Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: No Way Home’s best character can solve Sony’s biggest problems

What might have seemed impossible two months ago, no longer does.

Spider-Man: No Way Home has been a success for everyone involved, especially Andrew Garfield. The Amazing Spider-Man star reprised his role as Peter Parker for the first time in seven years in the MCU film, and to say that he’s received praise for his performance would be an understatement.

In a movie that features heavy hitters like Tom Holland, Zendaya, Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Jamie Foxx, and Alfred Molina, it’s Garfield who seems to have received the most positive attention in the weeks since No Way Home’s release. And it’s not hard to see why: Every moment he’s on-screen, he threatens to totally steal No Way Home from his co-stars.

Now Garfield’s future as Spider-Man is on everyone’s minds, including the actor himself.

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Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man.Sony Pictures

Middle Brothers Rise Up — In a recent interview with Variety, Andrew Garfield opened up about returning to the role of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home. And, after discussing the experience, Garfield said he would be open to playing Spider-Man again if “it felt right.”

“If there was an opportunity to step back in and tell more of that story, I would have to feel very sure and certain in myself,” the actor added.

Predictably, Garfield’s comments have inspired Spider-Man fans to begin theorizing about future appearances the actor could make. While Garfield’s web-slinging future remains uncertain, his willingness to return opens the door for Sony to bring him back and, in turn, solve many of its ongoing Spider-Man issues.

Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) walking past Spider-Man graffiti in one of Sony’s Morbius trailers.Sony Pictures

Sony’s Spider-Man — The state of Sony’s confusing Spider-Man Universe is unclear. Between Tom Hardy’s cameo appearance at the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home and the numerous Spider-Man references in the Morbius trailers, it’s clear that Sony wants to have some version of the famous wall-crawler present in its non-MCU superhero films. The problem is that Marvel Studios doesn’t seem too excited by the idea of having Holland’s Peter Parker appear outside of the MCU.

That’s left Sony with an obstacle not even No Way Home seemed to solve. However, the overwhelmingly positive reception to Garfield’s return gives Sony a chance to solve its lingering narrative issues without having to rely on Marvel.

Specifically, the studio could make Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker the Spider-Man of its Venom-centric universe. Doing so would allow Sony to accomplish three pretty stunning things:

  1. Have a version of Spider-Man fight Hardy’s Venom
  2. Give fans more of Garfield’s Peter Parker
  3. Have two Spider-Man franchises running at the same time
Andrew Garfield in a poster for The Amazing Spider-Man 2Sony Pictures

Of course, for Sony to do that they’ll need to present Garfield with a story (and paycheck) that interests him, which may be easier said than done. But assuming Sony can pull it off, the studio would have the chance to tell a Spider-Man story that audiences haven’t seen on-screen before: One following an older version of the web-slinger who’s been doing the superhero gig for a while.

Exploring a more mature version of Peter Parker than we normally see— and the effects that being a superhero for a long time can have on a person — is a compelling idea. It even seems like the kind of story that could lure in someone like Garfield.

Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man 2Sony Pictures

The Inverse Analysis — When Spider-Man: No Way Home catches us up with Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker, it’s implied that he’s spent the years since 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 struggling to get over the demise of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). He talks about becoming consumed by rage and wanting to ensure that Tom Holland’s Peter Parker doesn’t go down a similar path following the loss of his aunt, May (Marisa Tomei).

While No Way Home gives Garfield’s Peter some closure, the film also leaves the door open for the character to be explored in the future. Based on fans’ reactions to Garfield’s performance, that seems like an idea Sony, Marvel, and Garfield should all seriously consider.

Whether that exploration comes in the form of a third Amazing Spider-Man film or another superhero crossover project doesn’t really matter. Either way, Sony would have the chance to not only revisit a franchise and character it rebooted way back in 2015, but also use Garfield’s Peter Parker to tell a new kind of Spider-Man story.

It’s not an opportunity the studio should let pass by.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is playing in theaters now.