Spider-Man fans may as well be in heaven right now; it's the golden age for the wall-crawler. On top of No Way Home’s incredible success, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are back in the picture, Across the Spider-Verse lands next year, and Insomniac Games' beloved Spider-Man game is getting a sequel. What’s even more exciting is how the end of No Way Home sets up an entirely new Spider-Man for the MCU to play around with.
Up until this point, the Spidey audiences have been following with Tom Holland has been pretty unique. Now, after a trilogy of films that perfectly set up the foundation of Peter Parker’s character, the future may hold one of the most faithful adaptations of the webhead yet.
As exciting as the future may seem, the ending could also serve as a conclusion to Holland’s character.
Did the writers ever feel that this story was meant to be the end of Peter’s story? Or was it always meant as a springboard for a new journey to begin?
Spider-Man's End, or Beginning?
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Spider-Man: No Way Home writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers commented on if they wrote the film’s ending thinking that Tom Holland may be done with the role.
According to Sommers, they always “knew [they] were going to end up in that place,” and “all [they] could do was try to service this story:”
“We knew we were going to end up in that place. As far as what it means, whether or not there are going to be more? All we could do was try to service this story and tell what we felt was the best version of this story. It’s ended in a place where it could feel like a satisfying to this particular Spider-Man, or it definitely could keep going.”
The writer noted how he “hope[s] they do more” Spider-Man movies while reinforcing the idea that a world in which Peter Parker is now forgotten could be "a huge story engine" for a potential Spider-Man 4.
“We get this team together in a room — and again, each one of these movies has had a big thing from the previous to react to. To be a story engine. If there were to be another one, we have this big change at the end that would be a huge story engine to what comes next. I think it could be a satisfying conclusion or just another really fun, inciting incident for another story. I hope they do more. But I don’t know.”
Chris McKenna jumped into the conversation, adding that if it did have to end, it would have been “a fitting ending,” and noted they “never know” how everything may play out after their current project:
“I think it’s a fitting ending if it had to end this way. We never know. ‘Oh, is Tom doing another one? Will we be a part of it?’ At a certain point, we just got to keep our eye on the one in front of us. ‘Is this a satisfying story that doesn’t just feel like we are ending on a cliffhanger that is trying to trick you into the next one?’”
He continued, expressing how the ending “feels… more mature,” and reiterating just what the conclusion of No Way Home means for the character of Peter Parker:
“I do feel with this ending, Peter makes a sacrifice. There are all these Marvel movies about him trying to figure out what it is to be a hero, what it is to be Spider-Man, what it is to be Peter Parker, how to balance both, how to have it all. He gets to have it all at the end of the last movie, right before that tag, and then it’s all stripped away. ‘Oh no! What are they going to do next time?’ This one feels like it’s more mature because it really is, as Doctor Strange says, ‘You are trying to have it all. You can’t have it all. You’ve got to make a choice.’ Whereas the Goblin is telling him the entire time, ‘You’re a God. You can have it all! Stop trying to make a choice.’”
Going forward, the writer doesn’t believe that Holland’s Peter will go “into bitterness and darkness” as Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man did, and instead feels like “he’s hopeful:”
“But we know that the right thing is he can’t be endangering his loved ones. He loves these people so much that he can’t be a part of their lives, and he knows that for now — is it going to be an Andrew Garfield life? No. I don’t think so. Andrew Garfield went into bitterness and darkness. I don’t see that for this one. He’s hopeful. He has chosen this life.”
But what would happen if Peter just went and convinced his friends of everything? Well McKenna notes that he specifically “doesn’t make that choice because he knows ultimately there’s a sacrifice that has to be made:”
“He could spill the beans and get MJ and Ned back, and he could convince them of everything and have everything he wanted when he walked into Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum. He could get it, but now he has a choice, and he doesn’t make that choice because he knows ultimately there’s a sacrifice that has to be made if he’s going to be the person that May raised him to be. This is the responsibility that he now has to live with. In a lot of ways, this is the other two [Spider-Men] helping him get to a place where maybe they got to before he did. This is the great sacrifice. The death of May is the turning point in his life and really turns what it means to be Peter Parker and Spider-Man into a different place for him.”
The Sacrifices of Peter Parker
The ending for Spider-Man: No Way Home ranks up there with Avengers: Infinity War when it comes to having one of the darkest conclusions of any MCU project.
Peter is alone; not a single soul in the universe remembers him. He has no friends, no family—just Spider-Man. His sacrifice, for better or worse, has started a new chapter in his life. Parker has himself a blank slate.
It’s hard to imagine that this is the last of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker story. While it could, on paper, serve as a conclusion for this Spidey, in action, it would be an extreme disservice to the character.
After all of that hard work establishing Peter Parker and building the perfect foundation for the character to continue as the quintessential Spider-Man, abruptly stopping would feel like a complete waste. Fans around the world certainly wouldn’t be happy.
If Tom Holland truly does want to start paving a road to the conclusion of his time in the suit, the MCU might want to think about setting the stage for the Sinister Six; a villainous group that once killed off the famous wall-crawler, providing the inciting incident for Miles Morales to take up the mantle.
Despite all of the talk about No Way Home being the end of the story, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige himself has assured fans that there will be a fourth Spider-Man film. So audiences worldwide can rest easy knowing Tom Holland will more than likely don the suit again.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is in theaters worldwide.