‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Had Its Most Emotional Scene Rewritten ‘At Least 10 Times’

Writers Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna faced the difficult task of figuring out how to write the film’s big crossover moment

spider-man no way home
Sony/Marvel Studios

Every “Spider-Man” fan has envisioned what it would be like if the three Peter Parkers that have graced movie screens around the world ever met. But for “Spider-Man: No Way Home” writers Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna, actually writing that moment for a global blockbuster took a lot of attempts.

In an interview with IGN, Sommers and McKenna said the most challenging scene to write in “No Way Home” was the moment when the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, met his cinematic predecessors portrayed by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Of course, as MCU fans know by now, that meeting comes right after the biggest gut punch of Peter’s life when Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) died in his arms.

While Maguire and Garfield made their big entrance in a previous scene, Sommers and McKenna knew this scene was critical because it would be the first time audiences have seen these Parkers in years, and would tell them about the characters’ state of mind. With so much at stake, Sommers and McKenna rewrote the scene “at least 10 times.”

“When they got pulled into this movie, what condition were they in? What were they doing? What was their mindset?” Sommers said. “The end of the last ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ had this really nice speech from Gwen about staying hopeful and everything. And immediately it became interesting to us. Well, what if Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, if his Peter Parker couldn’t do it, he couldn’t keep that hope. He was too hurt by what happened. And so, that led us to the attitude that we found for him.”

Even after the screenplay was complete, Sommers and McKenna were in constant dialogue with producer Amy Pascal, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and director Jon Watts, not to mention Maguire and Garfield themselves, who had their own input when it came time to shoot the scene with Holland.

“Making a movie like this is a big collaborative experience. And with each collaborator, it just gets better and better. But it changes,” McKenna said. “And even the night before that big rooftop scene with the three of them meeting together and trying to convince MCU Peter not to push the button and send these people back to their deaths. That was the kind of thing that we’d been working on over and over. And then the actors come in and then we rip it all apart and we put it all back together again.”

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” has been unquestionably the biggest box office hit in the world since the pandemic began, grossing $771 million in the U.S. and Canada and over $1.8 billion worldwide after 10 weekends in theaters. After Tom Holland returned to the big screen as video game treasure hunter Nathan Drake in “Uncharted,” he is set to return as Peter Parker as a new series of “Spider-Man” films will be developed by Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios