Spider-Man: No Way Home Almost Had Another Marvel Character Bring In The Film's Special Guests

Warning: There are spoilers for "Spider-Man: No Way Home" throughout this article. Proceed with caution.

Let's face it. The worst-kept secret of at least the last 10 years in cinema has to be that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield reprise their roles as Peter Parker and Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man and Spider-Man, in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." Even though we knew that they were coming, it was still an epic moment to see the all three live-action Spider-Men together onscreen. True Believers in theaters across the world still cheered their heads off when it happened. However, that moment almost played out very differently than the way it was presented in the final product.

Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave

As it happens in the movie, Peter 2 and Peter 3 (or Raimi-verse Peter and Webb-verse Peter, as they were known in the script) are introduced when Ned and MJ are worried about finding their Peter. While they sit at Ned's Lola's dining room table, he accidentally conjures a portal with Doctor Strange's sling ring that brings the other Peters to them. However, Ned wasn't originally the one who was doing the summoning.

In an interview with Variety, "Spider-Man: No Way Home" screenwriters Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna revealed that initially another character was meant to bring the other Spider-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "They are brought by a Marvel character going, 'Here are the saving graces and they're going to help you through this,'" says McKenna. "It was just more of a deus ex machina." And while they wouldn't reveal who the character was, they did mention that Maguire and Garfield's Peters were supposed to make their first appearance just after Aunt May's death instead of helping Lola with the cobwebs on her ceiling before meeting MCU Peter on the rooftop.

This change came late in the game of production. The crew was already two months into filming when Sommers and McKenna had to take another stab at the third act. Since this was the most crucial moment in the whole movie, they were afraid that they were going to mess it up. Plus, everyone had to deal with the uncertainty of the early days of the pandemic. But McKenna recalls the pair having a breakthrough around Christmas 2020:

"It was a beam of light in darkness. It was such a gift, particularly at that point in the writing process, to be writing for those two characters. It the darkest part of the year, the darkest part of production, the darkest part of the story development, and it was like, Oh! Now we get Tobey and Andrew."

Follow The LEEDS-er

First, I'm thrilled that Jacob Batalon's Ned Leeds was the one to bring the Raimi-verse and Webb-verse Spider-Men into the MCU. I mean, I wrote a deeply personal essay about how much that scene meant to me as a Filipino American that is also a long-time Spider-Man fan. It also teased a larger role for Ned in the future of the MCU. But I can't help but speculate over who was supposed to introduce Maguire and Garfield's characters into the film. 

Doctor Strange might be the leading candidate. Instead of marching into the third act alone right when Peter needed his help the most at the Statue of Liberty, he could have showed up with his two new friends that he found on his way from the Mirror Dimension to Ellis Island.

Or maybe Norman Osborn might've found them around the city when he was cruising around on his Green Goblin glider. After all, they came through the same multiversal rift that the villains did, so they were wandering around this universe just as Electro and company were (until Spider-Man tracked them down). Determined to only deal with one Spider-Man, Osborn could have incapacitated them and taken them to the Statue of Liberty to keep an eye on them while he takes care of business. Then, once they regain consciousness, they could join forces with MCU Spider-Man to finish off their foes. Of course, that would eliminate a number of the great moments we got featuring all three Spider-Men bonding, joking around, and connecting through extremely emotional moments that resonated with the audience.

It might have even been Eddie Brock, AKA Venom. At one point, he was going to join the final fight as well. Since the symbiote has knowledge of Spider-Man's identity, it could've helped Eddie pick out Peter 2 and Peter 3 on their way from that tropical bar where Danny Rojas from "Ted Lasso" is the bartender. Sure, it might've picked them out as snacks, but Eddie probably would've done the right thing and brought them along to the fight.

However, the best option (aside from the one that we got in the theatrical cut of the movie) would have been Wong. The new Sorcerer Supreme dipped out pretty early on in "No Way Home." With his new title comes new responsibilities. Even though I'm sure that he'd love to help his old friend Spider-Man, he has plenty of other magical things to take care of instead of helping a kid and his friends get into MIT. For example, there might have been a big "fight" with Abomination that he needed to prepare spots for. Anyway, by the time we get to the third act, there's a good chance that Wong knows about what Strange did and that Peter is outnumbered. That's when he could have done some multiversal magic of his own to summon Peter 2 and Peter 3. And then when the three of them show up for that final battle, the odds are a bit more even in favor of our heroes.

Unfortunately, we can't confirm which way things were meant to go in the early versions of the story at this time. Maybe the writers will reveal their secrets somewhere down the line. Until then, if you currently feel comfortable enough with doing so, just go back to the theater to enjoy "Spider-Man: No Way Home" as it is.