Fourteen years and seven years. That’s how long has passed since audiences 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 were to ever appear on screen again, one would imagine each actor would have some thoughts about it. If.
As you almost certainly know at this point, there are no more “ifs.” 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 though most people had connected the dots in the months leading up to the movie’s release, it’s hugely satisfying to see them appear. But they don’t appear. Screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers had to make sure the roles served the script as well as the main Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland. And as both Maguire and Garfield signed on, and the writers worked on script pages to give them, each actor apparently helped immensely with nailing down where their specific Spider-Man was. That included what happened to them off screen in the years following the previous films.
“Tobey wanted to be very minimal about how much you know,” McKenna explained to the Hollywood Reporter. “Very, very minimal. Andrew really loved the idea of he’s still tortured over what happened in Amazing Spider-Man 2 and where that left him, and how they could bring that to Tom. ‘We can empathize with you. We do know what you are 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, in the film, we know that Maguire’s Spider-Man is still with MJ, and 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 with being Spider-Man added a welcome, complex dynamic.
“Tobey especially has come through that darkness,” McKenna continued. “We thought it was cool that Andrew’s Peter was still in the midst of that darkness. They weren’t just here to go, ‘Two awesome Jedi knight heroes who show up and are going to help you take down the bad guys.’ They are going through their own things. We were trying to write up to the characters that they did such a great job of creating and really being true to those characters and those stories and those worlds so that it didn’t feel like we were doing curtain call, fan-service.”
Head over to the Hollywood Reporter to read even more about how Maguire and Garfield came back to the franchise.
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