Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently smashing records at the box office, and the discussion around the movie has been nonstop ever since its premiere. Directed by Jon Watts, the MCU threequel explores the identity crisis of Tom Holland's Peter Parker, the Multiverse, and the highly-anticipated returns of previous Spider-Man actors, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.
Maguire and Garfield's Marvel comeback has long been the subject of No Way Home rumors. Although the movie's cast and crew consistently denied the pair's involvement in the months leading to its debut, insurmountable evidence like leaked set photos and Garfield's intriguing interview comments fueled more discussion about their rumored appearances.
The hype was further cemented when Maguire and Garfield's return became official in No Way Home, thus putting the rumors to rest.
Now, as the film is still playing in theaters in most territories worldwide, No Way Home's screenwriters have revealed Garfield's interesting input in the threequel's script in a new interview.
Andrew Garfield's Impact on No Way Home
Spider-Man: No Way Home writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to openly talk about Andrew Garfield's return in the threequel.
McKenna first shared how Garfield "really loved the idea" that his Peter Parker is "still tortured over" Gwen Stacy's death in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, saying that they "thought it was cool" to explore this current phase:
"Andrew really loved the idea of he’s still tortured over what happened in Amazing Spider-Man 2 and where that left him, and how they could bring that to Tom. 'We can empathize with you. We do know what you are going through. If anyone in the world knows what you’re going through, it’s us.' But also, 'We can be beacons.' Tobey especially has come through that darkness. We thought it was cool that Andrew’s Peter was still in the midst of that darkness."
The Marvel screenwriter continued by pointing out that Garfield and Tobey Maguire's heroes "are going through their own things" in the movie and they are not "two awesome Jedi Knight heroes who show up and are going to help you take down the bad guys:"
"They weren’t just here to go, 'Two awesome Jedi knight heroes who show up and are going to help you take down the bad guys.' They are going through their own things. We were trying to write up to the characters that they did such a great job of creating and really being true to those characters and those stories and those worlds so that it didn’t feel like we were doing curtain call, fan-service."
McKenna then revealed Garfield's other input on the film's script, unveiling the fact that the actor "leaned into the middle brother syndrome" since Maguire is the eldest while Tom Holland's Peter is the youngest of the bunch.
"Andrew really leaned into the lonely, middle brother. That’s one of the things we started saying. “He is the middle brother!” You have the elder brother, Tobey, who is the wise one. The middle sibling thing, he feels like he’s not getting the attention of the other two. It works so great for that character. Andrew leaned into middle brother syndrome. “The baby one is getting all the attention! What about me?” (Laughs.) He’s obviously hurting. I think he has so many great flourishes. So does Tobey."
The No Way Home writer ended by explaining Garfield's line about wanting to have brothers, with him describing it as a "great paradigm for the three of them coming together:"
"I think that dynamic of brothers, that’s why it’s so great when Andrew says, “God, I always wanted to have brothers.” While simplistic, it is a great paradigm for the three of them coming together and you want it to feel like, “Oh, it’s not just doppelgangers.” They are different."
What's Next for Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker?
Many would agree that Andrew Garfield's return in No Way Home was a welcome sight, and this latest comments from the movie's writers solidify that claim.
Given the secrecy surrounding the movie, it's interesting that Garfield had input in the film's script during its development. This essentially shows that the Marvel actor is still passionate about his web-slinging character, and it was later translated in his onscreen appearance.
It makes sense to explore the darkness of Garfield's Peter Parker, especially after the huge blow that he suffered during The Amazing Spider-Man 2. No Way Home presented the best avenue to showcase Garfield's grief over Gwen Stacy's death since a sequel to the 2014 Marvel movie didn't push through.
It is unknown if Peter 3's darkness will further be explored in a future movie, but at least No Way Home gave a sense of closure for fans after what the hero had gone through in his last outing. In addition, it also provided a tease of what's next for the web-slinger, such as potential future enemies (an alien?) and his possible narrative trajectory.
Meanwhile, Garfield's input about being the middle brother among the three Spider-Men is a fun tidbit. As McKenna points out, it "works so great" for the character since it is relatable because he is still "obviously hurting" from his previous experience.
Holland claimed in a previous interview that "this film was [Andrew Garfield's] way of making peace with Spider-Man." This comment has more weight now after the reveal that Garfield had input on the script since this shows that he made sure that his return was meaningful instead of pure fan service.
The middle brother syndrome makes the dynamic of the three Spider-Men more interesting since it allows Maguire's Peter and Holland's MCU hero to reassure Garfield's character that he is still important despite his trauma.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters worldwide.