Marvel Studios has quite possibly given us the best Christmas present with Spider-Man: No Way Home after a lackluster year affected by the pandemic. Sitting comfortably at a staggering 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, No Way Home is on its way to shattering a few box-office records in the post-pandemic period. Arguably the most anticipated Marvel movie after Avengers: Endgame, No Way Home opened up the multiverse which led to more questions than answers. While the movie has managed to bring Tom Holland’s Spider-Man for a fresh start by bringing him out of Tony Stark’s shadow, it also nudged towards a potential Old Man Spider-Man storyline featuring none other than Tobey Maguire.
In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker tries to team up with Doctor Strange to bring back his anonymity with the help of magic. But the wandering teenage mind of Parker messes up with the spell which leads to catastrophic results by ripping open the multiverse. Though Doctor Strange manages to contain the spell, some of its effects leak out which invites a few visitors from different universes. From Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies to The Amazing Spider-Man movies, major villains start pouring into the MCU. However, to balance the odds, the Spider-Men of both the different universes also make their appearances and join forces with Holland’s Spider-Man. In the midst of the battle, Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker complains about his stiff back due to years of ‘swinging’ and crime-fighting. While this might seem like some casual banter between the Spider-Men, it can be a subtle Easter Egg for a much darker Spider-Man storyline in the future.
Back in 2007, writer Kaare Andrews along with Axel Alonso and Chris Eliopoulos had released Spider-Man: Reign, a four-issue limited series set in a much darker future where superheroes have ceased to exist in New York as the crime rate has plummeted due to an efficient yet authoritarian system called ‘The Reign’. In this timeline, Spider-Man has grown old and retired, after the death of Mary Jane Watson, for which he was responsible. Due to prolonged exposure to Peter’s seminal fluids, Mary Jane died of cancer which left Peter Parker without any purpose. However, after a foe-turned-friend, J. Jonah Jameson requests Peter to once again don the suit and bring back normalcy to the Big Apple, Peter comes out of retirement and fights the system.
While it is a long shot if Tobey Maguire will ever return as Spidey for a live-action adaptation of Spider-Man: Reign, the critical and financial success of Logan (2016) starring Hugh Jackman that was loosely adapted from Old Man Logan should put things in motion at Sony Pictures. An aging Peter Parker who has spent years with Mary Jane despite a few tumultuous years can be a perfect setup for an Old Man Spider-Man storyline in the future which can be a perfect farewell for Tobey Maguire, who inspired an entire generation as the friendly neighborhood Spidey.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters.