Spider-Man No Way Home Sandman

Whatever your feelings about the still controversial Spider-Man 3, all of us can agree that Thomas Haden Church was inspired casting for Sandman. When Church’s Flint Marko pulls on a pair of brown slacks and a green striped shirt, he looked like he walked right off the comic book page, embodying every aspect of Steve Ditko’s original design (save for that indescribable haircut).

So it was a bit of a disappointment when Haden did not return in the flesh for Spider-Man: No Way Home. Unlike Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, and even Jamie Foxx (albeit in a much more conventionally handsome form), Church and The Amazing Spider-Man‘s Rhys Ifans were voice-only roles, with their characters portrayed entirely in CGI form.

That decision mostly tracks for Ifans’ Lizard, as he was pulled to the MCU shortly before the climax of The Amazing Spider-Man, when Dr. Curt Conners had already transformed himself into his reptilian form. But while Sandman also got pulled from the climax of his film, when he and Topher Grace’s Venom attacked Kirsten Dunst‘s Mary Jane, and while he was a giant sand monster at the time, he showed that he could change back into human form.

According to Church, there’s a very good reason for the lack of a human Flint. “There’s a chain of events where he could not be human,” Church told Pilot Productions. “He can’t be human until the very end when you just see him very briefly … because they kind of wanted to be that throwback thing, where you see him the way he was.” In fact, it was such a throwback that Church didn’t even don the green and brown outfit again as Flint reverted to human form. It “is really a screen grab from Spider-Man 3,” he admitted.

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