Spider-Man: No Way Home has no shortage of epic moments in its 2.5-hour runtime. Marvel Studios' third Spider-Man film pits Tom Holland's Peter Parker against some of the superhero's most notable on-screen foes from previous Spider-Man movies including Jamie Foxx's Electro, Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin and Alfred Molina's Doc Ock.
It was revealed early on in the marketing process that Spider-Man: No Way Home would be dealing with the concept of the Multiverse, which is ripped open when Peter Parker messes up Doctor Strange's spell that was intended to help the world forget his secret identity as Spider-Man. Unfortunately, instead of erasing the world's memory of Parker's identity, the botched spell brings everyone from every universe who knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man to one place.
This causes even more chaos for Spider-Man who must now deal with a whole lot of new villains who want him dead. One of the most notable scenes from Spider-Man: No Way Home's trailers was the reveal that Holland's Spider-Man would be facing off with Doc Ock in a bridge fight of epic proportions.
It took a lot of moving pieces to bring the Spider-Man and Doc Ock's fight to life, and now, the visual effects minds behind the scenes of Spider-Man: No Way Home have explained how it all came together.
The Making of Spider-Man: No Way Home's Bridge Fight
Spider-Man: No Way Home visual effects supervisor Kelly Port spoke to Before & Afters about working on some of the film's most intricate scenes. Port said that the bridge fight between Spider-Man and Doc Ock consisted of "a few hundred" VFX shots and that at one point the sequences was "15 minutes long".
"Digital Domain was tasked with doing that sequence, which was a few hundred VFX shots. Also, the Digital Domain previs team did the previs for the whole movie, which was really cool, led by Matt McClurg. They just did such a great job. There’s so many cool iterations of that sequence that will never see the light of day. It was way longer. At one point in its longest iteration, it was 15 minutes long."
Port explained that the scene was shot in a specially made backlot in Atlanta that used "40-foot bluescreens" and was constantly re-dressed to capture all the different pieces of action.
"We shot in Atlanta at Trilith Studios, which was called Pinewood Atlanta. It was a backlot pad that was made specifically for us. We had 40-foot bluescreens on three sides of that pad, a little bit of roadway with the exit where the assistant vice chancellor was exiting and where most of the action took place."
While the scene may have been shot in Atlanta, Port said the visual effects team built a "fully-CG digital environment" to place the fight in Brooklyn, New York.
"But beyond that little piece of road section, Digital Domain built an entire, fully-CG digital environment around that that would include all the other surrounding bridges, the other side of the bridge that they’re on, all the city of Brooklyn and all the area around it, the river, and all the trees, the fall foliage. It just looked great."
Port also spoke to the advantages of shooting as much of the scene practically as possible which included making a full-blown "Iron Spider bust" and "pieces of Doc Ock's claws and tentacles" for reference while filming.
"My rule of thumb is, if there’s any way possible to shoot something for real, something physical, then we do. We made an Iron Spider bust from chest to head and shoulders, which was just so, so helpful to get those bright pings for reference. We shot this outdoors, and so it was all about, how does this read on an Alexa camera if we were to actually shoot it otherwise, you just don’t know. You just guess. And just actually having that there, having physical cars there, too, will help inform our digital cars.
Having a practical Iron Spider bust will help inform our fully-animated CG version. We also had pieces of Doc Ock’s claws and tentacles that we would bring out as reference. Anything physical would be super, super helpful. It’s the same thing with the explosions. I love the idea of tying physical elements into the digital world. It just always, always makes them look more believable."
Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock Extended
Spider-Man: No Way Home is a film stuffed full of characters, action and epic moments. The highway scene between Spider-Man and Doc Ock was a particularly pivotal moment from the film and was used heavily in the marketing for No Way Home. But it seems even a 15-minute fight sequence between two of the film's main characters had to be toned down to make space for everything else that was going on in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The highway fight wasn't the only thing that was cut in Spider-Man: No Way Home as Tom Holland revealed that his brother originally had a small part that was ultimately removed. Actress Lexi Rabe, who plays Morgan Stark aka Tony Stark's daughter, was also intended to have a role in the Spider-Man film that was eventually cut due to time concerns.
There's no telling whether these deleted or extended sequences will ever see the light of day, but perhaps audiences will be in luck when Spider-Man: No Way Home is released on Blu-Ray and digital platforms.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is in cinemas now.