Spider-Man: No Way Home writers Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna discussed how they intended to pay homage to the ever-lasting franchise and the importance of avoiding writing that oozed “lazy fan service”.
Spoilers ahead for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The latest film in Tom Holland’s Spidey saga is a nostalgia bonanza, combining three different generations of Spider-Man into one neat package. Not only does the film feature the return of iconic villains from the past, but Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield popped up as their respective Peter Parkers. Their returns were met with great acclaim though it would have been easy for their reprisals to be cheap given just how easy it is to digest nostalgia.
Luckily, writers Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna did a brilliant job of incorporating the previous Spidey’s into the threequel. Beyond that, they were able to adhere to the framework of the villains that had been previously set up in the previous films. In a chat with Discussing Film, Sommers revealed how working on Spider-Man: No Way Home was akin to a “balancing act” when it came to handling nostalgia and avoiding writing that would merely serve as lazy fan service.
“I mean, it’s a balancing act because we love those previous movies, the Sam Raimi and Marc Webb ones, and we want to pay homage to them and make the fans happy. But you don’t want to just do lazy fan service for its own sake because it’ll ring false at some point. It’s a balancing act and at every point, again, you have to be thinking about the story. So if you really want to hear this villain say the line that he said in that other movie, you can’t let that drive you in terms of finding a moment for that. If you just go looking for that and you spend all this time, you’re going to end up writing some scene that maybe doesn’t even need to be in the movie.”
The writer continued by maintaining that the crux of the story was Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and how nothing, not even callback moments, should take away from his journey.
“You just have to keep focused on telling Peter Parker’s story, and then hope that you find opportunities for those moments in there. We were working with a lot of smart and talented people, and just poring over these moments again and again, crafting things and trying to find those moments where we could include that kind of stuff in a way that felt like it was organic. We weren’t just doing it for its own sake.”
For the most part, it looks like the writing duo succeeded. While the film has been praised for not completely leaning into nostalgia baiting, some moments did feel a bit too much, particularly when characters in the film are reciting dialogues that have become memes in our world.
Here is the synopsis for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man: No Way Home:
“For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero’s identity is revealed, bringing his Super Hero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk. When he enlists Doctor Strange’s help to restore his secret, the spell tears a hole in their world, releasing the most powerful villains who’ve ever fought a Spider-Man in any universe. Now, Peter will have to overcome his greatest challenge yet, which will not only forever alter his own future but the future of the Multiverse.”
Directed by Jon Watts from a script written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, No Way Home stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Martin Starr, J.B. Smoove, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Benedict Wong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, and Jamie Foxx, Thomas Haden Church, Rhys Ifans, Charlie Cox, with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters. Stay tuned for all the latest news on Charlie Cox’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and be sure to subscribe to The Hamden Journal’s YouTube channel for more original video content.
Source: Discussing Film