Spider-Man: No Way Home is a cinematic marvel. In addition to its box office domination, the fact that two studios connected three different franchises spanning two decades in a single film is as difficult to absorb as seeing cinema's three Spider-Men together on the big screen. While the MCU's careful crafting of the Multiverse made it possible, just as much credit is due to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Released by Sony Pictures in 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a computer-animated film where Spider-People across the Spider-Verse find their way into Miles Morales' world and help him become Spider-Man.
While the success of Into the Spider-Verse no doubt inspired Sony and Marvel to bring a similar story to live-action, the animated film's story also helped No Way Home's screenwriters with some of their film's more complicated elements.
How Into The Spider-Verse Contributed to Spider-Man: No Way Home
In talking with TheWrap, No Way Home screenwriters Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna explained how a prior Multiversal Spider-Man film - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - influenced Spider-Man: No Way Home's tricky third act, particularly when it came to "goobers."
When working out the details of Doctor Strange's spell - and the magic box with its built-in villain eject button - McKenna came to consider the two items as "goobers" in the style of Peter B. Parker from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, saying:
“I think it was November of last year, it was Erik and I working on this document while we’re doing daily pages, while we’re shooting, really trying to hone what does the spell do, what does the box do? How do we clarify these things? Because they are these, they make fun of the term goobers in ‘Into the Spider-Verse.’ But it really is, it’s like how many goobers can you put in this movie that also has all these characters?”
In Into the Spider-Verse, their "goober" also had Multiversal ramifications as it was an electronic key designed to destroy the villains' supercollider.
As to why it's called a "goober" of all things, well, the world-weary Peter B. Parker explained the term's origin by saying, "There's always a bypass key, a virus key, a who-cares key. I can never remember, so I always call it a goober."
As to McKenna and Sommers' live-action versions, McKenna admitted that Tom Holland's Peter losing his identity was always connected to the spell and the magic box, but initially "it was for a different reason:"
“We were really trying to refine those goobers and it was, at a certain point, the idea that his identity would get erased was baked in, but it was for a different reason. Then it became this idea that, that was how we would do it to stop this influx of people, but then when would he do it and when would he know it was a lifetime sacrifice?”
The Real Heroes of Spider-Man: No Way Home
While Spider-Man: No Way Home is seemingly an impossible film, getting the studios and the various casts together was probably easy in comparison to Sommers and McKenna's task of tackling such a screenplay.
The fact that they managed to give Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Men a purpose in the film that went beyond fan service, while also balancing various villains and Tom Holland's own story, makes them the real heroes of No Way Home.
It's also rather poetic that the writing team needed another Multiversal Spider-Man film to help them find their way, just like how Holland's Peter needed his Multiversal brothers.
While No Way Home is currently dominating the conversation, it's worth noting that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse still has more to say when it comes to Spider-Man in cinema. It was recently announced that Miles Morales will return in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) in late 2022, with a Part Two planned for 2023.
Also, the MCU has plans to tell their own web-slinger's origin story through animation in Spider-Man: Freshman Year for Disney+. The question now is whether the MCU's animated Peter could now cross over into the Spider-Verse.
While only time will tell, it certainly looks like Spider-Man fans have plenty to look forward to in 2022 and beyond.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently playing in theaters.