Warning: this story contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home. A "second chance at saving Gwen" sold Andrew Garfield on his Spider-Man return in No Way Home, where the Amazing Spider-Man (Garfield) leaps to the rescue of MJ (Zendaya) in a redemptive moment denied him in his universe. During a climactic battle between the three Spider-Men and multiversal villains — including Garfield's old foes Lizard (Rhys Ifans) and Electro (Jamie Foxx) — MJ falls from scaffolding on the Statue of Liberty, just out of reach of boyfriend Peter Parker (Tom Holland). It's Garfield's "Peter #3" who saves MJ, tearing up as he recalls lost love Gwen Stacy's (Emma Stone) tragic death in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
After the second No Way Home trailer ended with Holland's Spider-Man reaching out for the plummeting MJ, recalling Gwen's fall from a clock tower, a popular fan theory predicted Garfield's web-slinger would swing to the rescue. A fan-made trailer edit by Mightyraccoon! on YouTube overlays Garfield's Spider-Man over Holland's, inserting memories of Gwen's fatal fall in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as Peter desperately reaches out to save MJ.
The viral video, which has amassed nearly seven million views, was published one month before Garfield's Spider-Man successfully saves MJ in the December 17 release of No Way Home.
"I will say the image of my catching MJ — that was really beautiful and it kind of sold me on the whole thing," Garfield told Variety of his return to Spider-Man.
"My Spider-Man got to save his younger brother's romantic relationship, potentially. And to heal the most traumatic moment of his own life through doing it for his younger brother," said Garfield, whose Spider-Man refers to his multiversal variants as his brothers when he enters the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "Making sure that he didn't have the same fate, there's something cosmically beautiful about that. It meant getting a second chance at saving Gwen."
Garfield added he is "so grateful" to "tie up some loose ends" for his Peter after 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which left off on a cliffhanger of sorts as Sony rebooted the wall-crawler with Holland in the MCU.
"I love that character and I'm grateful that I got to work with these incredible actors, this incredible director [Jon Watts], and Marvel in conjunction with Sony. It was joyful, and a feeling of closure for me," he said. "There was so many unanswered questions for my Peter, where we left it. I got to step back in and get some healing for him. And also really supporting [Holland's] Peter, and honoring his character completing that trilogy, not distracting or detracting from it."
Starring Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Jamie Foxx, and Benedict Cumberbatch, Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing exclusively in theaters.