While it was exciting to simply get another Spider-Man outing with Tom Holland, the anticipation for his third film was on another level. Going into the movie, fans knew it would bring five previous villains back to the screen and that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield might even show up in their super suits.
While that all turned out to be true, there wasn't much talk about the supporting characters in Maguire’s and Garfield’s respective universes. Was there ever a chance Gwen appeared, or even Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane?
Most who watched No Way Home found it hard to imagine how anyone else from Peter 2 or Peter 3’s timelines could have even been included in the movie’s plot.
Emma Stone Nearly Made It Into Spider-Man: No Way Home
MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, written by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards, recently hit shelves, and in it, new information confirmed that several notable names from previous Spider-Man movies were a part of earlier drafts for No Way Home including Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy.
According to an excerpt from the book, writers Erik Sommer and Chris McKenna created a version of the Tom Holland-led film that "incorporated Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy, Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane Watson, and Sally Field's Aunt May:"
"Sommers and McKenna, at various points, wrote versions of the story that incorporated Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy, Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson, and Sally Field’s Aunt May, but ultimately cut all those women when they decided that the story was already overstuffed; the only female characters with significant screen time would be Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May and Zendaya’s MJ. Because the screenplay was constantly in flux, none of the actors could read a locked script, and they joined the project based on their faith in [Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige], [Producer Amy Pascal], and director Jon Watts."
Previously, McKenna revealed how the writers "went down different roads with different characters that just didn't fit," though no specific characters were mentioned by name:
“We went down different roads with different characters that just didn’t fit… we can’t get into the details of that because it might be the kind of thing where they’ll find a way to explore those ideas. So I’d hate to spoil anything because I think we had a lot of fun.”
While Stone and Field haven't been very vocal about the Spider-Man films since their involvement, in an interview following No Way Home, Kirsten Dunst shared how "[she'd] join that Multiverse," asking Marvel to "please put [her] in the lineup:"
“You know I'd join that multiverse! I feel like I'm the only one that hasn't joined it. I'm like, ‘Please put me in. Put me in the lineup.' I need to pay for my house and kids.”
Would Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane, and Aunt May's Return Have Worked?
Out of the three potential returning stars, Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy certainly would have gotten the biggest reaction from audiences.
However, even without her, the character’s legacy was still felt. After all, the fan-favorite scene of Andrew Garfield saving Zendaya’s MJ relies on audiences’ connection to his late lover and the actress who portrayed her.
Perhaps Emma Stone could still return in the future. Given the popularity of the Spider-Verse animated films, there’s a desire from fans to see a live-action Spider-Gwen.
At the end of the day, Marvel Studios made the right choice in limiting the Multiverse shenanigans to the Spider-Men themselves and their villains.
As awesome as it would have been to get an update from Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane or Sally Field’s Aunt May, it would have taken time away from other parts of the film—which already had plenty to juggle without their involvement added in.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now streaming on Starz.