In probably what was the most loaded Marvel Cinematic Universe film since the last two Avengers films, Spider-Man: No Way Home certainly had no shortage of figures from the franchise’s past in its 20-year history drawing from both the Sam Raimi and Marc Webb films. Both directors seem to fizzle out due to their bloated final entries with Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 (2007) and Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), yet Jon Watts managed to find a way to make his third entry revered by critics and audiences alike. Despite Sony’s marketing leaving little to the imagination to additional surprises in No Way Home, they still managed a few spider tricks up their sleeve. This is your major spoilers warning.
ASM franchise star Andrew Garfield returned through the multiverse along with Raimi star Tobey Maguire with help from Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), stealing Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) Sling Ring that helps create teleportation portals. In the case of the film, it opened to their respective universes. Garfield spoke to Variety, having to deflect on rumors of his involvement for so long.
I wasn’t expecting to ever have a conversation again about potentially playing Peter Parker. I felt very excited to just to be a fan again. But I got this call from Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige and Jon Watts with this idea. It was immediately undeniable. It sounded incredibly fun, incredibly spiritual — trippy and thematically interesting. On a base level, as a Spider-Man fan, just the idea of seeing three Spider-Men in the same frame was enough. The pitch was really, really enticing. They said, “You played this character in your way and what would you want to explore if you had an opportunity? If you were dumped into this other universe and faced with this younger you and this older you, how will you respond?”
We talked a lot about mentorship. We talked a lot about brotherhood and about what it is to be the older brother, younger brother and the middle brother. There’s also a thing of seeing someone you love walking down a path that you’ve already walked down, and you know it doesn’t lead the place where you ultimately meant to go. That character is isolated in his emotional experience and physical experience. But what happens when that aloneness gets blasted open, and you come to realize that you’ve never been alone and there are other brothers going through the exact same thing? That’s a big spiritual journey to go on, man. And then we just milked out all the fun that we could possibly have.
The two had a huge role devising with MCU Spider-Man Tom Holland to combine their scientific minds to create cures for the villain’s Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church), Electro (Jamie Foxx), and Lizard (Rhys Ifans).
We were shooting for two weeks, Tobey and I, but I think we managed to achieve something that is not just showing up and going, “Hi! Bye!” My Spider-Man got to save his younger brother’s romantic relationship, potentially. And to heal the most traumatic moment of his own life through doing it for his younger brother. Making sure that he didn’t have the same fate, there’s something cosmically beautiful about that. It meant getting a second chance at saving Gwen [Stacy, Garfield’s love interest in “The Amazing Spider-Man” played by Emma Stone]. You know, the spirit that Zendaya brings to MJ is so heartfelt and pure and loving, and Emma brought that similar unique spirit to Gwen.
Garfield, Maguire, and Holland contrasted how productions and suits differed when they became the featured Spider-Man actor.
I think the first time we were all in the suit together, it was hilarious because it’s like just three ordinary dudes who were just actors just hanging out. But then also, you just become a fan and say, “Oh my god we’re all together in the suits and we’re doing the pointing thing!” There was talk about going to the bathroom and, you know, padding around the package. We talked about what worked for each of us. Tom was jealous because I have little zippers in my suit that I can get my hands out of very easily. To work his phone, he had to use his nose because he couldn’t access his hands. We would have deeper conversations, too, and talk about our experiences with the character. And to have Amy Pascal there, who has seen through nine movies, including “Spider-Verse.” It was a revelatory experience for her, realizing how much life and time she’d given to this character. That was beautiful and profound. There’s a line I improvised in the movie, looking at [Maguire and Holland] and I tell them I love them. That was just me loving them.
For more on Garfield on talking about screenwriters entertaining on bringing back Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson and Stone’s Gwen Stacy, if he feels No Way Home wrapped his ASM arc up, if he would be open to returning, Netflix’s Tick, Tick…Boom, and Broadway, you can go to Variety. Spider-Man: No Way Home is in theaters.