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SYFY WIRE Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home's emotional 'thank you' scene was lifted straight from real life

Tom Holland talks getting the chance to give real-life props to his big-screen Spidey predecessors.

By Benjamin Bullard

It was a gripping moment in the movie — especially for longtime Spider-Man fans who were there in theaters back when Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield took their turns in the pre-MCU Spidey suit. When Spider-Man: No Way Home star Tom Holland dealt out those emotional thank-yous to his fellow Peter Parkers on that rooftop, there was more than a little bit of Holland himself saying “thank you” to the two real-life actors who’d played the part before.

That’s just one of many No Way Home nuggets that Holland shared in a far-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where he revealed that the memorable rooftop scene was directly lifted from a similar moment that occurred behind the scenes on the set. In a very real sense, he said, it was a case of life merging into art — because, as he explained, sharing a single Spidey sense in No Way Home “meant so much to us” as actors who’ve shared in the larger Spider-Man legacy.

“Yeah, that moment was actually inspired by something that actually happened,” said Holland. “We were on set shooting the rooftop scene where I meet the boys for the first time, and before one of the takes … It must have been my close-up or something. It was one that really, really required me to bring the emotion to the shot. So I went up to the two boys on the level that they were standing, and I said to them, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing this. Thank you for being here. Thank you for elevating Spider-Man in the ways that you have. Thank you for being so gracious and allowing me to share this with you. Thank you for taking a leap of faith and coming back.’

The emotional flow wasn’t just a one-way function of Holland’s gratitude. His Spider-Man predecessors were feeling it, too. “Tobey hadn’t acted in nearly 10 years, so we all embraced each other, and we were all crying because it meant so much to us,” Holland said. “And [director] Jon Watts, [producer] Amy Pascal and the writers saw this moment between the three of us and were like, ‘Brilliant! Well, now we know how they’re going to say goodbye to each other.’ So essentially, we just reshot that very real moment between the three of us.”

It even allowed Holland to come to terms with a missed opportunity he said he’d always regretted: never phoning Garfield, the last actor to portray Spidey on the big screen before the Marvel Cinematic Universe took form, just to have a chat about passing the torch.

“Something I can look back on now with a little bit of clarity and regret is that I never called [Garfield] when I took over as Spider-Man,” Holland confessed. “Had someone said to me after my second movie that I was done and this other kid was taking over, I would’ve been heartbroken. So looking back, I wish I had the chance to make amends with him, but this film was our opportunity. It was not only an opportunity for him to make peace with the character and the studio, but it was also an opportunity for me and him to have this moment where we realize we could share this thing.”

No Way Home has now surpassed $1.7 billion at the global box office, in the process becoming the 6th most successful film of all time, per THR’s report. It’s only a matter of time before the movie makes its final curtain call in theaters, before getting a lengthy second life as an inevitable big ticket on home streaming platforms. In the meantime, there’s time left to take it all in at the movies: Spider-Man: No Way Home is still playing in tons of theaters nationwide.