Spider-Man: No Way Home

About Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home Film

Spider-Man: No Way Home is a 2021 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), and the 27th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Jon Watts and written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. It stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man alongside Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jacob Batalon, Jon Favreau, Jamie Foxx, Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Benedict Wong, Tony Revolori, Marisa Tomei, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire. In the film, Parker asks Dr. Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) to use magic to make his identity as Spider-Man a secret again following the global revelation at the end of Far From Home. When the spell goes wrong because of Parker’s actions, the multiverse is broken open, which allows visitors from alternate realities to enter Parker’s universe.

A third MCU Spider-Man film was planned during the production of Homecoming in 2017. Negotiations between Sony and Marvel Studios to alter their deal—in which they produce the Spider-Man films together—ended with Marvel Studios leaving the project in August 2019, but a negative fan reaction led to a new deal between the companies a month later. Watts, McKenna, Sommers, and Holland were set to return, and filming took place from October 2020 to March 2021 in New York City and Atlanta. No Way Home serves as a crossover between the MCU and the Spider-Man films directed by Sam Raimi and Marc Webb, featuring several actors reprising their roles from those films, including previous Spider-Man actors Maguire and Garfield. The involvement of both actors was the subject of wide speculation and numerous leaks despite the efforts of Sony, Marvel, and the cast to conceal their involvement.

Spider-Man: No Way Home premiered at the Fox Village Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, on December 13, 2021, and was theatrically released in the United States on December 17, as part of Phase Four of the MCU. The film received positive reviews from critics and grossed over $1.9 billion worldwide, surpassing its predecessor as the highest-grossing film released by Sony Pictures. It became the highest-grossing film of 2021, the sixth-highest-grossing film of all time, the highest grossing Spider-Man film, and set several other box office records, including those for films released during the COVID-19 pandemic. The film received a nomination for Best Visual Effects at the 94th Academy Awards, among numerous other accolades. An extended version of the film, subtitled The More Fun Stuff Version, had a global theatrical release in September 2022. A sequel is in development.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Film


After Quentin Beck frames Peter Parker for his murder and reveals Peter’s identity as Spider-Man,[a] Peter, his girlfriend, Michelle “MJ” Jones-Watson; best friend, Ned Leeds; and aunt, May Parker, are interrogated by the Department of Damage Control. Lawyer Matt Murdock gets Peter’s charges dropped, but the group grapples with negative publicity. After Peter’s, MJ’s, and Ned’s MIT applications are rejected, Peter goes to the New York Sanctum to ask Stephen Strange for help. Strange starts casting a spell that would make everyone forget Peter is Spider-Man, but it is corrupted when Peter repeatedly requests alterations to let his loved ones retain their memories, ultimately causing Strange to contain the spell to stop it.

At Strange’s suggestion, Peter tries to convince an MIT administrator to reconsider MJ’s and Ned’s applications but is attacked by Otto Octavius. Octavius rips nanotechnology from Peter’s Iron Spider suit, which bonds with his mechanical tentacles and allows Peter to control them. As Norman Osborn arrives and attacks, Strange teleports Peter back to the Sanctum and locks Octavius in a cell next to Curt Connors. Strange explains that the corrupted spell summoned people from other universes within the Multiverse who know Spider-Man’s identity. He orders Peter, MJ, and Ned to find and capture them; they locate and retrieve Max Dillon and Flint Marko at a military research facility.

Osborn reclaims control of himself from his split Green Goblin personality and destroys the Goblin mask. He goes to a F.E.A.S.T. building, where May comforts him before Peter retrieves him. While discussing their battles with Spider-Man, Osborn, Octavius, and Dillon realize they were pulled from their universes just before their deaths. Strange prepares to reverse the contained spell and send the villains back to their respective universes, but Peter argues that they should first cure the villains of the insanity that would lead to their deaths, to possibly change their fates upon their return. When Strange refuses, Peter steals the spell, traps Strange in the Mirror Dimension, and with May, takes the villains to Happy Hogan’s apartment, where he uses Stark Industries technology to cure Octavius. Before Peter can cure anyone else, his Spider-Sense goes off. He then realizes that the Goblin persona has retaken control of Osborn, who convinces the uncured villains to betray Peter. As Dillon, Marko, and Connors escape, the Goblin fatally injures May. Before she dies, May tells Peter that “with great power, there must also come great responsibility”.

Ned discovers that he can create portals using Strange’s sling ring, which he and MJ use to try to locate Peter. They instead find alternate versions of Peter from the villains’ universes who were also summoned by Strange’s spell and are nicknamed “Peter-Two” and “Peter-Three”. The group finds this universe’s Peter, nicknamed “Peter-One”, who is ready to give up and send the villains home to die. The alternate Peters share stories of losing loved ones and encourage Peter-One to fight in May’s honor, and the three Peters develop cures for the villains.

