“No Way Home” Writers Talk Balancing Story with 3 Spider-Mans

Tom Holland as Peter Parker and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'. Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Spider-Man: No Way Home writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers sat down with the Los Angeles Times to discuss the madness to their methods that created one of the most jaw-dropping movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. One of the points brought up in the conversation was how they could balance the story with all three Peter Parkers/Spider-Mans: Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire.

“It was really exciting, but also intimidating,” Sommers said. “We really wanted to honor them, and we wanted to make sure that if we’re going to bring these two guys in, it’s not just this flashy thing we did.”

Sommers explained that they wanted Garfield and Maguire’s characters each to bring a different perspective into the story.

Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers

Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: Movie Review: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

“We wanted to make sure that, first and foremost, they service the story of our Peter Parker, but secondly, we wanted it to feel like when they go home, they’ve learned something too,” he said. “That this has had an impact on their journey. So we had to put our heads together and decide where we think these guys are right now in their lives.”

“Tobey really wanted to play it with a Zen calm — his Peter had been through a lot in life but knowing that in a lot of ways he’d made peace,” McKenna added. “There was always that line with his character between how much we wanted to give away and how much was going to feel like just fan service. Tobey was like, ‘less is more, less is more.’ He knows that just with a smile, with a look, he brings so much to it, and he really helped shape it so that we weren’t overwriting that character.

Tom Holland

Credit: Marvel

“With Andrew, it seemed like we were all on the same page in terms of coming from the darkness of where he was with the death of Gwen. There was a meta element, obviously, that made its way into this. He didn’t get his third movie. He’s trapped in the dregs of that bottom out. That’s why, when he has that moment [of saving] MJ, it feels like such a great win.”

“At the end of his last movie, Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man had been told by Gwen to carry on, try to maintain hope,” Sommer said. “It appealed to us — the idea that he did try, but he didn’t succeed, and he’s given in a little bit to his grief and anger.”

“Tobey really wanted to lean into the idea that he was here to help [MCU] Peter,” McKenna said. “That really helped us flesh out how the two Peters are here to help in this critical period of our Peter’s journey — whether he was going to take revenge in the same way that they sought revenge, knowing it leads to nothing but darkness. One Peter was still trapped in that darkness, and one made it out, but it wasn’t an easy journey.”

credit: WhatsOnDisneyPlus

credit: WhatsOnDisneyPlus

The two writers also shed light on how Tom Holland’s Peter Parker’s interaction with Maguire and Garfield evolved as production went on, as well as their interaction with Zendaya’s MJ and Jacob Batalon’s Ned.

“We originally had them sort of just show up as Doctor Strange finds them at Peter’s lowest point, but there just wasn’t any room to explore their characters there,” McKenna explained. “Then we took out Doctor Strange from that, and it was Ned [and MJ] finding them — it just allowed these characters to not only enter in a fun, unexpected way at Ned’s Lola’s house but also have these very protective friends and play around with Andrew being his character and Tobey being this wise one.”

“Tom Holland did such an amazing job,” Sommers said. “Having these two other Spider-Men come into his movie and being able to immediately become comfortable with them, riff with them like that and create that three-brother dynamic.”

Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man

Credit: Marvel

Related: Zendaya and Tom Holland Confess Their Feelings about the Ending of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

“A great example of how integral Tom was to all of this is that rooftop scene [where all three Peters meet for the first time],” McKenna explained. “It was a crucial scene, obviously, and it went through a lot of reworking… It was just that kind of great collaboration with all of them … Even the little ways that Tobey and Andrew are finishing their sentences in terms of the Uncle Ben of it all, it came together really well.”

Spider-Man: No Way Home is still in theaters and will be available on streaming in the near future, however, it is still unclear when fans can expect it to arrive on Disney+.

Spider-Man No Way Home Poster

Credit: Marvel

What did you think about Spider-Man: No Way Home? Let us know in the comments!

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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