Andrew Garfield isn’t finished with Marvel yet. Garfield is returning for more in Spider-Man: No Way Home, following his instantly classic team-up with the Tom Holland and Tobey Maguire versions of Peter Parker. Our reliable source has confirmed that the Oscar-nominated actor has agreed to return for more Marvel films.
The timing of this announcement could reveal a lot about how Andrew Garfield will return to Marvel. Just last week, Kevin Feige all but confirmed what most Marvel Comics fans already suspected: the next big Marvel Cinematic Universe event will be based on the 2015-16 Marvel Comics mega-crossover, Secret Wars. If the film is anything like the source material, it will necessitate more alternate universe versions of established Marvel characters than ever before.
When Marvel Comics relaunched both Avengers and New Avengers in 2013, Jonathan Hickman wrote both titles and crafted a long-form story about the heroes dealing with something mentioned in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The Illuminati of Marvel Comics began secretly protecting their reality from “incursions,” or instances of two timelines threatening to collide, potentially destroying both.
Eventually, only the 616 reality remained, and then none at all. Then, in 2015’s Secret Wars #1, Doctor Doom remade reality by appointing himself as ruler of Battleworld — the only world in his new reality — and renaming himself God Doom.
This is where Andrew Garfield and Marvel’s reunion comes into play. Everything revolves around seemingly endless variants of established Marvel characters coexisting on the same world in the comic book event Secret Wars. God Doom’s law enforcement, for example, is handled by the Thor Corps, a massive group of variant Thors all working together. Thors such as Throg, Beta Ray Bill, Red Norvell, the Ororo version of Thor, and others have already appeared in previous comics. Then there are brand new ones, such as Gamora Thor and Groot Thor (who keeps saying “I am Thor”). A savage realm of green, red, and grey skinned Hulks exists.
There’s a realm with all of the Marvel characters in a Western setting, another with all of the Marvel characters zombified, and several realms based on X-Men dystopian stories like Days of Future Past, Age of Apocalypse, and Old Man Logan.
Actually, there’s no reason why Andrew Garfield should be limited to his current Marvel role. In other words, he could play a variety of Spider-Man characters. Indeed, this could be part of the answer to a question that fans have been asking for years: when and how will Miles Morales enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe? In the comics, Morales is from another timeline in which Peter Parker dies and Morales takes his place, as in 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The events of Secret Wars then thrust Morales, along with a few other characters, into the prime 616 continuity (e.g. Old Man Logan, the Maestro of Future Imperfect). Perhaps Garfield will play the Parker who dies before Morales takes over?