As Marvel Studios moves ahead toward a massive release slate in 2022, one holdover from December is still dominating theaters in Spider-Man: No Way Home. The movie paid an incredible tribute to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's films of the 21st century, even letting both actors return to their roles as the MCU gave fans a first taste at just how vast the Multiverse really is.
For a movie that was "only" two and a half hours long, Marvel and Sony found a way to pack No Way Home full of exciting action and emotional moments from beginning to end. Much of that came in the third act as year-long rumors about Maguire and Garfield's inclusion in the picture became a reality; the two iconic web-slingers' arrival through Ned's Sling Ring portals instantly sent theaters worldwide into a frenzy.
With Maguire and Garfield having been out of the Spidey game for such a long time, questions formed about exactly how they would look and feel if and when they made their comebacks next to Tom Holland's MCU hero. In regards to how this specifically came to the big screen, one of No Way Home's key personnel members shared some information on the process toward achieving the ultimate goal.
Spider-Man Designer on Tobey and Andrew VFX
Speaking with Befores & Afters, Spider-Man: No Way Home production visual effects supervisor Kelly Port explored how the movie's production team made Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Men look as good as possible.
Specifically talking about putting the two in scenes together, Port shared how important it was for the teams to make sure each of their suits and movements looked different from one another alongside Tom Holland's hero. This was to ensure that fans didn't mix up the trio as they fought next to each other in the movie's final battle:
"Well, we did. And in fact, the suits are different. In the end battle, there’s a lot of passing and things like that. Editorially, we did everything we could to just make sure that it was as clear as possible, whether through handovers, meaning you saw more than one Spidey in a frame handing something off and tossing something to somebody else, so that you know who’s who for the most part, in addition to what the different suits look like."
The thought process also applied to the poses that each hero strikes during that battle scene. Port shared that the scores from Maguire and Garfield's movies being intertwined during the fight along with the "iconic poses" of all three heroes in the air in front of the moon helped make each hero distinguishable as they fought side-by-side:
"And, as you mentioned, stylistically, they each have their own kind of iconic poses. This is especially the case where after the sandstorm and regrouping, you get that amazing theme music where even the scores are intertwined. You get some of the Danny Elfman stuff in there, and it’s really, really cool, because each have their own themes."
It was a challenge to individualize their "swinging styles" and even "running styles" to ensure fans could pick out which Spider-Man was which against the two other heroes. Multiple animation teams helped bring the sequence to life with Holland, Maguire, and Garfield all playing Spider-Man at the same time, each as their themes played in the background and brought the iconic scene to fruition:
"When all three jumping onto the top of the statue head, backlit by the moon, you get those iconic poses as well in the air. We just took great pains to even get their running styles and the gaits and their iconic poses in the air and their swinging styles, things like that. We had a few animators, both at Imageworks and DD and I think a few other places, where a lot of those artists and animators had worked on those previous films, so it was fun to get their firsthand experience on that, too. We had animators animating Doc Ock walking who had done the original Doc Ock walking. So that was cool. Imageworks handled that end-sequence on the Statue of Liberty, with Cinesite doing the shield fight with Green Goblin."
Tobey and Andrew Standing Out in No Way Home
Putting three versions of Spider-Man together in one movie was quite the challenge for Marvel and Sony; it was particularly important in this effort to make sure all of them looked and acted the way that fans expected without getting them mixed up. It's clear that No Way Home's production team understood their assignment and put all of its efforts into making sure the moment came through as well as it could.
Getting the suits right for Tobey and Andrew was one thing, but with Marvel's track record of delivering excellent costumes in and of itself, the team clearly wanted to make sure these suits came in with a bang. Combining this with the right action shots and movement styles for each hero helped deliver one of the most impressive accomplishments in comic book movie history as Tobey, Andrew, and Tom assembled for the epic final fight.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters worldwide.