Do movies have room for more than one live-action Spider-Man

Spider-Man: No Way Home
(Image credit: Sony)

Is there room on the big screen for more than one live action Spider-Man? Andrew Garfield, the Peter Parker of the Amazing Spider-Man film franchise, the character's second movie incarnation, has offered up some recent comments that have fans hopeful he might come back as Spider-Man again. And at the same time, Thomas Hayden Church, who played Sandman in the original Spider-Man movie franchise, has speculated on the possibility of revisiting the version of Peter Parker played by Tobey Maguire, saying he's heard rumors that Maguire and director Sam Raimi could make a new Spidey movie together.

These have formed small rays of hopeful light for fans who long for the return of their favorite past version of Spider-Man, and for those who see potential for more than one live-action Spidey incarnation co-existing alongside current Peter Parker actor Tom Holland, especially after all three live-action Peters teamed up in the ultra-popular film Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The success of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is proof positive that fans love the idea of a whole multiverse of Spider-heroes. But could that same enthusiasm fully make the jump to the live-action Spider-Man franchise? And if so, is there room for as many as three Spider-Men, not counting the eventual potential of a live-action version of Miles Morales?

The answer may indeed be, why not? What's stopping Sony and Marvel from expanding their shared character far beyond the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Maybe four whole Spider-Men would be a lot, but there are certainly upsides to the idea of more than one version of Peter Parker swinging across movie screens - and audiences are becoming more and more comfortable with such an idea every day.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Image credit: Sony)

Over at DC Studios, they've made it a core part of their slate, with a planned Batman movie that will tie in to their shared superhero universe as well as the ongoing The Batman movie franchise, which exists separately, on its own. DC has reconciled this with the implementation of the 'Elseworlds' label on movies like The Batman and Joker (both unrelated to each other as well as the core DC Films universe) to give fans an easy way to delineate between what 'counts' for the core story being told and what is its own thing.

That exact model may be a stretch for Spider-Man, not least because the character is caught between Marvel Studios and Sony Entertainment, but because Marvel doesn't quite have an 'Elseworlds' like label to adapt from comics. But the disparity between Sony and Marvel, and the strange case of Spider-Man as a hero stuck trying to support multiple avenues of continuity might just be the exact reason to expand the live-action Spider-Man movie franchise to include multiple versions of Peter Parker in their own movies.

For one thing, one of Sony's biggest issues with its still-expanding universe of Spider-Man spin-off movies such as Venom and Morbius is the lack of a Spider-Man to anchor the stories around. With no Peter Parker to exist as the catalyst for the origins and connections between Spidey's many spin-off characters, Sony's plans have felt off-key, lacking the core ingredient that makes Spider-Man's world sing - the hero himself.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Image credit: Sony)

So if Tom Holland's Peter Parker isn't going to fit into those stories, or if Sony wants some line of demarcation between Marvel's movie Spider-Man and their own incarnation, the idea of bringing in Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield as a possible Spider-Man of their very own isn't the most outlandish thing in the world - especially considering that both Maguire and Garfield have dedicated fan-bases for their incarnations of Spider-Man.

Another potential option would be films for either Maguire or Garfield or both that pick up on their characters' respective arcs following Spider-Man: No Way Home, which brought a modicum of closure to both characters' stories. But that story also seemed to open the door to revisiting the previous Spider-Man franchises, if that's something fans and creators want.

Spider-Man has proven to be one of the most beloved heroes in all of fiction, and his monumental popularity has even made the concept of multiple Spideys all swinging into action at once a household idea, both in comics and through the Spider-Verse films. Maybe it's time to take the leap into depicting multiple live-action Spider-Men as well.

Keep up to date with all the new Spider-Man comics coming from Marvel Comics every month.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)