‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’: A Compelling Fan Theory Involves Mephisto and Doctor Strange

The MCU is back in full swing with the long-awaited arrival of a new trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home. Fans are excited to see how Peter deals with the loss of his secret identity and the lengths he’ll go to get it back. Not all are content to just wait around to see what happens, though, and have taken to observing the record-breaking trailer in as much detail as they can. What they’ve found so far has been interesting, and might involve a connection between “Doctor Strange” in the trailer and one of Marvel’s most evil villains from the comics. Keep reading to learn more about the Spider-Man: No Way Home fan theory.

The new trailer reveals a ton of new (and old) characters

Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'
Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch | Matt Kennedy / Sony Pictures and Marvel

The No Way Home trailer was a massive revelation in terms of concrete details about the movie’s story. Right now, we know that the main plot will involve a spell gone wrong after Peter asks Doctor Strange for help in making people forget that he’s Spider-Man. While he’s happy to have the public forget Mysterio’s revelation at the end of Far from Home, he doesn’t want people like Aunt May, Ned, or MJ to forget. This indecision seems to interfere with Strange’s magic, causing a split in the multiverse.

From here, we get to see the return of several old villains … from other Spider-Man movie franchises. Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin gets a laugh in while throwing a pumpkin bomb from offscreen, and Jamie Foxx’s Electro causes chaos near power lines. However, the one who steals the entire trailer is Alfred Molina, reprising his role as Doctor Octopus.

While all of this flash and spectacle is fun to see, the trailer has also left fans asking a question that Nerdist succinctly quotes: Was that really Doctor Strange?

There’s a fan theory about ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

As with every Spider-Man movie in the MCU, No Way Home seems to be setting up some kind of twist with regards to its villain. Some fans have started to wonder why Strange would let Peter use his magic knowing this type of spell was so dangerous — going back to the idea of the twist involving villains from the other films, saying that the Sorcerer Supreme isn’t the genuine article this time around. Comics veterans already have a guess as to who he might really be, and it relates back to potentially the most controversial Spider-Man storyline in history.

As IGN reminds us, One More Day was a 2007 storyline in the Spider-Man comics. In the wake of the superhero civil war, Peter’s identity was revealed to the public, which made his family a target for supervillains. After Aunt May is shot by one of the Kingpin’s henchmen, he travels around the world looking for someone who can save her life. No one is willing or able to help, though.

Dejected, Peter then finds himself on a strange journey through New York, following a little girl as he meets alternate versions of himself from timelines where he never became Spider-Man. Finally, a mysterious woman in red who’s been telling him all of this transforms to reveal the truth — it was actually the demon Mephisto all along, and he has a deal for the hero.

Mephisto promises that he can not only save Aunt May’s life, but force everyone in the world to forget that Peter is Spider-Man. In exchange, though, he wants to erase Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage from reality. After spending “one more day” together to think it over, the couple take the deal, forgetting they had ever been together and resetting the timeline so that Peter’s identity was never revealed and Aunt May was never shot.

Marvel has teased this twist before


‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’: Teaser Trailer Unleashes Return of Three Major Multiverse Villains

Plenty of clues point to Mephisto’s involvement already. For starters, Mephisto has been teased before in the MCU, mainly in the Disney Plus series WandaVision. A number of comics were amalgamated for the show’s premise (Wanda and Vision having children together in the suburbs), a key point being that their kids weren’t simply created from thin air; they have real souls, meaning they weren’t lost for good when the magic faded. While the big man downstairs didn’t show up in person in the show, guess who supplied the souls for the couple’s children in the comics?

The idea that Mephisto might be impersonating Strange to trick Peter is certainly not out of the question, especially given his shapeshifting in One More Day itself. With this in mind, the odds that Mephisto will appear in the MCU keep growing. Whether it’s in No Way Home or the upcoming Multiverse of Madness film, everyone can agree that this demon needs a good punch in the face by at least one of the heroes he keeps pestering.