Now, I’m going to start this off by saying that we typically don’t report on Reddit leaks here at MCUExchange. They tend to be very hit-or-miss, with the majority being misses. However, there has been a particular post going around about Spider-Man: No Way Home that is getting a lot of attention. This post comes from Reddit user Spideyforever245, who claims to have worked on the film and learned several major plot points. What makes this post more interesting is that the source also called out the recent cameo in episode 5 of Falcon & the Winter Soldier in advance of the episode being aired. While this does add a bit of validity, we should still always take anything coming from Reddit with a massive grain of salt. However, there is one particular detail of this post that I want to focus on, and that is the inclusion of Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor technology. According to the post:
Stark’s Arc Reactor is present in the scene and every villain is trying to get their hands on it for something.
Before we dive into the plot points of this leak, let’s review what we know about the film so far. We know that Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to pick up after the cliffhanger ending of the last film, where Peter Parker was framed for killing Mysterio. We also know that it’s been heavily rumored to be a live-action spider-verse film that will feature the return of virtually every major actor from the three Spider-Man film universes. While many of these appearances are just rumors, there are two actors who have been confirmed to be in the movie, and that’s Alfred Molina as Otto Octavius and Jamie Foxx as Electro. I want to focus on those two characters, and how the Arc Reactor technology may factor into their appearance in the MCU.
AN ARC REACTOR IN NO WAY HOME?
From the beginning of Peter Parker’s appearance in the MCU, his connection to Tony Stark has been one of the driving forces of his character development. While some fans have expressed frustration at the series’ reliance on Iron Man, it’s hard to deny that the connection between the two characters has been one of the best things about Spider-Man’s interaction with the broader MCU. For example, in Spider-Man: Homecoming, the Vulture and his crew saw Stark as a corporate giant who stamped out their ability to cash in on technology left over from the Chitauri invasion of New York. At the end of the film, they even try to steal tech from a jet as it’s being flown out of Stark Tower due to the tower being sold.
Similarly, the plot of Spider-Man: Far From Home focuses on Tony Stark’s emotional and technological legacy as well. Mysterio and his crew were yet another group of villainous characters whose origin is based around Tony Stark, and that film focuses heavily on Stark’s E.D.I.T.H and drone technology. At the end of that film, we get an interesting shot of the old Stark Tower, and the scene makes a special effort to show us that it’s been reconstructed by the as-yet-unnamed tenant who purchased it during the events of Homecoming.
With that background in mind, I think it makes perfect thematic sense for Stark technology to have a presence at the end of Spider-Man’s trilogy. If the Arc Reactor does show up in this movie, it would fit with everything that came before. And if my personal crazy theory turns out to be true, it just might give us a window into how the MCU will break into the Spiderverse and introduce Doc Ock and Electro. Let me explain…
To start my theory, I want to remind you of two major facts you might have forgotten about the Arc Reactor: it was constructed using the Space Stone and it used to power the Stark Tower in New York. While it’s easy to forget, the Arc Reactor was originally built to replicate the power of the Tesseract (Space Stone). After World War II, Tony’s father Howard Stark worked with Anton Vanko in an attempt to replicate the incredible powers of the Tesseract and create a source of clean, renewable energy for the world. Because Howard was limited by the technology of his time, he hid the blueprints for this element within the 1974 Stark Expo model for Tony to find during the events of Iron-Man 2. After Howard’s death, the Tesseract was then taken to Project Pegasus (As we see in the 90’s set Captain Marvel), and then eventually into the hands of S.H.I.E.L.D as we see during the opening of Avengers.
When we first see Tony Stark in that 2012 movie, he is submerged in the bay outside of New York City, putting the finishing touches on a redesigned industrial Arc Reactor to power the Stark Tower. As he explains to Pepper, the tower was completely off the power grid for the rest of the city, running entirely from Arc Reactor technology as a “beacon of clean energy” to the world. That’s the last that we hear about this particular Arc Reactor, but I believe it’s safe to assume that when the tower is sold during Spider-Man: Homecoming, the machine would still be part of the building’s infrastructure, even if it was dormant. And that is where my theory comes in. If Spider-Man: No Way Home busts the multiverse wide open, then the Industrial Arc Reactor in New York City could be at the center of it all.
Picture in your mind a machine that’s located in the heart of New York and has immense electromagnetic power. Imagine that that machine came under the ownership of a villain with ulterior motives, someone who wanted to use the machine to tap into another dimension. If you told me that sounds a lot like Sony’s animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, you’d be correct. And while the Arc Reactor has never been used for this purpose before, it was created using the Space Stone, and it isn’t a stretch of the imagination that another brilliant billionaire might want to come in and twist Stark’s invention to his own purposes. After all, that’s a recurring theme of the MCU Spider-Man films. This villain could be none other than Norman Osborne, who might use the Arc Reactor and accidentally break the multiverse, creating windows into versions of New York City from alternate parallel realities. Specifically, it might pull from alternate realities where electromagnetic anomalies were already occurring in New York City…which is how we get Doc Ock and Electro. Hear me out…
In a recent interview with Variety, Alfred Molina spilled the beans on his appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home, confirming that he will be reprising his role as the same Doc Ock character from 2004’s Spider-Man 2, and that his role picks up right after the events of that movie. Up until then, a lot had assumed that he would be playing a different version of Doctor Octopus from the multiverse, not the same person who clashed with Tobey Maguire in the Sam Raimi films. When we last saw Otto Octavius, he was sinking into the waters outside of New York City, being dragged down by the glowing remains of his nuclear fusion project…which, by the way, just so happens to be an electromagnetic project designed as a source of renewable energy. If that character truly survived the events of that film, then perhaps that experimental ball of glowing energy acted as a sort of focus point for the multiverse, pulling him into the MCU reality when Osborne flips the switch on the other side.
This explanation also works for Jamie Fox’s Max Dillon, A.K.A. Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. When we last see that character, he seemingly vanishes in an electromagnetic explosion after the NY power grid overloads. Of course, we all assumed that he was dead too, but is it not also possible that the explosion acted as another multiverse focus point, pulling him into the MCU rather than killing him? It’s worth noting that Jamie Fox has mentioned in an Instagram post that he “won’t be blue” in this new movie, but that doesn’t quite close the door on my theory. After all, Electro’s whole powerset is based around controlling electricity, and the explosion could have affected his powers so that he reverted back to his normal form while still maintaining the ability to manipulate electricity. At the very least, the fact that both characters are coming back after both seemingly died near electromagnetic anomalies is something worth noting.
After these two appear in the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, maybe more multiverse openings start popping up across the city. We could get an older version of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men from further down their perspective timelines. We could get Charlie Cox‘s Daredevil as he is pulled in from the Netflix universe. We could even get a Spider-Gwen played by Emma Stone who comes from an alternate reality we haven’t seen yet. The possibilities would be endless! But they would all revolve around New York City, and all make sense within the context of previous films. If we’re going to break the Multiverse in a Spider-Man film, then it makes sense for that event to happen using the context of previous Spider-Man films. Peter Parker’s contextual environment is one of technology, and specifically Stark technology that keeps getting used by the wrong hands. With great power comes great responsibility…