Spider-Man is all about webs – so how’s this for a tangled one? In 2002, 2004, and 2007, legendary director Sam Raimi made a trilogy of Spider-Man movies, the second of which featured a cameo name-drop of Doctor Strange. And now, Marvel Studios is getting ready to release Spider-Man: No Way Home, which sees Tom Holland’s Peter Parker team up with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in a multiversal adventure that somehow brings Alfred Molina’s villainous Doctor Octopus (also from Raimi’s Spider-Man 2) into the fray – and all the while, Raimi is hard at work on his first MCU movie, directing none other than Doctor Strange sequel Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. Plotting it all out might make you look like Charlie Day in that famous It’s Always Sunny meme – an undeniably wild pile-up of circumstances.

And by the sounds of it, it was a particular head-trip for Marvel boss Kevin Feige – a producer back in the day on the Raimi trilogy, and now in charge of keeping all of these many plates spinning. “It’s absolutely surreal to be working on a Doctor Strange movie with Sam Raimi in one part of the office, and then working on a Spider-Man movie with Jon Watts and Alfred Molina as Doc Ock in another room,” he tells Empire. “That has been a mind-blowing part of the last 10 years of my life.” If the fruits of all of Feige’s long-planned endeavours sound incredibly cool, that’s how they begin life too. “Everything we do at Marvel is based on a small group of people sitting around a table going, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if…?’,” he says. “The Multiverse was always a part of that because it’s such a big part of the story in the comics.”

Raimi took over directing duties on Multiverse Of Madness when director Scott Derrickson stepped aside due to creative differences – and his film is currently due to arrive in May 2022. The real question in all this: will we finally get Bruce Campbell in the MCU – whether in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, or even appearing in No Way Home as Spider-Man 2’s Snooty Usher? The real villain from that film is right there, people!

Empire – December 2021 cover

Read Empire’s full world-exclusive Spider-Man: No Way Home feature in the upcoming new issue – talking to Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, director Jon Watts, Marvel boss Kevin Feige, and producer Amy Pascal, with plenty of never-before-seen images – on sale Thursday 28 October and available to pre-order online here. Find No Way Home in UK cinemas from 17 December.

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