• Hanlon Rhodes

A Spoiler Packed Rundown of Spider-Man: No Way Home

If you don't live under a rock (and chances are you don't), I'm sure you've heard about the movie everyone's talking about. If not, I've got you covered. Below I will cover everything you missed in Spider-Man: No Way Home OR refresh your memory incase you want to relive those magical moments from the theater. And here it is, your one and only SPOILER WARNING!!! Do not keep reading if you haven't seen the movie and do not want it spoiled for you. (But seriously, what are you waiting for? Go see it.) Before getting into the content of the movie, some background needs to be explained regarding two very powerful companies and how they were able to pull off such a blockbuster film. If you weren't aware, the character of Spider-man originated from Marvel Entertainment Group. However, Marvel was looking to expand it's enterprises beyond comics and onto other forms of storytelling such as movies and toys. As a result, they bought a company called Toy Biz which would later become it's own chapter of the Marvel Entertainment Group. Later, Toy Biz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to poor leadership from the former CEO, and Marvel was out a ton of money. So, in an effort to make money back that they lost through Toy Biz, Marvel decided to start selling the rights to some of their most famous characters. Enter Sony. After buying Blade from Marvel and making a movie which did really well in the box-office, Sony was looking for more. Finally, a deal was struck between Sony and Marvel in which Sony made a payment of $7 million in exchange for the film and character rights to Spider-man. Sony went on to produce a total of 5 Spider-man movies between 2002 and 2014. The first of these movies was a trilogy (Spider-Man 1, 2, and 3) starring Tobey Maguire as Spider-man. The last two (The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2) starred Andrew Garfield. But now you may be asking yourself: 'Where does Disney come into all of this?' and 'What about Tom Holland?' Well, in 2009, as part of the Walt Disney Corporation's goal to dominate the entertainment industry, they acquired the entirety of what was left of Marvel Entertainment group for $4 billion. Time jump to 2014, and Marvel director Kevin Feige (who directed No Way Home!) approaches Sony about making another Spider-man movie that would introduce the character into the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). For a while, the public was left in the dark about whether or not a deal had been struck between the two entertainment companies, and what that would mean for their beloved Spider-man. It wasn't until a company email hack that exposed emails between Sony and Disney that fans knew something was up. And so, on February 9, 2015, it was announced that a new Spider-man would debut in Marvel's upcoming movie: Captain America: Civil War. It was also announced that this same Spider-man would come back in 2017 for a standalone film that would be released by Sony but produced by Marvel. And who was this new Spider-man??? (It's pretty easy to guess). So now we are in the present. After a hard year for the film industry in general due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Marvel has an amazing lineup of films to come in 2021. In this lineup was Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tom Holland's third standalone Spider-man film. Fans were ecstatic. However, something was peculiar about this film. After waiting around and watching trailers for films like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals, get released with ample time before the movies were set to debut, fans were worried when come August, there was no trailer for Tom Holland's third installment that was set to debut in mid-December. Then finally, on August 23, 2021, Sony uploaded a teaser for the upcoming movie onto YouTube, and fans went wild. The 3-minute teaser opened with a continuation of where the previous film left off. It showed how Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) was dealing with his identity being revealed after Mysterio (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), a villain Parker fought in the previous film, leaked a video blaming Peter for his death (thanks a lot, Jake Gyllenhaal). Peter seeks Dr. Strange for help in casting a spell that would make the world forget that Mysterio revealed his identity so that he could live a normal life with his friends. While the concept of Parker and Strange interacting in a post-Endgame world excited fans, nothing set them off like the final few shots of the teaser which showed Doc Ock showing up and greeting Peter. To fans that were not well-versed in the previous Spider-man films, this seemed like another new villain that Tom Holland's Spider-man would have to fight off. But, to avid Spider-man fans, this was a big deal. You see, Doc Ock, this scientist turned super-villain, was not a new character at all. In reality, Doctor Otto Octavius was the villain from the second installment of Tobey Maguire's Spider-man trilogy, Spider-Man 2. After this reveal, fans started speculating about who else would be appearing in the film. After it was announced that Willem Dafoe would be returning as the Green Goblin, fans traded their Spider-man