In 2000, a genre was born with the success and distribution of the first X-Men movie. In 2002, the genre continued to grow and evolve with the release of Spider-Man. It is no secret that Hollywood has been saturated by the comic book movie/ superhero blockbuster genre.
Marvel Studios’ success has set filmmaking precedents repeatedly over the last decade. The success of Avengers: Endgame (2019) made every headline as it soared through box office records becoming the second highest-grossing film of all time. That film took a decade and twenty-one previous movies to make.
What record would Marvel set next? Who would lead the franchise with the exiting of Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.? Will the hype die out around these Marvel movies? Will the Spiderman movies end after Spiderman: No Way Home (2021)?
In partnership with Sony Pictures, Marvel Studios has topped what comic book movie fans hoped could happen in a Spider-Man film with their latest release. The film underwent significant story restructuring that resulted in one of the most ambitious projects from Marvel. As a result, the film has developed some of the most favorable public vocality since Avengers: Endgame. The official synopsis of the film via the Spider-Man: No Way Home website keeps the main plot in focus while underwriting hints at the more significant and groundbreaking developments made within this film.
“For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero’s identity is revealed, bringing his Superhero 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.”
In the months leading to the film’s release, it was speculated by many that Marvel Studios had devised a way to incorporate the preexisting Spider-Man franchises into this new film. These previous franchises comprised of 2002’s Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire, and 2012’s Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man respectively.
Such an endeavor would be unprecedented logistically and in scale for a franchise’s continuity writing. However upon release, the world saw what was thought to be impossible for Marvel and Sony to agree to do; putting all three live-action Spider-Men on-screen together.
In order to, uncover the ultimate depth of the decisions made in this film, Noah Stecker, a recent alumnus of Vanguard University and life-long Spider-Man fan, was interviewed for the Vanguard Voice. The interview began with introductory questions to gauge where Mr. Stecker was coming from as a fan.
Q: What was your first experience with Superhero movies?
A: Spiderman (2002) as a kid, the fantasy elements were extremely gripping. It was my first experience with fantasy storytelling. The hero and villain were both extremely compelling. The movie holds up today. It still has a good standard of graphic fidelity. The action definitely is corny at moments but that is part of its charm for me.
Q: What was your first experience with the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
A: The very first Iron Man movie that started it all.
Q: Before No Way Home, the latest release, what in your opinion, was the most compelling piece of work from the Marvel Universe?
A: The Daredevil TV show from Netflix, which is technically canon for the universe.
Q: What would you say (Spiderman)No Way Home did for this current iteration of the Spiderman Character?
I think in a lot of ways this movie redeemed Holland’s Spiderman. Before this, he was living in Iron Man’s Shadow. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Tom’s performance, I think the writing let the character down and it wasn’t a good fit for the rest of the franchise. In the new movie he feels in place, the writing feels matured and up to par with the rest of the franchise.
Q: What would you say is the most influential consequence of this decision to incorporate multiple franchises into the existing ones?
A: It gives the writers the ability to cater the stories to three different fanbases. They have the MCU spiderman, the Andrew G Spiderman and the Tobey M spiderman. You have strong opinions towards each, and this lets the writers collaborate on each allowing them to please everyone in their own way. I think this will let marvel and Sony who share the rights to Spiderman and related characters to use one of the three spiderman franchises to grow the expanding Sony-Verse of Spiderman characters while still maintaining the Tom Holland Spiderman stories in the MCU.
Do you have a preference on the now 3 canon spidermen in the MCU? If so, what was it like to see them on screen interacting with the others in this film?
Tobey (Maguire), no question. At first, I think it has great “meme” potential. It was good to finally get closure for the franchise I grew up with that was shut down around 15 years ago now.
Q: What do you think this movie has done for the existing franchises and the future of this expanding “multiverse”?
A: I think for the fans of the franchises, this provides a lot of closure for those franchises that got rebooted. We have seen two X-men, three Spidermen, two Fantastic Fours and more. It opens the doors for other franchises to now enter the MCU. I would love to see someone like Hugh Jackman, (famous for playing Wolverine), come into the MCU and give the fans more closure for that franchise. I’m not sure this appeased comic book fans entirely, but this one smoothed over the issues with Tom Holland’s franchise for sure.
As Mr. Stecker reflected, Spiderman: No Way Home brought not just another Marvel release, but closure for many fans. The movie currently sits at one of the highest fan ratings for a Marvel movie on the infamous rating website, Rotten Tomatoes. The film has a critic score of 93% and an audience score of 98%.
The film won over the fans of multiple franchises by revitalizing the past and incorporating them into the present day. Marvel continues to challenge movie goers’ expectations as the world waits on their next big project: Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.