Persuasive Essay on Why Spider-Man No Way Home was a Necessary Reboot for the Franchise
“Spider-Man No Way Home” is the latest entry to Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Spider-man franchise. After its initial release on December 17, 2021, Spider-Man No Way Home has become Sony’s top-grossing movie. Despite this success, the popularity of Spider-man on the big screen began years before the first movie in the latest trilogy. Director Sam Raimi directed the first Spider-man trilogy that starred Tobey Maguire as Spider-man. Later, Director Marc Webb directed the Amazing Spider-man movies that featured Andrew Garfield as the superhero. The latest trilogy, which Jon Watts directed, was another iteration of the character but with a new plot that intertwined with the popular Avengers: Endgame . However, the pressure of adding Spider-man in the Avengers movie led to decisions that altered the character’s development. Spider-Man No Way Home, the third movie in the latest franchise, acted as a reboot for the character to reestablish the relatable characteristic of Spider-man and allow Sony to create movies with little to no relationship with upcoming Marvel movies. A word of warning, this sample persuasive essay will include major spoilers for Spider-man No Way Home.
Setting Spider-man Back as a “Street-Level Hero”
Tom Holland’s Spider-man first appeared in the 2017 movie “Captain America: Civil War”. The movie allowed Spider-man’s character to meet powerful heroes, such as Captain America, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and Thor. Spider-man established a relationship with these characters which allowed him to receive better equipment and face more dangerous threats compared to the previous iterations of Spider-man. Following “Captain America: Civil War”; the Avengers movies and the first two Spider-man movies that featured Tom Holland included antagonists that come from other worlds. These included Thanos and Mysterio along with movie settings that involved alternate realities and outer space. In Spider-Man No Way Home, Maguire’s and Garfield’s characters even mentioned that they only fought villains that are from planet Earth. Additionally, the two characters also stated that they do not know how to fight with a team. These statements highlight the advanced state of Tom Holland’s Spider-man despite the character being a younger version.
Spider-Man No Way Home fixed this issue by the end of the movie. No Way Home concluded with everyone on Earth forgetting about Peter Parker. This includes the Avengers members, his family, friends, and anyone else that knew Peter Parker. This meant that Spider-man will no longer receive calls from Nick Fury, the Avengers, and other characters. Tom Holland’s Spider-man will have to fight villains without the help of other superheroes. This reestablishes the character as a “street-level hero” since the Avengers, which are concerned with high-threat villains, do not remember Spider-man. Tom Holland’s Spider-man may then focus on fighting local villains which is a homage to the original comics and the phrase “your friendly neighborhood hero”.
Learning the Lesson of “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”
The phrase “with great power comes great responsibility” is a popular line that many attribute to the Spider-man franchise. In both Maguire’s and Garfield’s Spider-man movies, the character of Uncle Ben spoke these words to Peter Parker which establishes Spider-man’s core values. The death of Uncle Ben in both movies was a pivotal and integral part of Spider-man’s development as the character understands the definition of a hero. In Tom Holland’s previous Spider-man iteration, Uncle Ben is not present nor did anyone speak the famous phrase. This was a significant change since Uncle Ben’s death and the phrase always happened in the first movies in the other Spider-man iterations. Without the lesson from the event, Tom Holland’s Spider-man became an incomplete character that has already fought some of the Marvel universe’s top villains.
In Spider-Man No Way Home, the death of Aunt May replaced the death of Uncle Ben. It was also her that spoke the line “with great power comes great responsibility” which completes the origin story of Spider-man. However, the circumstances behind Aunt May’s death were different than the previous deaths of Uncle Ben. In Maguire’s and Garfield’s movies, Uncle Ben’s death was the result of Peter Parker’s choice of allowing evil to happen. In contrast, Aunt May’s death in No Way Home was the result of Peter Parker’s choice of rehabilitating villains and protecting them. Despite these contrasting circumstances, all three Spider-man felt responsible for the deaths which is an integral part of their character. Spider-Man No Way Home completes this missing aspect and successfully defined the character.
