Marvel Studios just released their last theatrical effort of the year, and it was a big one: Spider-Man: No Way Home. Tom Holland’s latest outing as the wall-crawler has broken records at the box office, including the second-biggest opening of all time. People want to see more of New York's friendly neighborhood webhead.
It’s hard to blame them. After all, the film does pull together three generations of Spider-Man; Alfred Molina’s return as Doc Ock, Willem Dafoe as Green Goblin, and Jamie Foxx’s Electro are all just a small part of that.
For many, the film feels like a celebration of the character. Peter Parker and his alter ego have meant a lot to people worldwide for decades now. That likely intensified as generations grew up with live-action adaptations, putting Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland in the famous red and blue duds.
Marvel Studios boss and Sony Pictures’ chairman both feel the same and are aware of how much the character means to the world.
The Celebration of Spider-Man
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, chair of Sony Pictures Tom Rothman, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, commented on the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, and how it’s a celebration of the franchise. This comes as Sony is poised to campaign the Spidey threequel for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Feige compared the film to The Return of the King, in that it's a “celebration and culmination of all that amazing work:”
“In the way The Return of the King [the third and final installment, which swept the Oscars] was sort of a celebration and culmination of all of that amazing work that had been done on that trilogy, this is a celebration both of our Homecoming trilogy [the three most recent installments] and of the five other incarnations of Spider-Man that had happened before.”
Rothman added that “this is the conclusion of an epic series,” and that it's important “that the Academy does not lose its connection with quality:”
“Like the third Lord of the Rings, this is the conclusion of an epic series, and is quality commercial cinema. Black Panther was quality commercial cinema. It is essential that the Academy does not lose its connection with quality commercial cinema.”
Feige made it clear how the success of No Way Home "is the magic of movies," as people had to actually go out to the theater and watch the film with people; in times like these, no less:
"...a celebration of moviegoing in the theater... Spider-Man wasn’t on streaming and available at home. People had to get in their car and drive to a movie theater and watch this thing with other people. That, to me, is the magic of the movies. So this has been very, very meaningful for our industry.”
When it comes to the film's chances at The Oscars, superhero movies have never fared well in that arena. Many suspect negative bias on The Academy's part. But either way, Rothman says that recognizing Tom Holland's latest outing "is a chance for the Academy to strike a blow for the big screen:"
"This is a big picture on the big screen at a moment when the big screen experience is fighting for its life. This is a chance for the Academy to strike a blow for the big screen.”
The Lord of the Spiders
The biggest difference between the Spider-Man series and Lord of the Rings is how the Peter Jackson-directed trilogy was embraced wholly by The Academy, having won 11 awards at The Oscars in 2004. The webhead, on the other hand, has not had such fortune—something which goes for Marvel Studios as a whole.
For a long time, The Academy has been accused of having a negative superhero and blockbuster via, keeping them out of consideration for the bigger rewards, most being related to Best Visual Effects.
When it comes to No Way Home, there's far more than just spectacle at play. There is heart, emotion, excitement—pretty much everything needed for a movie to make an impact.
Tom Holland has also been praised for his career-defining performance, and many are yelling for Willem Dafoe to get recognition as Green Goblin.
Fans will have to wait and see if things are different this time around. At least this time, Marvel Studios and Sony are both fighting hard for No Way Home to get in the game.
Until then, everyone might as well see it again, as it’s currently playing in theaters worldwide.