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It’s Spider-Man’s world at this point — we just live in it.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is one of the biggest films in box office history, the Spider-Man video game series is one of the biggest hits of the modern era (with a sequel on the way), Spidey has a hit animated kid’s series, and the wall-crawling comics continue to top the charts for Marvel. But with so much Peter Parker saturation, those elements have started to bleed into one another more and more.
That connective tissue came through in some interesting ways in No Way Home, which included some sweet, subtle, and slick DNA pulled straight from the hit Spider-Man PS4 video game. The 2018 release, simply dubbed Spider-Man, was one of the most acclaimed games of the year and a recent remaster for PS5 has only solidified its place as one of the best video games ever made. It also holds the crown as the fastest-selling first-party game in Sony history, with a staggering 3.3 million units moved within the first three days of release. Not to mention the follow-up, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, is also a massive hit in its own right.
**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Spider-Man: No Way Home, as well as the Spider-Man Ps4/PS5 game**
By now, millions upon millions of fans have spent weeks, months, and years swinging around New York City as that virtual version of Peter Parker, and the game has become such a touchstone that No Way Home couldn’t help but dip into the web-slinging well and borrow a few elements along the way.
The most obvious is the film’s ending — which feels like a direct homage, and in many cases shot-by-shot remake — of the video game’s opening scene. You know that final No Way Home moment where Peter checks the police scanner on his phone, then suits up to fly out of the window of his apartment while striking one of those iconic Spidey poses? That’s almost exactly how the video game starts, with Peter swinging off to go take on Kingpin (which, funny enough, we know is also a part of the MCU these days, too).
Fans picked up on it immediately, and for even the most casual player, it’s hard to argue the film’s creators didn’t have that moment in mind while scripting out the final shot to close out the “Home” trilogy and set up… whatever comes next.
The film also checked a few familiar story boxes as the video game, though admittedly some of those concepts can all be traced back to the comics in different iterations at some point down the line (we've had almost 60 years of Spider-Man stories across the spectrum, after all). Aunt May’s death is a key plot point in the video game, and we get a similar spin on that story in No Way Home. But the true nod to that arc? Aunt May’s tombstone in No Way Home bears the exact same inscription as her video game monument: "When you help someone, you help everyone.”
Star Tom Holland even made it clear he had the virtual Spidey on his mind while making the film, as he played the game on-set while shooting his Spider-Man films in recent years. He revealed the stunt choreography even squeezed in one of Spidey’s video game moves for No Way Home: “There's actually one move that Spider-Man does in the game that we took and he does in the film, and it's really cool.”
Hey, we are dealing with the multiverse, right? Maybe a few chapters down the line will bring the video game characters into the mix, too?
Spider-Man: No Way Home is in theaters now. The Spider-Man video game is available for PS4 and remastered on PS5.