingly overshadowed projects like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse by focusing on cameos rather than the movie itself being able to stand on its own. Feeling like more of a marketing gimmick than doing something that serves a story, the Marvel Cinematic Universe allows for plenty of existing cameos without pulling from the Multiverse at all times.
Bringing back characters from the dead lessens the impact of those on-screen deaths.
The neverending merry-go-round of resurrecting fallen characters sort of downplays the sacrifices in previous projects. It would be a really bad idea to trot out endless versions of Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff just so fans can see those actors back for fan-service reasons. Deaths become meaningless and the stakes of the universe vanish.
An example would be seeing Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine showing up for a random fan-service cameo via the Multiverse which wrecks the excellent emotional send-off in Logan and would make it harder for the next Wolverine actor to be accepted.
The Multiverse becoming a plot device that will be abused just as quickly as if time-travel was the crux of an entire Phase of the MCU. Instead, letting them go and having other characters take up those mantles is sort of how it normally works in the comics and how we get multiple incarnations of those characters, to begin with.
Relying too much on nostalgia and not giving audiences new villains by recycling old ones can give the impression of a lack of ideas or imagination. While something like Loki is giving more new things by setting up a major character like Kang The Conqueror (will be fully introduced in Ant-Man 3) and the TVA. Establishing a new wing of the MCU and pushing things forward should always be the goal of these projects.
Not every superhero group or new wave of characters needs to be introduced via The Multiverse.
One problem that could develop story-wise is that instead of coming up with organic ways to introduce things like X-Men/Mutants, the Fantastic Four, Ka-Zar/Savage Land, Agents of Atlas, and Squadron Supreme in an existing MCU, they end up getting default Multiverse additions because Marvel gives up on explaining how these factions can exist in the same universe.
“Everything happens because of the Multiverse” will become dull very quickly.
Adapting alternative universes/settings like Earth X or 2099 for live-action in the future becomes less interesting or viable because the studio has already squeezed all the juice and goodwill out of the Multiverse at that point.