Since Spider-Man: No Way Home explored the multiverse, the possibilities were limitless for the writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers and director Jon Watts. It came down to whether having too many characters might overwhelm the story of Tom Holland’s Spidey.
Spider-Man: No Way Home centred around a rip in the Marvel multiverse, and was the first movie to explore the concept in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far (Loki did it first, but it is a TV show).
The Tom Holland-starrer was set directly following the events of Far From Home, the last film in the franchise and addressed the fallout of Spider-Man’s real identity getting exposed to the world by JK Simmons’ J Jonah Jameson. To make everybody forget he is Spidey, Peter Parker enlists Doctor Strange’s help to perform an arcane ritual, but his repeated interference messes it up, ripping the multiverse open.
Supervillains from previous Spidey film franchises, like Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock and Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, cross over to the MCU, as do Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s versions of the web slinger.
If all those characters weren’t enough, we also saw Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock, better known as Daredevil coming to Peter Parker’s assistance in quashing the charges labelled against him.
Since this is the multiverse, the possibilities were limitless for the writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers and director Jon Watts. It came down to whether having too many characters might overwhelm the story of Holland’s Spidey.
McKenna was asked by an interviewer at IGN Fanfest 2022 whether the inclusion of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck or Mysterio was ever on the table. Turns out, it was.
“When it actually started coalescing, when feelers were put out and actors were like ‘yeah, I’m game for that’, then it became this overwhelming thing because you’re like, Ok this is the reality now. You can’t just be swimming in a million characters, you have to be choosing characters wisely and making sure that they don’t overwhelm the story and Peter himself,” said McKenna.
In any case, No Way Home is the sixth-biggest grosser at the worldwide box office. This would have been impressive before the pandemic, but for it to happen now it is downright exceptional — even for an MCU movie.
The next MCU movie, Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, promises to be even bigger than No Way Home in terms of the way it explores a multiverse in chaos, with at least one of the X-Men (Professor X) debuting in MCU with it.