Spider-Man: No Way Home has secured its place amongst the best the MCU has to offer. It might have been filled with fanservice moments but the movie also acts in a way to work on Spider-Man’s arc. In the past few solo ventures for Spider-Man, we saw him work his way into coming to terms with the powers and responsibilities. But now we know Peter Parker is a lot more mature than the hero we were aware of. This growth for the character is heavily influenced by the loss of Aunt May. The movie gives Peter the biggest loss as he loses the only family that he had. It seems that the writers of Spider-Man: No Way Home also had other plans for the death of Aunt May.
We were first introduced to Peter Parker and Aunt May in Captain America: Civil War. From here on we understood that she was the only bit of family that he had. There was no indication of a possible Uncle Ben character somewhere in the narrative. But there was always something that indicated that Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May had a history that was not being explored. She did play an essential role in guiding Peter as in her own way she was also helping out the needy. A rather interesting plot also develops when we see that Jon Favreau’s Happy starts dating her over the last few movies.
One of the most important moments from No Way Home was when Aunt May succumbs to her wounds. Peter follows what she had said and he tries to make sure that all the villains are corrected so that they can safely return to their own universe. But things take a turn for the worst when Green Goblin shows that he had a trick up his sleeve. All the villains turn their own ways and Peter fights with Green Goblin. With his final move, the latter villain causes an explosion that leads to the death of Aunt May. Before she dies she utters the powerful words: With Great Power, There Must Also Come Great Responsibility. This scene plays an essential part in the movie. But it seems that the writers had different plans for this scene.
Other Plans for the Death of Aunt May
During an interview on the Gold Derby Youtube channel, writers Erik Sommers talked about how he worked out Aunt May’s death with Chris McKenna. According to him:
It was. It was for a few reasons. One was of course just the emotion of it, and you want to do a death and you want to do something like that, you don’t want it to be sad but you don’t want it to be maudlin or too much, and so we wanted to get the emotion just right. Also, we had decided at some point in the process that that was a scene where she was gonna say ‘with great power’ and, you know, ‘there must also come great responsibility,’ and that’s such a loaded term and that’s one that we had not used thus far. And we didn’t want to just use it for its own sake. When we finally decided that this was the time and this is the place, then it was also a matter of ‘how do we do the emotion of the death and how do we get this line out in a way that fits in with everything.’ And so there were some technical, just technically how to organize the scene and modulate the tone and the build and the flow and all those things. So it was tricky.
The final decision was actually quite a happy decision based on the reaction from the viewers. Sommers added:
It was also tricky production-wise because we had different ideas for where the scene could take place, but because of COVID, we had one idea that 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. So then that’s the kind of thing that happened, 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, and so it was, but I’m glad that it turned out the way it did and that people, I want to say that people started crying. I’m not glad that people started crying, but I’m glad it affected people the way we wanted, that it resonated because it’s so important to Peter’s story and to his journey. So I’m glad that people feel that it worked.
Aunt May’s death will continue to be a significant event in Peter Parker’s arc. In the movie, we saw it is essential to unite the three Spider-Men because all of them experienced a similar loss. Putting this scene in the rubble and not in the ambulance allowed for the two characters to get some chance for having a moment of their own. It is fairly obvious that such a massive project had so many changes to make sure it was an ideal choice.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters worldwide.