Doctor Strange Confirmed For 'Spider-Man 3,' Setting Up Theories For A Live-Action Spider-Verse In The MCU

This will be the first year there hasn't been an MCU release since 2007, but that hasn't stopped the studio from putting out some major announcements regarding its upcoming slate. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news today that Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange will be appearing in the next Spider-Man flick, which is currently untitled. The Tom Holland-led pictures have previously had major MCU mentors in Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark (Homecoming) and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury in (Far From Home).

Needless to say, the reveal of Doctor Strange showing up in a movie that is not his own has sent fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a frenzy. When team-ups happen in stand-alone films, theories blossom across the internet. Today's news has prompted a suggestion that the Spider-Verse will finally develop within the MCU. Spider-Man 3 is set to premiere on December 17, 2021, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness following just three months later. This could mean the Spidey film will set up the pending multiverse, which is rumored to open all sorts of doors for the future of Marvel Studios movies.

Jon Watts will return to direct the third Homecoming film, but Doctor Strange 2's director has a connection to Spider-Man that makes today's announcement all the more exciting. Sam Raimi is at the helm for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and superhero comics buffs will remember the director as the leader behind the Tobey Maguire led Spidey movies from the early 2000s.

Tom Holland attends the premiere of Sony Pictures'
Getty Images | Kevin Winter

All these connections have fans on Twitter thinking there is a chance that Holland will cross paths with Maguire and even Andrew Garfield in the very near future. If Doctor Strange can help introduce the Spider-Verse, the likelihood of this happening isn't too far-fetched. Of course, both retired web slingers would have to be on board, with the powers that be at Marvel Studios working overtime to put it into play.

This theory is heightened by the recent revelation that Jamie Foxx would be in the upcoming Spider-Man feature as well, reprising his role as Electro from the Garfield films. It's also been pointed out that Stephen Strange was mentioned in the first Raimi film by character J. Jonah Jameson. JJJ is also rumored to be back after he appeared in the end credits for Far From Home, shocking fans of the original movies.

To say fan theories were running rampant would be an understatement as a few theorists have suggested Kirsten Dunst and Dane DeHaan would also be reprising their roles as Mary Jane and the Green Goblin.

With the next Spider-Man landing in theaters at the end of next year, rumors will continue to flood in as filming starts and actors will inevitably be spotted on set. Holland's next superhero project will follow Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals.