Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: No Way Home has been in theaters for nearly two full weeks, and it remains the biggest event in the world for the entertainment industry. Featuring Tom Holland teaming up with five classic Multiversal Spidey villains, which came before the thrilling returns of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, the MCU's last 2021 film became the talk of the comic book movie community instantly.
With seven major players from past Spider-Man movies, on top of Charlie Cox's long-awaited MCU debut as Daredevil, No Way Home had one incredible moment after another during its 2-hour-28-minute runtime. From Alfred Molina's explosive arrival as Doctor Octopus to Willem Dafoe's terrifying rendition of his Green Goblin and more, the threequel came with more game-changing moments than almost any solo movie in MCU history.
Arguably at the top of most fans' lists of thrilling sequences was Garfield and Maguire's introductions, which brought some of the biggest cheers for any MCU moment ever in theaters across the world. For as big of a moment as this was to the fan base, it was even moreso behind the scenes for the production team as well.
Spider-Man 3 Screenwriters on Maguire & Garfield Arrivals
Spider-Man: No Way Home screenwriters Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna shared new information on other ideas they had for Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's arrivals as their Spider-Men in the threequel in an interview with Variety.
Rather than appearing by coincidence after Aunt May's death, McKenna admitted they were originally supposed to come in alongside an undisclosed Marvel character as "more of a deus ex machina":
“They are brought by a Marvel character going, ‘Here are the saving graces and they're going to help you through this.' It was just more of a deus ex machina.”
This ending stayed in place for No Way Home even while production started in Fall 2020, although it didn't take long for the screenwriters to look for another way to make this moment happen. Having waited to write the third act of the movie until production was well underway, the two knew that something from their original plan had to change, according to McKenna:
“We were changing the story so much. We were already two months into production. And we were having to now take another whack at act three, which we hadn't had time to because we were shooting act one and act two.”
In the end, working through pandemic-related fears and worries about messing up this key moment, the duo took Christmas to come up with the scene that fans saw in the final cut of No Way Home. Describing it as "a beam of light in darkness" and "a gift," McKenna loved the idea of having Maguire and Garfield come in when the movie was at its absolute lowest point on multiple levels:
“It was a beam of light in darkness. It was such a gift, particularly at that point in the writing process, to be writing for those two characters. It the darkest part of the year, the darkest part of production, the darkest part of the story development, and it was like, Oh! Now we get Tobey and Andrew.”
Garfield and Maguire - A Light in the Darkness
Of all the rumors surrounding the cast and story behind No Way Home, almost none built up excitement the way Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's reported returns did more than a year ago. As McKenna and Sommers worked out how to actually make their appearances a reality in the movie, it was clear that the duo couldn't take any shortcuts in making their entrances as spectacular as possible.
Looking at the Marvel character that McKenna mentioned in his quotes, there are no signs pointing to exactly who would have brought in Maguire and Garfield during this "deus ex machina"-style sequence. With so many heroes and villains already having their moments in the nearly 2.5-hour runtime, there's a chance that it would have been simply yet another personality to fit into a massive narrative.
The duo's introductions that stuck in the film wound up making its mark on not only No Way Home, but the MCU as a whole, particularly with Peter, Ned, and MJ all at arguably the lowest points of their MCU tenures.
With Ned uncovering his magical abilities and bringing Garfield and Maguire into his house, fans and the movie's characters alike immediately felt a renewed sense of hope and found the inspiration to truly finish the mission. Ned helping bring this twist to life instead of another undisclosed character brought even more meaning and purpose to the moment as he looked for any way possible to help his friends through their sadness.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters worldwide.