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Spider-Man: No Way Home Writers Reveal the Hardest Scene to Write

Spider-Man, Green Goblin
By Richard Nebens

Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: No Way Home continues to make its impact as unquestionably the biggest movie of 2021. Paying tribute to three generations of web-slingers, this threequel seemingly had it all. From Tom Holland's hero finally becoming his best self to seeing nearly a dozen historical players in the plot, fans can't get enough of what No Way Home delivered.

Rumors pointed to this film being the most ambitious solo superhero movie in history, and from what fans saw upon its debut, those rumors proved to be true in a big way. Bringing in five Multiversal villains and nearly as many A-list heroes was no easy task, yet the studios found a way to deliver a cohesive story with a concise narrative through and through.

With so many moments that took so much effort to bring to life, fans are curious about what were the most difficult scenes to bring to life, particularly with No Way Home having been in theaters for a few weeks already. Recently, the threequel's writing team provided an answer to that question and shared what was the hardest for them to write.

No Way Home Writers on Most Difficult Scenes

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Marvel

On an episode of The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith, Spider-Man: No Way Home screenwriters Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna shared which scenes in the movie were the most difficult for them to write.

The pair touched on the various scenes that featured all the movie's villains, specifically the one when they're locked up in the basement of the Sanctum Sanctorum. They found some challenges in working out how Peter was going to explain his plan to Doctor Strange before the Sorcerer settles on sending the villains home as they are:

Sommers: "I mean, some scenes just have a lot of heavy lifting, right? So any of the scenes where we had all the villains together, and then Peter’s gonna come in and he’s gonna learn some things, and then Doctor Strange is gonna show up and he’s gonna explain what he’s doing, and then Peter’s gonna say ‘No, don’t do that, because they’ll die!’ I think probably that scene right before Peter takes the box away from Doctor Strange."

McKenna then teased how the "Goblin's speech in Happy's condo" took Sommers a long time to nail down, even joking that McKenna wanted to rewrite it after the movie released. McKenna described this moment as one with a lot going on from multiple characters, which the team had to narrow down to "really move things along:"

McKenna: "You’re still rewriting Goblin’s speech in Happy’s condo right now, aren’t you? Yeah, that was Erik’s cross. I remember you were like ‘I took another whack at it!’ I’m like ‘Erik, we shot it! Its done! The movie’s already out in theaters!’Yeah, that one too. Goblin’s speech when he turns. But I would say, just technically, every movie has one of those scenes for us where it’s like ‘Boy, we have to get a lot of stuff out in this scene and a lot of stuff has to change and we gotta really move things along."

Sommers noted the biggest hurdle with developing scenes with many characters is ensuring that no one is "sitting there on camera not saying anything." With the exposition and the "big dramatic decision" that often drives the scene, Sommers admitted that scenes like the ones in Doctor Strange's Undercroft that go through many versions to make sure nothing drags and that it stays exciting:

"Exposition and emotion, you know? Having a change of heart, making a big decision, there’s just a lot of stuff. We also talk about having mouths to feed in a scene, and that’s just a term I probably picked up in some writer’s room somewhere, but it’s just like ‘How many people are in this scene?’ Sometimes, you’re writing a scene, and there’s so many people in it and you don’t want anyone to just be sitting there on camera not saying anything, and so you need to have everyone weigh in and you want the scene to feel like there’s a reason that character is there. When you have a scene like that and there’s a lot of exposition and there’s a big dramatic decision being made and an emotional shift, some of those scenes can be really hard to write and you write them over and over and over because you’re just trying to get there with the least amount of moves and not make it feel like it’s dragging on and keep it exciting."

"That's Some Neat Trick...That Sense Of Yours..."

Looking at the scene that McKenna and Sommers focused on, it's almost no surprise that it's one that involves more characters than nearly any other in the movie.

When fans saw Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin fully put Norman Osborn "on sabbatical," he was surrounded by nearly half a dozen other heroes and villains. As Aunt May sees Peter interact with the Goblin, Doc Ock, Sandman, and Electro, the Goblin's sudden change into his full villainous persona immediately turned the tide on what the film was delivering.

This was particularly challenging since most of the dialogue came exclusively from Norman and Peter as the movie's main antagonist showed just how terrifying he could truly be in a new universe. Even after Doc Ock's turn to the good side with a new inhibitor chip, tensions increased to incredible levels before the Goblin unleashed his full power, killing Aunt May in the process.

Those difficulties also came into play in the Sanctum Sanctorum as Peter and Doctor Strange engaged in a moral battle about how to fix their Multiversal problems.

Even with all five villains locked up in their cells, a different kind of tension built as the Avengers teammates debated about the best course of action to take after Peter's mistake with the spell. With five people watching and chiming into that conversation, there was simply a ton of moving parts to navigate, especially with a scene that centered on only two people.

In a movie that featured more than a dozen players on both sides of the fight, there were bound to be scenes with so many of them coming into play with each other. Those moments turned out to bring more strain and tension than almost any others in the plot, helping to give viewers a sense of the stress that was coming through in the plot in each moment.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters worldwide.


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