Concept artist Phil Saunders took to social media to offer an alternate look at a scene from Spider-Man: No Way Home that was reworked in the finished film.
It’s a moment so critical in the story of Spider-Man that Sony’s Across the Spider-Verse dubbed it a “canon event:” The death of someone close to him. For Tobey Maguire, it was the murder of Uncle Ben. For Andrew Garfield, it was both Ben and Captain Stacy.
And for the MCU’s own Peter Parker, it was the untimely end of his beloved Aunt May, after she was caught in the blast of one of Green Goblin’s pumpkin bombs, as seen in No Way Home. However, due to pandemic-era constraints, the scene in question was not shot as originally planned.
Alternate May Parker Death Scene Revealed
Phil Saunders, a concept artist who worked on 2021’s smash hit Spider-Man: No Way Home posted a piece he created during his time on the film to Instagram. The image shows a teary-eyed Peter Parker (Tom Holland) hovering over Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May as she’s dying.
Instead of this occurrence taking place in the lobby of Happy Hogan’s apartment building, it was initially conceived to be in the back of an ambulance.
Saunders’ caption to his Instagram post noted that this was a “wonderful shot to be assigned” because of its emotionally resonant nature:
“‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ has one of the most poignant moments in the MCU, the death of Peter Parker’s beloved Aunt May. In an earlier version of the script, this moment took place in an ambulance racing to the nearest hospital. I always like to capture the emotion of a scene in my keyframes, so this was a wonderful shot to be assigned.”
Last year, No Way Home screenwriter Erik Sommers discussed how the original intent for May’s death was indeed to have things be set in an ambulance. However, since this would have been impractical to shoot during COVID times, the location was changed.
A Pivotal Moment for MCU Spider-Man
May’s death sequence was, memorably, the very first time a character in the MCU delivered the classic, character-defining Spider-Man motto on-screen, “With great power, there must also come great responsibility.”
It’s a lesson that young Peter definitely took to heart heading into the film’s final battle, as he asks Stephen Strange to use his sorcery to scrub the planet of any memory or mention of Peter Parker.
It’s fitting that No Way Home did so much heavy lifting to move Spider-Man’s story forward, since, as fans now know, the MCU Spidey trilogy (recently confirmed to be called the “Home Trilogy”) was meant to serve as the hero’s origin story for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Traditionally, it seems as though Peter’s life is filled with tragedy, hardship, and things that never go quite right for him. This has given Spider-Man a groundedness that audiences seem to respond to and relate to. In fact, it’s the character’s relatability and perseverance in the face of struggle that have helped keep him as the most marketable superhero in existence.
It’s currently not known when exactly Tom Holland’s Web-Slinger will grace the silver screen again, but his first three solo adventures can be purchased wherever movies are sold.