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Spider-Man: No Way Home Writers Share How Those Surprise Actors ‘Shaped’ The Story

Spider-Man gliding with MJ in No Way Home
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Warning: SPOILERS for Spider-Man: No Way Home are ahead!

As had been rumored for months, the critically-acclaimed Spider-Man: No Way Home did indeed feature more than one version of the title Web-Slinger. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker was aided by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s versions of the same character during the movie’s third act in dealing with Green Goblin, Electro, Sandman and Lizard (fortunately Doctor Octopus had reverted to his normal self by that point). As it turns out through, Maguire and Garfield were also a big help when it came to shaping No Way Home’s story.

This revelation comes from the threequel’s writers, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, who sent Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield their script pages shortly after they signed onto Spider-Man: No Way Home in December 2020. Not only did the actors like what they read, they were ready to pitch their own ideas for character development. As Sommers recalled to THR:

They had thoughts, and it was really interesting and helpful to see their thoughts. No one knows the character as well as — or gives as much thought to the character — as someone who has to then embody it and sell it. … It definitely shaped what we did.

Tobey Maguire led the Spider-Man film series from 2002 to 2007, and Andrew Garfield succeed him from 2012 to 2014. Both actors saw their runs as Spider-Man cut short, so Spider-Man: No Way Home allowed for their versions of the character to receive some closure. In Maguire’s case, he wanted keep things “quite minimal” when it came to sharing details about what happened to his Peter after Spider-Man 3, while Garfield “embraced” exploring the darker side of his Peter that emerged after Gwen Stacy died in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as well enjoying the fact that he was the “middle brother” of the three Peters.

Between what Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers came up with and the beats Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield contributed, Spider-Man: No Way Home delivered an emotional reunion for fans of the original Spider-Man film series and the Amazing Spider-Man film series. McKenna continued:

They had great ideas that really elevated everything we were going for and added layers and an arc and we really actually started honing into the idea that these two guys were really helping Tom’s Peter on his journey to becoming who he ends up becoming. There’s a crucial, moral moment that they help him get through in the climax of the movie. So much of that was brought by Tobey and Andrew’s ideas and shaping of what they thought their characters could bring to this story.

In addition to sharing their own experiences with being Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parkers also helped Tom Holland’s Peter cope with the death of Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May, who was murdered by Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin. This comes to a head when Holland’s Peter nearly kills Norman Osborn in a fit of rage, but Maguire’s Peter stopped him, which led to him being stabbed. Fortunately he survived, and both he and Garfield’s Peter were sent back to their own universes with the Spidey adversaries when Doctor Strange cast the spell to make everyone in the MCU forget about Holland’s Peter.

With a fourth Tom Holland-led Spider-Man movie in active development, as well as rumors that Sony might want to do more with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s versions of Spider-Man, we should entertain the possibility that we haven’t seen the last of these older Wall-Crawlers. Should it be officially announced they’re returning, you can count on that news being passed along here at CinemaBlend. For now, keep checking back with us for news about other upcoming Marvel movies.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.