The group lures Dillon, Marko, and Connors to the Statue of Liberty. Peter-One and Peter-Two cure Connors and Marko, while Octavius arrives to help cure Dillon, and Ned frees Strange from the Mirror Dimension. The Goblin appears and unleashes the contained spell, which breaks apart the barriers between universes, pulling in countless others who know Parker’s identity. Strange attempts to hold them off while an enraged Peter-One tries to kill the Goblin. Peter-Two stops him but gets stabbed by the Goblin. Peter-Three helps Peter-One inject the Goblin with his cure, restoring Osborn’s sanity. Peter-One realizes that the only way to protect the Multiverse is to erase himself from everyone’s memory and requests Strange to do so while promising MJ and Ned that he will find them again. Strange reluctantly casts the spell, and everyone returns to their respective universes—including Eddie Brock, who unknowingly leaves behind a piece of the Venom symbiote.

Two weeks later, Peter visits MJ to reintroduce himself to her and Ned, but he decides against it. While mourning at May’s grave, he has a conversation with Hogan and is inspired to carry on, making a new suit and resuming his vigilantism.


  • Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man:
    A teenager and Avenger who received spider-like abilities after being bitten by a radioactive spider. The film explores the fallout of Spider-Man: Far From Homes (2019) mid-credits scene, in which Parker’s identity as Spider-Man is exposed, and Parker is more pessimistic in contrast to previous Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films. Holland said Parker feels defeated and insecure and was excited to explore the darker side of the character. The adjustment back to portraying Parker, including raising his voice pitch and returning to the mindset of a “naïve, charming teenager”, was strange for Holland after taking on more mature roles such as in Cherry (2021).
  • Zendaya as Michelle “MJ” Jones-Watson:
    Parker’s classmate and girlfriend. The character’s full name is revealed in the film, having previously just been known as Michelle Jones, bringing her closer to the comics counterpart Mary Jane Watson.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange:
    A neurosurgeon who became a Master of the Mystic Arts following a career-ending car accident. Holland felt Strange was not a mentor to Parker, unlike Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), but instead saw them as colleagues and noted their relationship breaks down throughout the course of the film. Cumberbatch felt there was a close relationship between Strange and Parker because both are neighborhood superheroes with a shared history. Co-writer Chris McKenna described Strange as the voice of reason in the film.
  • Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds: Parker’s best friend. Batalon lost 102 pounds (46 kg) for his role in this film.
  • Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan: The head of security for Stark Industries and former driver and bodyguard of Tony Stark, who looks after Parker.
  • Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon / Electro:
    An Oscorp electrical engineer from an alternate reality who gained electric powers after an accident involving genetically modified electric eels. Foxx reprises his role from Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). The character was redesigned for No Way Home, foregoing his original blue Ultimate Marvel-based design in favor of a yellow one more similar to his mainstream comic book appearance.
  • Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn / Green Goblin:
    A scientist and the CEO of Oscorp from an alternate reality who tested an unstable strength enhancer on himself. He developed an insane split personality as a result and uses advanced Oscorp armor and equipment. Dafoe reprises his role from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Dafoe felt Green Goblin had advanced from his portrayal in Spider-Man (2002) and had “a few more tricks up [his] sleeves” in this film. Dafoe was digitally de-aged for the role, and the character also obtains upgrades to his costume to make him more closely resemble his comic book counterpart.
  • Alfred Molina as Otto Octavius / Doctor Octopus:
    A scientist from an alternate reality with four artificially intelligent mechanical tentacles fused to his body after an accident. Molina reprises his role from Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 (2004), with this film continuing from the character’s story prior to his death in that film. Molina was surprised by this approach because he had aged in the years since he made that film; digital de-aging was also used to make him look physically the same as in Spider-Man 2. The mechanical tentacles were created completely through CGI, rather than blending them with puppetry as in Spider-Man 2.
  • Benedict Wong as Wong: Strange’s mentor and friend who became the new Sorcerer Supreme during Strange’s absence in the Blip.
  • Tony Revolori as Eugene “Flash” Thompson: Parker’s classmate and former rival.
  • Marisa Tomei as May Parker:
    Parker’s aunt. While developing the story, the writers realized that May would play a role similar to Uncle Ben’s role in other incarnations of Spider-Man. As such, the thematic and often-paraphrasingly-quoted idiom “with great power, there must also come great responsibility” is said by May, since she has been the “moral guide” for Parker in the MCU.
  • Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker / Spider-Man:
    An alternate version of Parker who is haunted by his failure to save his deceased girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. Garfield reprises his role from Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man films. The other Spider-Men refer to him as “Peter-Three”, while Marvel’s official website named him “The Amazing Spider-Man”. Garfield embraced his role as the middle brother of the group and was interested in exploring the idea of a tortured Parker following the events of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, including how lessons from those events could be passed to Holland’s character. He was grateful for the chance to “tie up some loose ends” for his incarnation of Parker, and described working with Holland and Maguire as an opportunity to have “deeper conversations… about our experiences with the character”. Parker ends up saving MJ during the climax in a similar way to how he fails to save Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2; McKenna and co-writer Erik Sommers credited director Jon Watts for coming up with the idea while they watched a pre-visualization reel showcasing ideas for the climactic battle.
  • Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker / Spider-Man:
    An alternate version of Parker who utilizes organic webbing instead of web shooters like his alternate counterparts. Maguire reprises his role from Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. The other Spider-Men refer to him as “Peter-Two”, while Marvel’s official website named him the “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man”. Maguire wanted the film to reveal only minimal details about what happened to his character after the events of Spider-Man 3 (2007).



