‘Spider-Man’ Star Talks Return to MCU in New Movie Sequel

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Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'

Credit: Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

Are you ready for new web-slinging adventures?

Three different versions of spider-man characters stand side-by-side against a backdrop of a city skyline, with dynamic fiery and spark effects surrounding them.
Credit: Marvel Studios

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The tale of Queens native Peter Parker, and the moral lesson of “with great power comes great responsibility” is one universally recognized. Across multiple cinematic renditions, several actors have stepped into the iconic shoes of New York City’s beloved Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, drawing inspiration from the Marvel Comics legacy established by superhero visionaries Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

Andrew Garfield, Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland as Peter Parker hugging
Credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Commencing with Tobey Maguire’s depiction in director Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy from 2002 to 2007, followed by Andrew Garfield’s portrayal in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 and its subsequent sequel, the latest iteration of Peter Parker has been realized by Tom Holland. Holland marked his debut in The Walt Disney Company’s Marvel Studios Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with Captain America: Civil War in 2016 and continued to headline in Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017.

Spider-Man holding Captain America's shield
Credit: Marvel Studios

After the events depicted in the MCU’s Spider-Man: Far From Home and the subsequent changes triggered by Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) Multiverse-altering spell in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker (and consequently, Spider-Man) has intentionally retreated from the public eye.

Zendaya looking prepared to fight in Spider-Man: No Way Home
Credit: Sony Pictures / Marvel Studios

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Now, the upcoming Spider-Man 4, rumored to start filming in September (still officially sans director), has fans a little worried. Spider-Man star Jacob Batalon, however, is opening up about the production — though still remaining careful about things.

A Returning Spider-Man Star?

Batalon portrays Peter Parker’s best friend Ned Leeds in Disney and Sony’s Spider-Man trilogy based in the MCU, alongside Zendaya’s MJ (Michelle Jones in the MCU, instead of Mary Jane), as part of Parker’s core group of friends who know about his wall-climbing secret identity.

Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker (left), Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds (middle), and Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker (right)
Credit: Sony Pictures / Marvel Studios

Speaking to The Direct about his reappearance in the MCU, Batalon starts off by giving the standard “I don’t know” response we’ve heard from Marvel actors of yore, while giving a bit of behind-the-scenes context for fans:

I mean, I would hope so. I think just with anyone who’s worked for Marvel knows that you kind of just like wait for a call. Maybe it does [happen], maybe it doesn’t. But it’s something that you definitely can’t hope and wait for. You just like, you will wake up one day to a call at like 4:30 in the morning for no reason. You know, so maybe.

Continuing, the actor cryptically added that there are “some things that could possibly happen”, alluding to a possible future for Ned Leeds — perhaps as the villainous Hobgoblin:

I mean, again, there’s some things that could possibly happen, but I’m honestly not sure. I feel like we talk about all kinds of things, but I mean, maybe.

Following Ned Leeds and MJ’s minds getting wiped in Spider-Man: No Way Home to forget about Peter Parker’s existence, and the duo heading the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for university where Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) is a student, Zendaya’s reported return to the Spidey franchise definitely indicates a promising future for Ned Leeds.

Frequent rumors have also made fans suspect that Marvel intends for the MCU’s Ned Leeds to become the Spider-Man nemesis Hobgoblin from the Marvel comic book world.

The character prominently shows off a knack for magic in No Way Home, being the one to successfully summon both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker variants from other universes in the Multiverse — so Ned expanding on those abilities in Spider-Man 4 would certainly make sense.

Considering anything can happen in Avengers 5 (formerly Avengers: The Kang Dynasty) and Avengers 6/Avengers: Secret Wars, the Multiverse could mean any permutation of a Marvel character is fair game.

Do you think Jacob Batalon’s Ned Leeds should return in Spider-Man 4? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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