“Spider-Man: No Way Home” finds Peter Parker (once again played by Tom Holland) in a difficult situation. As dramatized in the trailers, a spell cast by Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) was intended to partially erase the collective memory of Peter Parker being “discovered” when Spider-Man inadvertently unleashes a level of multi-verse insanity never before seen in the MCU (or the Spider-Man universe adjacent to Sony’s MCU). But with crisscrossing timelines and alternate versions of characters (“variants” if you will) flowing into Parker’s friendly neighborhood, it’s enough to wonder, in very simple terms, when this movie takes place.
We tried to investigate this, which initially seems quite simple but potentially much more confusing.
This is followed by medium-intensity spoilers for “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Proceed with caution!
“No way home” begins immediately after “Far From Home” ends
Spider-Man’s last solo adventure was “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” released in the summer of 2019 after the emotional whirlwind of “Avengers: Endgame.” In the final moments of that movie, he’s back in New York City, wandering around town with his new girlfriend MJ (Zendaya). They reach Times Square and stop. That’s when, on the giant jumbotron, they see J. Jonah Jameson (once again played by JK Simmons from the Sam Raimi film series), now a pseudo-Alex Jones type figure whose Daily Bugle is now a fringe website that traffic conspiracy. theories. (Why Mysterio decided to send you the images raises other issues.)
Jameson plays Mysterio’s message, which takes out Peter Parker and implies that he (via Spider-Man) was instrumental in the civilian deaths and catastrophic drone attack on London. The fact that this was one of the post-credits scenes is still insane, so at the beginning of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” they essentially repeat that scene. Only this time you will see what happens after Parker has been reported; the crowd turns violently on him and he is chased first by the police and then by Damage Control, a comics organization tasked with cleaning up after superheroes that was first featured in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” (They’ve since grown into a SHIELD-style organization, perhaps empowered by the issue?) Peter had it all: a new girlfriend, a great best friend, an adventure-filled trip to Europe, and in that moment, it’s all over. of the. It’s enough for Spider-Man to do whatever he can to fix things.
A definitive answer
During a news footage roll, we get our answer: Spider-Man was discovered a week after the drone strike in London (during the climax of “Spider-Man: Far From Home”). Later, Peter tells MJ that the only time he felt normal was the week that MJ, Ned, and May found out about his secret, because those were the only people he wanted to meet. There you go. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” takes place a week after the main events of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and immediately after the film’s post-credits scene. Simple as that. Correct?
But wait, we have some questions
There are a few things that make us question this timeline. First of all, the children begin their last school year at the beginning of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” It’s conceivable that the school scheduled a long trip to Europe two weeks before classes started, but that’s a bit of a stretch. There are other things that complicate this timeline as well.
It’s one thing that kids are applying to college. and listening. Even if you applied for early admission, you usually wouldn’t get a response until around Christmas. But all the kids already know where they’re going (Flash even goes to an MIT mixer). More confusing: MJ’s boss at the donut shop (he now works at a donut shop) yells at him to remove the Halloween decorations, which would also bring the stage closer to Christmas. Also (and perhaps more inconsequentially), when Peter swings through Times Square, there are billboards for “Rogers: The Musical,” the “Hamilton” style musical that Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), sees in the first episode of “Hawkeye” on Disney +. Most musicals debut in October / November or March / April. Plus: It’s quite surprising that there’s a Captain America musical a few months after the events of “Endgame,” especially given the notoriously long developmental period of most Broadway shows.
More signs point to Christmas
There are more signs pointing to it being closer to Christmas (which, again, if it’s a week after they finished their summer trip and school just started, it doesn’t make sense): one, when Peter first walks in Once upon a time at the Sanctum Sanctorum, the mystical nexus where Doctor Strange protects the world from otherworldly forces, is filled with snow. This has to do with an open portal and snow coming in from Everest (or something like that). But Peter says, “All this for the party?”
Next: After the Super Villains arrive, Strange and Peter get into a bit of a fight. Since we’re talking about Strange, it throws them both into the “mirror universe” which looks like the scene from “Inception” where the buildings fold into each other, but to the nth degree. At one point, the two of them walk through a kaleidoscopic department store. The Christmas decorations are ready and Christmas music is playing. But considering that it is a parallel dimension, it may not necessarily reflect the real reality.
By the end of the movie, like Jack Skellington before us, we are solidly in Christmas town. Spider-Man swings through the urban canyons of New York and the tree at Rockefeller Center, the lights are everywhere and the entire city is more photogenic and sparkling. It is unclear how much later the film’s end is from the rest of the film, especially since Doctor Strange, who has been trapped in another plane of existence for much of the film, explicitly states that he is only gone for 12 hours. . But still: by the time the credits roll, Christmas is upon us.
It’s also worth noting: putting it around Christmas, combined with the billboards for “Rogers: The Musical,” could mean that the timeline of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Hawkeye” is happening. simultaneously. What about that?
Final verdict: When does “No Way Home” take place?
There’s a ton of weird stuff, mostly related to starting school and filmmakers marrying this “one week after ‘Far From Home’ presumption,” but if we were to say when most of the movie takes place , should we say … November? We can reasonably say that the movie begins shortly after “Far From Home” ends, in late August or early September 2024, but then, before those pesky villains make their way through the portal, a not insignificant amount of time passes during which Peter Parker tries to deal with being discovered as Spider-Man.
November sure sounds good. In this dimension at least.
That makes it, along with “Hawkeye”, the most recent MCU story in the entire timeline and after the events of “Eternals” and “Shang-Chi.”