It's has been a week since Spider-Man: No Way Home finally arrived in theaters, and elements of its mind-bending approach to the Marvel Cinematic Universe are still being buzzed about. The blockbuster is jam-packed with surprising moments and long-awaited reveals tied to Spider-Man lore — but according to the film's co-writers, even more was left on the cutting room floor. As co-writer Erik Sommers revealed in a recent interview with DiscussingFilm, the approach to balancing the film's ever-growing cast — while still keeping the journey focused on Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tom Holland) — was an interesting challenge.
"At the end of the day, it's a Spider-Man movie – you have to be telling the story of Peter Parker, and everything has to be in service of that," Sommers explained. "So there were a lot of painful decisions made, you know, we would have loved to have done this and that and 'Oh, wouldn't be great if these two villains could do this!' But it has to be in service of Peter's journey, and you have to keep things moving. There were definitely a lot of what we call 'little darlings' – little moments and things that you really just love – but sometimes you have to let them go."
"I mean, it's a balancing act because we love those previous movies, the Sam Raimi and Marc Webb ones, and we want to pay homage to them and make the fans happy," Sommers continued. "But you don't want to just do lazy fan service for its own sake because it'll ring false at some point. It's a balancing act and at every point, again, you have to be thinking about the story. So if you really want to hear this villain say the line that he said in that other movie, you can't let that drive you in terms of finding a moment for that. If you just go looking for that and you spend all this time, you're going to end up writing some scene that maybe doesn't even need to be in the movie. You just have to keep focused on telling Peter Parker's story, and then hope that you find opportunities for those moments in there. We were working with a lot of smart and talented people, and just poring over these moments again and again, crafting things and trying to find those moments where we could include that kind of stuff in a way that felt like it was organic. We weren't just doing it for its own sake."
In Spider-Man: No Way Home, for the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life from the high-stakes of being a Super Hero. When he asks for help from Doctor Strange the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man. The film will also star Zendaya as MJ, Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, J.B. Smoove as Julius Dell, Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, Angourie Rice as Betty Brant, and Hannibal Buress as Coach Wilson. Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, and Jamie Foxx will reprise their roles from previous Spider-Man films.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently in theaters.