Maguire, Garfield had script input

There are some great behind the scenes stories of No Way Home.Image: Sony Pictures

Fourteen years and seven years. So long has passed since the public last saw Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man characters on the big screen. Suffice to say, it’s a lot of time and if they ever appeared back on screen would you imagine any actor would think about it the. if.

As you are pretty sure at this point, there are no “ifs” anymore. Maguire and Garfield reprise those roles in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is now in theaters. Their appearances were considered a secret of the highest order, and while most people had made up their minds in the months leading up to the film’s release, seeing them appear is immensely satisfying. But they don’t appear. Screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers had to make sure that the roles served both the script and the protagonist Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland. And while both Maguire and Garfield signed up and the writers worked on script pages to give them, each actor apparently helped a lot in pinpointing where their particular Spider-Man was. That included what happened to them off screen in the years following the previous movies.

“Tobey wanted to be very minimal about how much you know,” McKenna explained to the Hollywood Reporter. “Very, very minimal. Andrew really liked the idea that he is still being tortured over what happened in Amazing Spider-Man 2 and where that left him, and how they could get it to Tom. ‘We can sympathize with you. We know what you’re going through. If anyone in the world knows what you’re going through, it’s us.’ But also: ‘We can be beacons.’”

That’s why we know in the movie that Maguire’s Spider-Man is still with MJ and that he’s been thinking about the Osborns, but not much else. Garfield’s Spider-Man, on the other hand, freely admits that he’s gone to a dark place since Gwen was killed and hasn’t found a new girlfriend. That each character is still struggling to be Spider-Man added a welcome, complex dynamic.

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“Tobey has mostly come through that darkness,” continued McKenna. “We thought it was cool that Andrew’s Peter was still in the middle of that darkness. They weren’t just here to go, ‘Two great Jedi knight heroes who will show up and help you take down the bad guys.’ They go through their own things. We tried to write down the characters that they did such a good job of creating those characters and those stories and those worlds and really staying true to those characters, those stories and those worlds, so that it didn’t feel like we were doing a curtain call, fan service.

Go to the Hollywood Reporter to read even more about how Maguire and Garfield got back into the franchise.

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