hoodies for CIA jackets and started the real investigating. The biggest question on everyone's mind was whether or not Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield would be making cameos, as most of the villains from their respective films were confirmed to be in the film. In the months leading up to the film, actor Andrew Garfield was grilled about whether or not he would be making an appearance in the film. Due to his new Netflix movie, Tick, Tick…Boom (which is phenomenal, please check it out) coming out, he was shown no mercy on his press tours. Every time Garfield was asked about being in the film, he denied it, and fans didn't know what to believe. There were even supposed "leaks" of videos and pictures from set that came out and when asked about them, Garfield maintained that he was not in the film and that they were all photoshopped. So, this puts us at opening weekend. Fans nervously flood into their local theaters on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night to witness the cross-universe film and find out once and for all if Maguire and Garfield would make an appearance. The fans were not disappointed. To everyone's delight, both Maguire AND Garfield were in the film. But it wasn't just cameos. They were in the film for a good part of the second act. Fans were delighted to see all three Spider-men fighting alongside each other and talking about their respective universes and the similarities and differences between them. It truly was a full-circle moment. Through all of the joy that fans experienced through seeing all three together on the big screen, it should be mentioned that it was also a tear-jerker. Something fans noticed about Holland's trilogy was that it was entirely missing an 'Uncle Ben.' Uncle Ben was Peter Parker's uncle who gets tragically killed on the street in both Maguire and Garfield's movies. Fans were shocked when Holland's trilogy only included Parker's aunt, Aunt May. Unfortunately, Holland's Peter was not able to avoid the tragic death of a parental figure, and Aunt May is killed by the Green Goblin about halfway through the movie. Just before dying, however, Aunt May delivers the infamous line "With great power comes great responsibility," just as both Uncle Bens had in their respective films. Another tearful moment was when Garfield's Spider-man spent some time reminiscing on "his MJ," Gwen, and how he wasn't able to save her. He added how he became rageful after her death and "stopped pulling [his] punches." Incase anyone is unfamiliar with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, at the end of the film, Garfield's Spider-man tragically loses his girlfriend in the final battle of the movie. Gwen falls from a great height and Peter is unable to catch her before she hits the ground, instantly killing her. In No Way Home, Tom Holland's MJ seems as though she is about to experience a similar fate. As she falls backwards in the same motion that Gwen had in Garfield's films, Tom Holland's Peter is knocked out of the way when reaching down to catch her. Fans held their breath as Garfield's Spider-man leaps down and catches Holland's MJ in his arms. Garfield's Peter was finally redeemed. But that STILL doesn't cover arguably the most tear inducing part of the film, which was the ending. When the universe is being pulled apart by all of the multiversal beings that Doctor Strange released when casting Peter's spell, Peter realizes that the only way to fix everything from falling apart is to cast another spell that would make the entire world, including his loved ones, forget about him. After Strange casts the spell, we see Parker, notecard in hand, trying to rehearse what he was going to say to his best friend and girlfriend now that they didn't know who he was. In the end, Peter realizes that they are better off without the chaos of Spider-man in their lives and lets them live on knowing that they are happy. The final shot of the film shows Parker moving into an apartment all on his own. He sews a brand new Spider-man suit and takes off into the night to resume his duties as the anonymous, friendly neighborhood Spider-man. So now you're all caught up on the events of the movie. Of course, this does not detail everything that took place, so please, if you haven't seen the movie yet, do so. It is worth it. Because of the film's overall hype and mystery surrounding cast and plot, everyone and their mothers came to see this movie. As of January 9, 2022, Spider-Man: No Way Home has grossed $1.53 billion worldwide and is the eighth-highest grossing movie ever at the global box office. Domestically, it made over $668 million in ticket sales and is the sixth-highest grossing movie in history at the domestic box office. Needless to say, this movie deserved the hype it got, and surely did not disappoint. Sources: https://variety.com/2022/film/box-office/spiderman-no-way-home-global-box-office-records-1235149805/ https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2021/01/19/unpacking-spider-mans-complicated-history-with-disney-and-sony/ https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2478884/spider-man-movie-rights-the-history-of-sonys-deal-with-marvel Cover Photo: https://www.trustedreviews.com/how-to/how-to-stream-all-the-spider-man-films-before-you-see-no-way-home-4192693