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“Spider-Man: No Way Home” is currently rocketing up the box office charts, but in an alternate universe audiences only got a taste of what ended up being the primary plot of the film.
A major draw of the Tom Holland Spider-Man sequel was the return of iconic villains from past Spider-Man franchises like Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin from 2002’s “Spider-Man” and Jamie Foxx’s Electro from 2014’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” But in a recent interview with TheWrap, the film’s writers, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, said that the villains were initially only supposed to come back at the very end of the film, in the post-credits tag scene.
McKenna told TheWrap that once Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios struck a deal to reunite on a third “Spider-Man” movie, the only major story idea they had in place was that they were picking up after the events of “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” and that led them down different story paths. “We go, ‘OK, we know that we’re dealing with the fallout from that. What would happen?’,” McKenna told TheWrap. “And that led us down different story roads that were not this story. And then, I don’t know if it was Kevin [Feige’s] idea, the idea of doing something with the other villains and teasing that at the very end [of the movie], I think in a tag was floated.”
So then McKenna and Sommers started trying to craft a story that would lead the film towards a tag scene where past villains show up in Holland’s world thanks to the multiverse. “So we were coming up with different storylines that would just sort of write towards a tag like that,” McKenna recalled. “So inevitably we were like, ‘What if Kraven? What if [Other Villains?] and we were kicking around a lot of different ideas and then finally one day, for various reasons – there were reasons why we couldn’t do certain storylines – I think it was Kevin who goes, ‘Remember that idea with all the villains that we were talking about for a tag? That Sinister Six idea? Why don’t we just do it in the movie? Make this movie be about that?’ and then that just sort of blew everything open.”
McKenna revealed that they had already hit upon the idea of bringing Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange into the film, so there was an organic path to making this the plot of the movie. “We were already talking about the idea of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ with Peter going to Doctor Strange and trying to reverse the fallout from everything, so it was already in the air that he was going to Doctor Strange to help clean up this giant existential mess that had happened to him, so then it all started coming together.”
The writers admitted that they’ve pitched the aforementioned villain Kraven the Hunter for every Spider-Man movie they’ve written, but thus far have been unsuccessful in getting him into the movies. However, it’s worth noting that Sony Pictures is working on a Kraven movie starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and directed by J.C. Chandor, so it’s possible that was one of the reasons Kraven was unavailable for use in this third Spider-Man movie.
But all’s well that ends well, and according to McKenna we have Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to thank for helping to turn “No Way Home” into the ultimate Spider-Man film it is now.