By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth! Now this is news!

The cast of the untitled third Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man film keeps getting more and more interesting. Last week, we heard that Jamie Foxx’s Electro would somehow join the film, even though his character first appeared in a totally different iteration of the Spidey franchise. Today, The Hollywood Reporter claims he will be joined by another Marvel character — one whose appearance would definitely go a long way towards explaining how Electro shows up.

THR says that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange will appear in Tom Holland’s third Spider-Man film. Each of the previous Marvel Spider-Man movies featured older MCU heroes to serve as counterpoints and mentors to Holland’s Peter Parker; Dr. Strange will serve that role in the new film:

The move puts Cumberbatch in the mentor role that was previously occupied by Robert Downey Jr., who played Tony Stark/Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and by Samuel L. Jackson in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the latter reprising Nick Fury. The role gives Holland a chance to play opposite seasoned actors, gives Peter Parker a father figure and gives the movies extra star power while also tying them to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Cumberbatch already has his own sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is also gearing up for shooting around the same time as Spider-Man 3. As its title suggests, it will somehow see Strange confronting alternate realities — one of which could conceivably be the one where the Amazing Spider-Man movies were set, which featured Jamie Foxx’s Electro. Suddenly this all makes a lot more sense. Spider-Man 3 is scheduled to open in theaters on December 17, 2021.

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