It's safe to say most of the world has heard about Spider-Man: No Way Home. Not only is the project the biggest film of 2021, but it’s also becoming one of the best performing movies of all time. The film focuses on Tom Holland’s Peter Parker as he deals with his identity being publicly revealed. In trying to fix it, the well-intentioned superhero ends up bringing Multiversal villains into the wrong universe.
Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock and Willem Dafoe’s Goblin aren’t the only big names that made the transition between worlds. Fans finally witnessed the return of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in their respective Spider-Man roles.
While Maguire has been off the screen for longer, it was Garfield’s appearance that seemed to resonate with audiences more. After losing Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, fans have long since given up hope on seeing resolution for the character.
But then No Way Home came along and provided just that. Gwen’s death was a clear pillar of Garfield’s character. His moment of redemption when saving Zendaya’s MJ was one of the film’s biggest emotional callbacks.
There was another small connection to Andrew's Peter's late love that many might have missed, one which subtly teases the possibility of Spider-Gwen becoming a reality.
"Are You in a Band?"
The dynamic between the three Spider-Men in Spider-Man: No Way Home is one of the film’s biggest highlights.
The return of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield provided some hilarious and heartfelt moments for everyone’s resident Tom Holland Peter Parker. Amongst those was their pow-wow in the middle of the battle.
As they try to figure out how to work as a team, Holland’s Peter brings up how he was in the Avengers.
"I don't want to brag, but I will: I was in the Avengers."
While one might expect the other two Peters to know who those people are, neither do. But it’s Andrew Garfield’s response that makes for a fun reference to his lost love.
Peter 3’s immediate response to Peter 1's Avengers brag is: “Is that a band… are you in a band?” What makes it even better is how exciting the prospect of a band is. But how is this more than a surface-level joke?
Well, in the comics, the Gwen Stacy who goes on to be Spider-Gwen (or Ghost-Spider, these days) is in a band––and it’s a defining element of her character.
Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker, & the Mary Janes
In the comics, Spider-Gwen becomes friends with a group of fellow students to form a band called The Mary Janes––in which she is the drummer. Her responsibilities for their group are often what she has trouble juggling alongside her duties as Spider-Woman.
While this connection to Andrew’s excitement regarding such activities may seem small, it’s worth noting how intrinsically connected the two are and how close they could be to those two characters in live-action.
On Earth-65, it’s Gwen that gets bit by the fateful spider, not Peter Parker. He’s far from absent in her world, though. The two grew up together and were neighbors who became friends, with their love of music being a key similarity.
After the popularity of Gwen’s superhero persona skyrockets, the bullied Peter Parker ends up trying to conduct an experiment to make himself special like his idol Spider-Woman. So, naturally, his experiment goes south, and he turns into an alternate version of the Lizard.
This new creation ends up crashing prom, where Gwen confronts him. Despite pleas from the Lizard to stop, she doesn’t pull any punches in trying to contain the threat.
After the beatdown, Peter returns to his human form but dies shortly after due to injuries suffered in the battle. Not only is this something that Gwen spends every day trying to redeem herself for, but the world considers her guilty for Parker’s murder.
Gwen & Peter, Fatal Starcrossed Lovers
After Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans made it clear that they want more Andrew Garfield. There’s even been a petition for Sony to commission a third Amazing film. The actor certainly deserves a second chance after being abruptly cut off from the role after the disappointing performance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
The key to the character’s future is right in front of Sony’s eyes. Given the craze over last generation’s take on Spider-Man, it’s the perfect time to bring in Emma Stone as Spider-Gwen––a character who is also loved worldwide thanks to Into the Spider-Verse.
This would pave the way for Sony to create an origin for an alternate Gwen and show audiences how she lost her Peter Parker, setting the stage for a future crossover that would be one of the biggest emotional events in years while also giving the studio its own big tentpole Spider-Man.
The mirrored life experiences between the two that a crossover could provide are pure gold when it comes to impactful character moments and growth. On top of the obvious loss of life, the rageful-ness that got Gwen’s Peter killed would parallel perfectly with Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, who admitted onscreen to not pulling his punches any longer thanks to her death in his universe.
Gwen’s loss is the core of Garfield’s Spider-Man, and Sony can easily build a universe out of Spider-Gwen. What would make it even more interesting is that while Peter’s death is just as impactful of an event for her, it’s in a more platonic context as opposed to the star-crossed lovers seen in the Amazing films.
It’s still unclear just how Sony and Marvel Studios will react to the success of Tom Holland’s latest film. Hopefully part of that reaction will lead to more Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is playing in theaters worldwide.