Tom Holland, star of the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home, shared with Entertainment Weekly that the movie is seen, at least by the actors, as the last in the trilogy of Spider-Man movies that started with Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Holland stated, “We were all treating [No Way Home] as the end of a franchise, let’s say. I think if we were lucky enough to dive into these characters again, you’d be seeing a very different version. It would no longer be the Homecoming trilogy. We would give it some time and try to build something different and tonally change the films. Whether that happens or not, I don’t know. But we were definitely treating [No Way Home] like it was coming to an end, and it felt like it.”
Movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) have always taken inspiration from the story arcs in their comic book counterparts. It isn’t surprising then, that the way the characters’ stories intersect, and the way storylines and characters within the bigger shared universe start to fall into this cycle of ‘soft rebooting’, the same way the comics do. This approach is both a blessing and a curse, as after events where the stakes are sky-high get resolved, a reboot helps open up storytelling potential and avoid plot holes caused by having to juggle previously established power levels. It also serves to create natural jumping-on points for newcomers to the intricate web of a larger shared universe. However, inevitably subsequent movies, even after a soft reboot, will be compared to the highs of the past.
Given what Holland has said, it is possible that there are plans to tackle the Spider-Man franchise from a brand new angle that is free from the narrative binds and continuity obligations accumulated over three movies, excluding all the story beats established in the other MCU titles that will no doubt be hard to keep track for any writing team.
With No Way Home being partially based on the One More Day arc from The Amazing Spider-Man comics, which involves the memory of everybody in the world being messed with, it seems like the ideal plot device to give the writing team for the next movie (if any) freedom to go in whatever direction they wish. With what we know about the MCU multiverse crossing over with Sony’s Venom franchise, we likely haven’t seen the last of Holland’s Spider-Man.
No Way Home will be released in theatres from 17 December 2021, and while it’s likely not Tom Holland’s swansong as the beloved superhero, it is possibly the send-off for the character as we currently know it.