Before he joined the DCEU as master assassin Deathstroke in Zack Snyder's Justice League, Joe Manganiello played a different villain in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy of films, in the role of school bully Flash Thompson. During an interview for Justice Con, Manganiello admitted he would not want to return as Flash in the MCU if it was just a brief cameo.
"It depends what [the role] consists of. With Sony doing Sinister Six, putting together their universe, the X-Men coming over to Disney, and the possibility of Secret Wars surfacing at some point in the future, I just think there are so many amazing characters in Marvel. I will say I was actually offered a part in a Marvel film a few years ago...I grew up on Marvel comics so if I was going to join the universe, I really want it to be the right role and I think sometimes you have to hold out for that right one. So, a little cameo as Flash Thompson, I'd rather do something more substantive -[play] someone who can stick around for a while."
While Joe Manganiello has a desire to play a bigger role than Peter Parker's high-school tormentor makes sense, the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home project would be the perfect place for a Flash Thompson cameo.
The movie will deal with the Marvel multiverse, and it has been confirmed to feature characters from previous Spider-Man films, most prominently Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus and Jamie Foxx as Electro.
For a time, there were rumors that the two would be playing different versions of their characters. But in a recent interview with Variety, Molina confirmed that he will be playing the same Doc Ock who died at the end of Spider-Man 2, and de-aging technology will be used to make his appearance line up with the character.
"In their early conversations, [director Jon] Watts told [Molina] that the movie will pick up Doc Ock's story from "that moment" in the river, which in a franchise that includes multiverses, time-travel and diverging timelines seems...plausible enough... [Molina adds, about the use of de-aging tech] They made Robert De Niro's face younger [in The Irishman], but when he was fighting, he looked like an older guy. He looked like an old guy! That's what worried me about doing it again. I don't have the same physicality that I had 17 years ago. That's just a fact."
While Manganiello's Thompson might not be a part of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the actors fans really want to see are Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Whether they will show up or not is a question that Marvel has kept a tight lid on so far, leading to relentless online speculation in the days leading up to the release of the film.
Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man: No Way Home stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Tony Revolori, Jamie Foxx, Alfred Molina, and Benedict Cumberbatch. The film arrives in theaters on December 17.