Now that Spider-Man: No Way Home has been in movie theatres for several months, more details about what happened on-set between the three Spider-Men are being made public. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, screenwriters revealed that the majority of the scenes with Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland were improvised.
Writer Chris Mckenna said, “They had great ideas that really elevated everything we were going for and added layers and an arc… There’s a crucial, moral moment that they help [Tom Holland’s Peter] 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.” Many fans would agree that these on-screen moments are what ultimately made the movie such a big hit and have made it one of the highest grossest movies of 2021.
In one of No Way Home‘s most tearful scenes, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is dealing with the loss of Aunt Mae when the other two arrive on the rooftop and meet him for the first time. They both share their own personal losses and encourage him to do the right thing by reminding him of Uncle Ben’s quote, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
In the previously mentioned interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Mckenna said, “We reworked the rooftop school scene and all that stuff and there was so much fun improv [with] those guys.” This moment, he says, is when Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield really began to lean into their roles as the middle and older brothers. This is also a turning point in the film and sets the scene for the team-up.
Green Goblin Taunts Spider-Man
Many of Willem Dafoe’s lines during the scene where he taunts Peter Parker in Happy’s apartment were improvised according to Tom Holland and Zendaya. In an interview with Marvel Entertainment, Holland said that he had, “never worked with an actor who was able to give a director so many options.“
Zendaya agreed, saying that Dafoe “scared the hell out of everyone to be honest.” Holland explained that Dafoe filmed the scene up to 30 times and each performance was different. Dafoe’s performance is a big factor in the argument that Green Goblin is No Way Home‘s best villain.
The ‘Meme Scene’
Andrew Garfield recently did an interview on the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast stating that he came up with the idea for how to recreate the famous Spider-Man pointing meme from the 1960s Spider-Man animated series. This moment happens during the lab scene when Ned calls out, “Hey Peter” and all three Peters turn around and hilariously point to each other to confirm with Ned who he is talking to.
Apparently the cast, writers, and director, Jon Watts had been trying to think of a way to incorporate the meme into the movie and it was Garfield that had the brilliant idea. This is one of the many callbacks in the film to other Spider-Man source material and delivers a good dose of fan service.
Zendaya Throwing Bread
Zendaya and Ned’s first encounter with Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man is not only one of the most exciting spoiler reveal moments of the movie but it is also one of the funniest. In the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast interview previously mentioned, Garfield shared that Zendaya improvised throwing bread in this scene in an attempt to get him to show his spidey sense.
At first, Zendaya was picking up different objects on the table like a candlestick to protect herself from Andrew Garfield. After several takes, she picked up the basket of bread and asked, “Can I just throw bread at him?” and the director, John Watts replied, “Yeah, throw bread at him.”
“I Love You Guys”
One of Peter Three’s best quotes in No Way Home was completely ad-libbed. In an interview with Variety, Garfield said, “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.“
The scene comes after the three make a plan to take down the villains and before setting off on their final mission. It is obvious that Maguire and Holland are both caught off guard by the line because it was not in the script. Knowing that the line came from genuine sentiment makes the scene that much better. This is one of the fan’s favorite moments in the movie and what made Garfield’s performance so memorable.
The final moment between the three Spider-Men ends with a hug. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Tom Holland revealed that the final scene was inspired by a moment that happened on set between the three men in real life. While in between takes for the rooftop scene, Tom approached Tobey and Andrew and gave them a heartfelt thank you for coming back to reprise their roles in the movie. Afterward, the three embraced.
Director Jon Watts, Producer Amy Pascal, and writers saw the moment and said, “Brilliant! Well, now we know how they’re going to say goodbye to each other.” This was a perfect ending for the trio and has left fans clamoring to see this team up again in the future.
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