A Different Marvel Character Was Supposed to Introduce Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man Variants in No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home's introduction of "variant" Spider-Men Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become an instant-classic scene. Fans (who don't read online rumors) were caught wildly by surprise when MJ (Zendaya) and Ned's (Jacob Batalon) attempt to console their buddy Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in his darkest moment instead turned into a multiverse-mishap. Garfield and Maguire's arrivals were hilariously undercut by Ned's grandmother's pragmatic wishes that the Spider-Men use their great powers for the responsibility of tidying up. However, it turns out that a different Marvel character was originally supposed to carry that scene...

The screenwriters of Spider-Man: No Way Home – Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers – opened up to Variety about just how much panic and anxiety the key scene that introduced Garfield and Maguire was ot plan out. It's during that explanation that we get the reveal that the pair originally had a Marvel character cameo planned for the purpose of introducing Peter Parker to his variant selves. As McKenna explains: 

"They are brought by a Marvel character going, 'Here are the saving graces and they're going to help you through this,'" McKenna recounts. "It was just more of a deus ex machina."

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The writers wouldn't divulge which Marvel character they had planned for the scene – only that it was a plan they carried pretty far along, into the start of production on the movie in fall 2020. It was during the Christmas holiday of last year that McKenna and Sommers finally broke down and decided they needed a scene that was more substantive and less gimmicky. In the end, having some fun times with Garfield and Maguire's versions of Spider-Man turned out to be exactly what the writers needed, what the cast needed, and (ultimately) what audiences needed: 

"It was a beam of light in darkness," McKenna says of writing the scene. "It was such a gift, particularly at that point in the writing process, to be writing for those two characters. It was 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."

In the MCU franchise, there's always the somewhat trepidacious pull to use flashy crossovers gimmicks in place of earned storytelling – but to the credit of those behind the franchise, it's a temptation that's rarely indulged – and this is just another case of why the films turn out better for it.   

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