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Kevin Feige Explains Why Spider-Man: No Way Home Made A Fun Change To The Character’s Comic-Book Canon

This article contains very mild spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home, but nothing that reveals too much about the plot. Still, in case you haven’t seen the film, and want to go in as cold as possible,

By the beginning of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker’s identity has been revealed by the diabolical Mysterio, and the repercussions of that are devastating. He can’t attend high school without attracting a crowd. Peter (Tom Holland) and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) need to move out of their home because of unwanted attention. And his friends can’t get in to their dream college, M.I.T., because of their associations with a potential “criminal” in Spider-Man. 

So why can’t they just apply to Empire State University? The college that Peter Parker and his friends attend in the Marvel Comics is ESU, and we have seen versions of that pop up in numerous cartoon shows, comics, and even the Sam Raimi interpretations of the films. So when I sat down with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige to talk about Spider-Man: No Way Home, I asked him if Empire State existed in the MCU, and why they made the change to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He elaborated for CinemaBlend:

There is! There is. But Peter Parker’s mentor, Tony Stark, went to M.I.T. I think a lot of kids want to move outside of their home state to go to college. So M.I.T. seemed like the dream school. What do you call that? Your reach school, for those kids.

I know exactly what they are talking about. Currently, I have a senior in high school who is going through the college application process, and he has a few dream schools that would take him outside of our home state. If he doesn’t get into them, I can’t see him visiting a wizard and asking that the entire memory banks of the global population be wiped clean. That’s what Peter does, and it’s pretty extreme.

But maybe the rumored “college trilogy” that may follow up the “Home” trilogy will take Peter and a new group of friends to Empire State University? It could make for an exciting and fresh new step for Parker as he moves on from the staggering events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which I am going to leave for you to discover, in case you read this far into my story and still don’t know the resolution to this amazing film. 

The early numbers and advanced ticket sales for Spider-Man: No Way Home are ridiculously solid, giving every indication that this is the movie luring mainstream crowds back to the multiplex. We expect to hear of several box office records getting smashed thanks to the response to No Way Home. And where we go from here is really anybody’s guess. Just, not to M.I.T.

Sean O'Connell

Managing Director at CinemaBlend. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.