Just weeks after Avengers: Endgame marched to the second highest box office total of all time, Marvel is returning to cinemas with Spider-Man: Far From Home – a film that has favourable odds on having the highest grossing opening weekend of the summer.
Superhero fans are on tenterhooks waiting to see what Kevin Feige's sprawling cinematic universe has in store. With Endgame marking a definitive changing of the guard and a concluding chapter for many of the characters that have dominated the franchise for the last decade, Far From Home is set to serve as the start of something new.
So what can fans expect?
The spoiler-heavy trailer for Far From Home introduced MCU fans to the notion of the multiverse. As anyone who watched last year's wildly inventive animation Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will know, the multiverse idea suggests that there is an unlimited number of parallel, but different, dimensions in existence at one time.
Within the MCU, the multiverse appears to have arisen as a result of the use of the Infinity Stones, with Nick Fury explaining that The Snap “tore a hole in our dimension”, bringing different worlds together. This is what has allowed Jake Gyllenhaal's Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio, into the world we know, but a whole load of big Elemental beasties have come with him.
MYSTERIO: FRIEND OR FOE?
The aforementioned Mr Beck is introduced in the trailer as an ally of Nick Fury, having come from another world. In the comics, however, Mysterio is one of Peter Parker's most recognisable foes – a villainous illusionist who doesn't actually have any superpowers beyond his skills of misdirection. The iconic fish bowl look is present and correct in the trailer and his magical flair is in full display.
Just about everyone is expecting a heel turn, and Gyllenhaal definitely has the acting chops to make it work.
The trailer for Far From Home offers a brief glimpse of a black Spidey suit. This is not a result of the Venom symbiote that turned Tobey Maguire's webhead dark – and oddly obsessed with terrible disco dancing – in 2007's Spider-Man 3. In fact, it's known as Spidey's 'stealth suit' and seems to be a gift from Nick Fury, stripping back all of the gadgets from his fancier, Stark-crafted outfit. This is Marvel, though, so there will almost certainly be a surprise or two. Probably not a Tom Hardy cameo, unfortunately.
After the heavyweight emotion of Endgame, Peter just wants to have a nice summer vacation with his buddies, while trying to get to know Zendaya's MJ on a more romantic level. Naturally, the arrival of Nick Fury and the aforementioned Elemental creatures somewhat scuppers his attempts to find love in Europe. With director Jon Watts returning after Homecoming, the John Hughes high school vibe is set to be in place yet again, and that suggests the Peter/MJ romance will get the chance to take centre stage.
With Tony Stark gone after his Endgame sacrifice, there's a vacant slot for Spidey's surrogate parent. Happy Hogan seems to be the default choice for the role, but there's every chance the icy conflict between Peter and Nick Fury yields something warmer and paternal.