'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Almost Featured A Mystery Marvel Character
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains heavy spoilers for ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’. As Uncle Ben once put it, with great power (a.k.a the power to read Cracked.com) comes great responsibility (a.k.a the responsibility to heed spoiler warnings). Proceed at your own risk.
Despite Andrew Garfield's string of vehement denials that neither he nor Tobey Maguire would be reprising their respective roles as Spider-Man alongside reigning Peter Parker, Tom Holland in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the movie hit theaters last month, bringing the trio together on screen and proving that Garfield is a dirty liar (well, as much of a dirty liar as one can be knowing even the slightest slip will unleash the wrath of MCU overlord, Kevin Feige). But instead of being accidentally zapped into the universe by some meddling teens, the re-emergence of Maguire and Garfield's respective Peter Parkers was originally much more intentional, catalyzed by a mystery MCU figure shortly after the death of beloved Marvel baddie Aunt May.
“They are brought by a Marvel character going, ‘Here are the saving graces and they’re going to help you through this,'” Spider-Man: No Way Home co-writer Chris McKenna told Variety in a joint interview with his collaborator, Erik Sommers. "It was just more of a deus ex machine."
They never mention which deus was supposed to ex machina, but the pair did finally find a suitable twist to save their precious IP (and their own asses) -- well after the movie had commenced filming in fall of 2020.
By December of that year, several factors – namely dealing with the stresses of a global pandemic on top of the massive pressures of shooting a $200 million movie starring a man famed for blabbing spoilers like there's no tomorrow – prompted McKenna and Sommers to feel the pressure, realizing there had to be a better way to go from Spider-Man to Spider-Men.
“We were changing the story so much,” McKenna explained. “We were already two months into production. And we were having to now take another whack at act three, which we hadn’t had time to because we were shooting act one and act two.”
This reconciliation seemingly paid off. The scene that finally landed in the film, featuring Ned and MJ f--king around (with Doctor Strange's sling ring) and finding out (that there are several iterations of Peter Parker) apparently served as “a beam of light in darkness," according to McKenna.
“It was such a gift, particularly at that point in the writing process, to be writing for those two characters," he continued. “It the darkest part of the year, the darkest part of production, the darkest part of the story development, and it was like, Oh! Now we get Tobey and Andrew.”
So folks, take it from the Spider-Man: No Way Home team – sometimes procrastination really does pay off.
Top Image: Disney/Marvel