When is Spider-Man: No Way Home set in the MCU timeline? Sinister Six and Mephisto theories explored

Spider-Man: No Way Home fan art and Doctor Strange in the trailer (Image via Venomhology, BossLogic, and Marvel Studios)
Spider-Man: No Way Home fan art and Doctor Strange in the trailer (Image via Venomhology, BossLogic, and Marvel Studios)

Sony and Marvel have finally blessed fans with a Spider-Man: No Way Home teaser trailer after a leaked poor-quality unfinished footage began making the rounds on August 22. The movie will see the web-slinger return after 2019's Spider-Man: Far from Home.

No Way Home is expected to pick up right where the previous film of the trilogy ended. Since late 2020, the movie has also been rumored to have the "variants" of Spider-Man from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (2002-2007) and Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man (2012-2014).

Certain Easter eggs have further fortified this theory in the new trailer, which hints at the very likely return of Tobey McGuire and Andrew Garfield as their respective versions of Peter Parker.


When is Spider-Man: No Way Home set in the MCU timeline?

In the trailer, several realities of the MCU multiverse seemingly converge when Doctor Strange helps Peter with a spell that will make everyone forget Peter's identity. This left fans questioning when exactly the movie will be set in the new MCU timeline.

The movie is set after the events of Shang-Chi

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The movie's event picks up right after Peter Parker is ousted as the web-crawler by Mysterio in Far From Home. However, Wong (portrayed by Benedict Wong) is confirmed to appear in Marvel's Shang-Chi (2021) and is even seen combating The Abomination in the Shang-Chi trailer.

Since, No Way Home is expected to have adverse effects on the MCU Multiverse, directly leading to Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness.

Abomination vs Wong in 'Shang-Chi' (Image via Marvel Studios/ Disney)
Abomination vs Wong in 'Shang-Chi' (Image via Marvel Studios/ Disney)

Thus, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings predate No Way Home in the MCU timeline. So, Wong's vacation might be to some other place.

Furthermore, from the looks of it, No Way Home is set between Halloween and the holidays.


Mephisto Theories

Theory #1: Doctor Strange affected by Mephisto?

Strange X Mephisto theory (Image via Marvel Studios/Sony)
Strange X Mephisto theory (Image via Marvel Studios/Sony)

Avid MCU fans might have been confused as to why Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, would easily be convinced to help Peter Parker with something dangerous to the Multiverse. Later shots from the trailer also showcased the two butting heads on top of a train.

These suspicions are further fortified as it is clear Spider-Man: No Way Home takes several cues from the One More Day (2007) four-part comic series where Spider-Man makes a "deal with the devil" with Mephisto to bring Aunt May back from the dead.

In the comics, Mephisto combines realities from the Multiverse where May is still alive, and Peter's identity as Spider-Man is still not known by anyone.

This is likely what Strange does for Peter in No Way Home. Furthermore, it is also possible that Peter did not distract Strange while performing the spell (as suggested in the trailer). It could have been Mephisto affecting the spell.


Theory #2: Wanda (aka Scarlet Witch) affected by Mephisto

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If the first theory seems far-fetched, another explanation for Mephisto's potential involvement would be the WandaVision end-credit scene. Wanda is also known to appear alongside Strange in Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness.

As seen in the end-credit scene, Billy and Tommy (aka Wiccan and Speed), Scarlet Witch's sons, called for help through another dimension. This could have been a ploy by Mephisto to lure Wanda.


Multiversal Sinister Six in the MCU

Glimpses of Sinister Six (Image via Sony Pictures/ Marvel Studios)
Glimpses of Sinister Six (Image via Sony Pictures/ Marvel Studios)

While Alfred Molina's Doc Ock and Green Goblin were clearly featured in the trailer, Jamie Foxx's Electro also hinted at a subtle shot. Furthermore, potential glimpses of what seemed like the Sandman (likely to be the same version from 2007's Spider-Man 3) as well as the Lizard (potentially from 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man) were seen.

Willem Dafoe (Norman Osborn / Green Goblin), Alfred Molina (Otto Octavia / Doc Ock), and Jamie Foxx (Electro) have been confirmed. However, it has not yet been confirmed whether Thomas Haden Church and Rhys Ifans will reprise their roles as Flint Marko (Sandman) and Dr. Curt Connors (The Lizard), respectively.


Why was Doctor Strange fighting Spider-Man?

Strange vs Peter (Image via Sony Pictures/ Marvel Studios)
Strange vs Peter (Image via Sony Pictures/ Marvel Studios)

Through most parts of the No Way Home trailer, it was seen that these two form an alliance to help Peter. However, one-shot showcased the Sorcerer Supreme attacking Spider-Man on top of a train using his telekinetic enchantments, dodged by the "friendly neighborhood" web-crawler.

In another shot, Strange is also seen pushing Peter Parker into his astral form. Here, Peter was holding a mystical box. It is being theorized that Peter might try to help the villains get to their respective realities' alive' (much to Strange's chagrin), as most of them were presumed dead or are dead in their individual Earths. This could be the reason for Strange and Parker's clash, as hinted in the trailer.

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Fans would have to wait till December 17 to find out how Spider-Man: No Way Home will set up the MCU's Sinister Six and Doctor Strange 2.

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