During production on Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), two sequels were being planned by Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures. In June 2017, star Tom Holland explained that each film would take place during a different year of high school for Peter Parker / Spider-Man, with the third being set during the character’s senior year. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige noted in July 2019 that the third film would feature “a Peter Parker story that has never been done before on film” due to the ending of the second film, Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), which publicly reveals that Parker is Spider-Man.

Development on third and fourth MCU Spider-Man films had begun by August 2019, with Sony hoping Holland and director Jon Watts would return for both; Holland was contracted to return for one more film, while Watts had completed his two-film deal and would need to sign on for any more films. By then, Marvel Studios and its parent company The Walt Disney Studios had spent several months discussing expanding their deal with Sony. The existing deal had Marvel and Feige produce the Spider-Man films for Sony and receive 5% of their revenue. Sony wanted to expand the deal to include more films while keeping the same terms of the original agreement. Disney expressed concern with Feige’s workload producing the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) franchise already and asked for a 25–50% stake in any future films Feige produced for Sony. Unable to come to an agreement, Sony announced that it would be moving forward on the next Spider-Man film without Feige or Marvel’s involvement. Their statement acknowledged that this could change in the future, thanked Feige for his work on the first two films, and said they appreciated “the path [Feige] has helped put us on, which we will continue.” Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers were writing the screenplay for the third film by the time of Sony’s announcement, after also doing so for Far From Home, but Watts was receiving offers to direct large films for other studios instead of returning to the franchise, including potentially working on a different property for Marvel Studios and Feige.

In September 2019, Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Tony Vinciquerra said that “for the moment the door is closed” on Spider-Man returning to the MCU, and confirmed that the character would be integrated with Sony’s own shared universe—Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU)—moving forward. Responding to backlash from fans following the announcement, Vinciquerra added that “the Marvel people are terrific people, we have great respect for them, but on the other hand we have some pretty terrific people of our own. [Feige] didn’t do all the work … we’re pretty capable of doing what we have to do here.” However, after this fan reaction continued at Disney’s biennial convention D23, and at the urging of Holland who personally spoke to Disney CEO Bob Iger and Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman, the companies returned to negotiations. Sony and Disney announced a new agreement at the end of September which would allow Marvel Studios and Feige to produce another MCU Spider-Man film for Sony with Amy Pascal, scheduled for July 16, 2021. Disney was reportedly co-financing 25% of the film in exchange for 25% of its profits, while retaining the character’s merchandising rights. Feige said he was “thrilled” that the character would remain in the MCU and said “all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working” on the franchise. The agreement also allowed Holland’s Spider-Man to appear in a future Marvel Studios film as well as crossing over to Sony’s own shared universe, with the latter interaction described as “a ‘call and answer’ between the two franchises as they acknowledge details between the two in what would loosely be described as a shared detailed universe”. Sony described their previous films with Marvel Studios as a “great collaboration”, and said “our mutual desire to continue was equal to that of the many fans.” At the time of the new agreement, Watts was in final negotiations to direct the film.

Discussing the new deal in October, Iger attributed it to the efforts of Holland as well as the fan response to the end of the original deal. He felt that both Sony and Disney had initially forgotten that “there are other people who actually matter” while they were negotiating. Rothman said the deal was a “win-win-win. A win for Sony, a win for Disney, a win for the fans.” He felt the initial reports on the negotiations did not necessarily line up with the actual discussions that were taking place, and said the final deal would have eventuated without the reports and fan discourse. Zendaya was confirmed to be reprising her role as MJ from the previous films in the sequel.


December 17, 2021

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