Spider-Man: No Way Home Writers Explain Why the Third Act Was Tricky

Spider-Man: No Way Home screenwriters Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna break down the challenges of making the film’s ending with so many moving parts.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home

The writers of Spider-Man: No Way Home have shared some details about how they crafted the third act, and all the difficulties that went into it. Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers have become deeply involved in crafting the MCU ever since they were brought on to rewrite 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. The two also wrote the script for Ant-Man and the Wasp, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and most recently took on the mega event that was Tom Holland’s third solo Spidey film.

Working on Spider-Man: No Way Home was no easy job, as the writers had to craft both an ending for the MCU Spider-Man trilogy, set up a new status quo for the web-slinger moving forward, and unite the Spider-Man of the MCU with characters from the past Spider-Man film franchises. While one common criticism of Marvel Studios productions has been a third act that tends to feature a lengthy CGI battle, the climax of Spider-Man: No Way Home has been a major highlight for audiences as they get the chance to see three versions of Spider-Man go up against past villains Green Goblin, Electro, Sandman, and The Lizard. Combine that with the major ramifications for Peter Parker going forward, and Spider-Man: No Way Home has a lot of moving pieces that would certainly prove very difficult to nail down.

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Related: Why Maguire & Garfield’s Spider-Man Universes Never Had Avengers

In a recent interview with The Wrap, McKenna and Sommers broke down the difficulties of crafting the third act of Spider-Man: No Way Home. The duo explains the organic process of how each decision they made informed the next, and that they always put the characters’ journeys first over if something would be “cool,” although that still did inform them. McKenna and Sommers also talked also about how they were still working on the film through November and December while the film was shooting. Read their full interview comments below:


Sommers: Well, the third acts are traditionally tricky, because we know it’s going to involve a big action sequence and we know we’re drawing everything to a close and so it’s always a challenge. This one was no different, except for the fact that I would say just overall the degree of difficulty was higher on this movie because we had more moving pieces, we had all these other characters….We were always working on it, and all the way up to the day we’re shooting it, we’re working on it. I’m just so glad it turned out the way it did.

McKenna: Yeah, we had the moving parts of, obviously… We really started really leaning into the idea of Goblin being our main villain. And the death of May is something that evolved as something… But it was also, we had these two things, we had the magic spell and we had this magic box, and we knew we had these two things. It was during production we were writing documents about what the spell did, what the box did. I think it was November of last year, it was Erik and I working on this document while we’re doing daily pages, while we’re shooting, really trying to hone what does the spell do, what does the box do? How do we clarify these things?…

Sommers: When you’re facing any Act 3, you ideally have set up a lot of things and you need to pay them off and draw them to a close and everything. You’re trying to tell the best story, so everything has to be in service of that. So that’s why we keep working on these things — it’s not just because, “Oh, this will be the coolest visual thing.” That’s all considerations, of course. Always. But it’s all in service of the character and the journey of Peter Parker. That’s your North Star, and that’s what’s guiding you. And so when we keep working on these things it’s just because we want to make sure to have the most satisfying fun Act 3 finale of this movie that draws all this stuff to a close in the most satisfying exciting way, but it’s all in service of telling Peter Parker’s story, and so that’s the refining process that is always happening.


Tom Holland in Spider-Man No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home had a lot of hurdles to go through during production. The film was originally scheduled to release after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. However, when that film was delayed to a later stage in Marvel’s Phase 4, the writers had to quickly rework the script, including dropping the character of MCU newcomer America Chavez. This change led to the writers having to retool the return of both Tobey Maguire’s Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man, who would join the film in December 2020, two months after filming had already begun.


Despite all the changes that plagued the MCU movie, the finished product paid off. Spider-Man: No Way Home was a huge hit with critics and audiences alike, and just recently passed Titanic as the sixth highest-grossing film at the domestic box office ever. With Marvel boss Kevin Feige recently confirming that development has indeed started on the MCU’s Spider-Man 4, it is certainly likely that Sony and Marvel Studios will work out a deal to cement Holland’s return as Peter Parker. McKenna and Sommers could return to craft the fourth film, and possibly bring in villain Kraven the Hunter, like they wanted to on the past two Spider-Man films. Or, the duo could step away from Spider-Man entirely, and a new writing group could tackle the webhead for his college-age adventures, marking a completely fresh start for the character. Either way, based on the ending of Spider-Man: No Way Home, a fresh start is exactly what Peter will be getting.


Next: Why No Way Home’s Biggest Moment Isn’t Just Fan-Service

Source: The Wrap

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023

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