A Key Spider-Man: No Way Home Scene Had To Be Changed Due To The Pandemic

Is it safe to openly talk about "Spider-Man: No Way Home" spoilers yet? Has enough time passed that everyone who wanted to see the movie has either done so by now (and likely more than once, judging by those box office reports) or had all the biggest surprises spoiled for them already while innocently scrolling through Instagram? Will we ever be free of this limbo where we all just collectively pretend that none of the major events in "No Way Home" actually happened? Is it possible I've officially been broken by the discourse surrounding what does and doesn't constitute an actual spoiler?

The answer to all of these questions is probably a resounding "Yes," but we're going to keep playing things safe anyway just because we humble writers tend to value a vitriol-free email and social media experience!

To state the obvious, the ongoing pandemic clearly affected the movie industry on every level throughout the last two years — particularly when it comes to Marvel's and Sony's plans in shaping their respective superhero franchises. Although it's easy to think that the biggest inconvenience revolved around constant release date shuffling (which, mind you, is still going on), COVID protocols also changed the very way movies have been filmed, as well. Not even "Spider-Man: No Way Home" could avoid this fate, which apparently affected one of the most pivotal moments in the entire movie. Check out the details below.

And remember: spoilers for "Spider-Man: No Way Home" abound.

Production in a Pandemic

Have you gotten over arguably the most emotionally devastating moment in all of "No Way Home" yet? In the movie's most shocking scene, Tom Holland's Peter Parker could only watch as Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) dealt a mortal blow to Marisa Tomei's Aunt May. Basically standing in for this version's take on Uncle Ben, with that famous line of dialogue and everything, Aunt May's tragic death threatened to upend Peter's entire worldview and lead him down a very dark path. His newfound Spidey friends pulled back from the brink just in time, but I consider this to be a rare instance of a character death in the MCU actually feeling meaningful (another would be Yondu's self-sacrifice at the very end of "Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2").

However, the circumstances of Aunt May's actual death could've easily turned out very differently ... if it weren't for that meddling pandemic, at least. According to Total Film, "No Way Home" co-writer Erik Sommers opened up about the plans for last-minute changes that couldn't be filmed, due to the logistics involved. Sommers explained:

"It was also tricky production-wise, because we had different ideas for where the scene could take place, but because of Covid [we couldn't]. We had one idea that maybe it was going to be inside an ambulance, and we had a whole version that was constructed around that, but that was not practical for shooting during Covid. That's the kind of thing that happens. So then we had to move the scene, physically, to another place while trying to keep all the other elements working, and we had to make adjustments. That's the kind of thing that happens in production."

Sommers is right that these sorts of complications come up during the course of any film or television shoot, but this feels like the kind of story we should get used to more and more often the longer this pandemic continues. It sounds like attempting to film in the confined space of an ambulance was a non-starter, even with any number of precautions taken to mitigate risks. He goes on to note that, "...it's so important to Peter's story, and to his journey, so I'm glad that people feel that it worked." It's impossible to speculate if the scene could've been improved otherwise, but few are likely to grumble about how it turned out.