Major spoilers ahead!
One of the early trailers for Spider-Man: Far From Home revealed a potentially major piece of information that could impact the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this post-Avengers: Endgame world. We're speaking, of course, about the fact that the MCU may be part of a "multiverse" in which the Earth we've watched this past decade was actually only Earth-616, one of thousands of Earths all occurring in the same place at the same time in different dimensions. However, this information came to us care of Mysterio--a villain in the comics--making it a little harder to trust or take at face value, at least based on a context-free claim in the trailer. After all, who was to say Mysterio wasn't doing what villains do best by lying for personal gain?
Well, now that Far From Home is actually in theaters, we thankfully have an answer--and it's unsurprisingly a little complicated. So, does the MCU have a multiverse?
This is your final spoiler warning.
The short answer is: no. Mysterio was actually totally full of it and really was the bad guy all along. He lied about being from a different Earth, he lied about the Elementals--he lied about it all, just to get himself in the public eye as a hero. The basis for his plan was, partly, the absurdity of the concept--proof, in his eyes, that "people will believe anything these days." And who could blame them, after the Snap and Sokovia and the Battle of New York? Reality in the MCU has never been more precarious or up for debate.
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But the long answer is a bit less cut and dry. Director Jon Watts (who also cleared up some Nick Fury theories) told GameSpot he's open to the possibility somewhere down the road. "What's exciting about making movies at Marvel is that you feel like anything is on the table. So who knows?" He laughed, "Mysterio may be bullshitting about it in this movie, but I don't know that that means that it's not true in the larger universe."
After all, we can tell from the scene between Peter, Mysterio, and Nick Fury where the concept of a multiverse is first introduced that it definitely is something floating around the scientific zeitgeist in the MCU. Peter knows immediately what Fury and Mysterio are talking about, where it fits into the conversation, and what it could potentially mean in the realm of quantum physics. It's clearly not a totally unheard of idea. And, with both time travel and splintered timelines definitively in the mix after Endgame, actually going for a multiverse may be the quickest and easiest way to buff out some of the larger blemishes in the MCU at this point.
But the introduction of the multiverse would come with complications, especially now. Bringing up a multiverse only to have it disproven creates an interesting conundrum in which the general population of the world will have to first be convinced that they were lied to, and then later be convinced that no, wait, actually it was the truth all along--or, at least, part of it was the truth. Not exactly the cleanest or easiest narrative to sell, especially when distrust and confusion are at an all-time high.
It will be interesting to see just how this particular debacle pans out, especially given the mystery surrounding Phase 4--does the MCU have the bandwidth to incorporate an actual multiverse somewhere down the line? Or should it remain a giant scam perpetrated by a fraud making a selfish grab at superheroic fame? One thing is certain: No matter how it shakes out, we can't wait to see where things go.