Making Spider-man Relatable Again
Long-time Spider-man fans that have read the comics and watched previous iterations know that the character faces challenges similar to ordinary individuals. Spider-man has financial and emotional issues that make him a relatable character (Dockterman). In Maguire’s Spider-man, Peter Parker rents a small apartment and makes money by selling pictures and engaging in wrestling tournaments. For Garfield’s movie, Peter Parker lives with Aunt May while still going to school. He does not have any friends except for Gwen, who died later in the second Amazing Spider-man movie. Holland’s Spider-man did not possess these issues as he quickly became close with the billionaire Tony Stark. Holland’s Spider-man quickly gained access to advanced technology and even have friends, such as Ned and MJ. In No Way Home, Ned even asks Maguire and Garfield’s characters if they have best friends. Garfield replied by saying that he eventually had to kill his best friend. This showcased the emotional issues that Spider-man has due to the dangers of allowing someone to know his identity. Holland’s Spider-man does not have this problem as he has healthy social relationships. This made Holland’s Spider-man an underdeveloped character as he has yet to lose relationships to protect those close to him.
Spider-Man No Way Home’s ending concluded the trilogy by putting Peter Parker in a lonely setting. Ned and MJ, along with everyone, forgot about Peter Parker. This is a contrast with the first two movies in the trilogy since Spider-man was never alone. He always had help from Tony Stark, Ned, MJ, Aunt May, Happy, or Nick Fury. Without their help, Spider-man is now alone and must live by himself. Aside from fighting crimes and villains, Peter Parker will need to get a job to pay for his rent. This brings back the financial and emotional issues that the traditional Spider-man possess and the characteristics that made him a relatable character.
Set Up For Future Sony Movies
Aside from a narrative point of view, Spider-Man No Way Home fixes legal issues regarding the rights to the Spider-man character. As mentioned earlier, Sony Pictures Entertainment owns the right to Spider-man. It was only due to deals between Sony and Disney that made it possible for the Spider-man character to appear in Marvel movies. These deals allowed Disney to borrow Spider-man and Sony to borrow Marvel characters, such as Doctor Strange for Spider-man No Way Home. However, since Spider-man played an integral role in other Marvel movies, viewers may continue to associate Spider-man with future movies. Fans may expect Spider-man to appear in upcoming movies like “The Marvels” and “Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness”. This can lead to fan disappointments if Sony and Disney fail to establish deals regarding Spider-man. Some sources even state that the two companies had issues that almost led to the cancellation of Spider-Man No Way Home.
Spider-Man No Way Home removes this potential issue for the franchise as it concluded Spider-man’s relationships with other Marvel characters. The movie’s ending left Peter Parker as a lone hero that no one remembers. This allows Disney and Sony to continue creating movies without the pressure of including cross-over characters. It is also important to note that Sony has plans of releasing movies about Spider-man-related characters, such as Morbius and Venom. The soft reboot that No Way Home established allows Sony to create new Spider-man-related movies outside of the Marvel cinematic universe. This provides Sony the freedom over their legally-owned characters and possible new movie franchises.
Spider-Man No Way Home acted as a soft reboot for the Spider-man franchise as it reestablishes the foundation of the Spider-man character and allows Sony to gain full control of the franchise. No Way Home allowed the Spider-man character to move on from extraplanetary antagonists and back to grounded villains. It allowed Holland’s Spider-man to acquire the core value that the character possesses through emotional pain and growth. The movie’s conclusion left Spider-man as the relatable “friendly neighborhood hero” with financial and emotional issues, similar to a normal individual. Lastly, No Way Home provides Sony Pictures Entertainment a fresh start to establish the Spider-man character outside of the Marvel cinematic universe. Spider-Man No Way Home is a conclusion that brought back one of the most popular Marvel characters to their original form.
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Barnes, Brooks. “Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal on the Future of ‘Spider-Man’ and the M.C.U.” The New York Times. 17, December 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/17/movies/kevin-feige-amy-pascal-spider-man-no-way-home.html. Accessed 11, January 2022.
Dockterman, Eliana. “The Future of Spider-Man After No Way Home.” Time. 17, December 2021. https://time.com/6128276/spider-man-no-way-home-future/. Accessed 11, January 2022.
Francisco, Eric. “No Way Home’s Ending Finally Fixes the MCU’s Spider-Man—What Took So Long?” Inverse. 22, December 2021. https://www.inverse.com/entertainment/spider-man-no-way-home-ending. Accessed 11, January 2022.
Spider-Man. Directed by Sam Raimi, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2002.
Spider-Man No Way Home. Directed by Jon Watts, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2021.
The Amazing Spider-Man. Directed by Marc Webb, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2012.