November 18, 2021

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” and Tempering Expectations

The following article contains discussions about Spider-Man: No Way Home. Proceed at your own discretion.

It’s sad that the second trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home probably made more money for Marvel and Sony than the criminally underrated The Last Duel made in its entire box office.

The studios even made an “event” out of the trailer release, hosting a packed auditorium in Los Angeles to screen it minutes before the rest of the internet saw it. This is a brilliant marketing strategy (something Marvel has proven to be quite good at), but I simply find it ridiculous. I saw on Twitter that people were flying out to Los Angeles just to see the trailer. A trailer that can just as easily be pulled up on a phone at a moment’s notice.

And yes, you could argue that it’s “part of the experience.” But if the die-hard Spider-Man fans (I’m not sure about calling them ‘web-heads’) get this hyped and theorize this much about a trailer, how will the actual movie be handled?

Sorcerer Spidey?

I’m worrying that No Way Home is being unfairly burdened with all of these expectations from fans. They’ve gotten it ingrained in their minds (helped, I’ll admit, by some pretty damning leaked skills) that Charlie Cox will appear as Matt Murdock and Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will appear as their respective Peter Parkers. But what happens if this isn’t the case? What happens if this was just an extremely clever marketing ploy, and they’re not actually in the movie?

People would be angry. Casual fans would most likely shrug it off, but the diehard fans would not be having it. I don’t think this is the case — as I mentioned, those leaked photos are pretty damning, along with some other circumstantial evidence —because Marvel has always been great at giving the people what they want. I think Sony is the biggest problematic factor in this equation.

I’ll compare No Way Home with Avengers: Endgame, definitely the most-anticipated Marvel movie prior to No Way Home. Nobody knew anything about the plot for Endgame. Sure, there were plot “leaks,” but Marvel’s security has always been thousands of times more tighter than Sony’s. We suspected there might be time travel involved, and everyone had their theories on how Iron Man and Captain America would be written out of the story, but basically everything about that movie was a complete surprise. The same will not be true for No Way Home, which has been the target of scoopers essentially ever since it was announced. If you can avoid leaks and spoilers for this movie, definitely do it. There will be lots of surprises preserved for the viewing experience next month (there better be, in this two and a half hour movie), but I have a feeling that the less you know going in, the better.

Set me up with the spirit in the sky!

No Way Home has the responsibility of continuing the newly-set-up multiverse storyline, setting up Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and giving the fans exactly what they want. Giving everyone what they want is virtually impossible, and as each new vignette in the trailer seems to introduce a new character or factor in this already-cluttered story, I get increasingly concerned that this movie is attempting too much. I have faith in all the creatives involved, but Tom Holland’s recent comments about script rewrites only seems to support my concerns.

Honestly, I’ve seen better trailers. I threw it on the TV when I got home that night, thought it was fun, but then I turned it off and didn’t think too much about it until now. It’s really fun to see Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Electro, the Sandman and the Lizard teaming up to defeat Spider-Man (or perhaps Spider-Men?) but I think the movie will go over better with the general public if the more vocal fans temper their expectations just a bit more. There will be something for everyone, and I do have hope that people will love it. A cautious, quietly excited bit of hope.

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