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'Spider-Man: No Way Home' writers reveal why they finally use that iconic Spidey line (twice)

Tracy Brown, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

McKenna: I think a lot of that was those guys riffing with each other, and with Jon, on the set. They were having such a great time; it was a fun negotiation of their characters. How would they interact with each other? What would they be talking about?

Tobey, the whole back thing was a callback to him getting hurt on "Seabiscuit" and maybe not even doing "[Spider-Man] 2." And Andrew "yes and"-ing that and having his own issues. All of that stuff was absolutely charming. We gave them a lot of ideas, but they found so much of that stuff themselves in that sequence. I think people would probably watch a pure half hour of those guys riffing with each other, it's so charming.

Sommers: Tom Holland did such an amazing job. Having these two other Spider-Men come into his movie and being able to immediately become comfortable with them, riff with them like that and create that three brother dynamic.

McKenna: A great example of how integral Tom was to all of this is that rooftop scene [where all three Peters meet for the first time]. It was a crucial scene, obviously, and it went through a lot of reworking.

We had a version where [the other Peters] start talking about how they know what our Peter is going through. And it was Tom Holland who said, "I would cut them off right there. I'd be so furious. I would say, 'Please don't tell me that you know what I'm going through. I cannot hear that right now.'" And that is in the movie because Tom was absolutely right. Here are these two guys you just met. No matter what wisdom they think they can impart to you, it's the last thing you want to hear.

It was just that kind of great collaboration with all of them ... Even the little ways that Tobey and Andrew are finishing their sentences in terms of the Uncle Ben of it all, it came together really well.

 

Q: Speaking of Uncle Ben, there is no line that people associate with Spider-Man more than "with great power, there must also come great responsibility." When you're writing Spider-Man, does that line hang over your head? Was it something you thought about in the previous installments?

McKenna: That was a whole big conversation. I think it was Kevin, early on, that really felt like it should be the line from the original comic book. It was slightly altered in the other two Spider-Man movies, but he really wanted to get it the way it was spoken in the comic book. I think that was something he really wanted to try to work into this.

Sommers: It's always been there with all three movies. It's been sitting there because it is the iconic line that so well encapsulates Peter Parker and Spider-Man and what it is to be Spider-Man. It was always about trying to find the right time.

It was clear as this movie started to come together, and the fact that Peter was going to hit this low, low point, and just the very nature of the story — it being a test of his willingness to help others in spite of the cost to himself — we knew that it was time. And it was going to fit here [in that scene with May].

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