Spider-Man does whatever a spider can, including spinning fans into a web of frenzy. As rumors of a multiverse crossover run rampant for 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, the latest “leak” is once again whipping fans up with excitement — even if it’s somewhat misplaced.
What Happened? — On March 26, the Spider-Man fan account @spideysnews shared on Twitter an image of items meant for the crew of Spider-Man: No Way Home, due in theaters December 17, 2021. Among the items: a No Way Home t-shirt, button, stickers, and two bottles of hot sauce. Spicy! Click here to see the tweet in question.
Of all the items, the shirt is drawing the biggest buzz. While the shirt clearly notes that it’s for Spider-Man: No Way Home (“Film Crew 2020-2021”), the Spider-Man shown on the shirt features the costume worn by Andrew Garfield in the 2012 movie The Amazing Spider-Man. (That costume notably used gold eye lenses as opposed to the traditional white and silver.)
Because of the crossover rumors in No Way Home, fans are speculating the crew shirt is confirmation that Garfield is, in fact, appearing as his Spider-Man in No Way Home.
It’s worth noting that other Spider-Man media are referenced in the crew gifts, too. The sticker is a photoshopped version of the Spider-Man in the 2018 PlayStation 4 game (his pose is how Spidey poses in the game’s photography mode) while another slip of paper contains a modified image of the Spider-Man from the 1960s cartoon.
Crew Cut — Some of you may be wondering, “What is crew merchandise?” In the film and TV industry, people who work in the cast and crew of a set are gifted exclusive merch like t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, hats, and jackets that are not made for mass commercial release.
You won’t find these at Amazon, in other words.
This merch typically sports unique graphic designs that — despite what the big budget of a film like Spider-Man: No Way Home may imply — are often quick Photoshop jobs or commissioned art by a friend of the production.
There’s no set rule for how these things are made, but you can find plenty of crew merch on eBay. Simply type in your favorite movie along with the terms “crew shirt” or “crew jacket.” Here’s a crew shirt for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and a jacket for Avengers: Infinity War. When actor Simu Liu wrapped principal photography of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in October 2020, he posted on Instagram wearing the film’s crew hoodie.
The Inverse Analysis — While it’s fun to be excited, it’s also important to properly calibrate our expectations. It’s certainly still possible that Andrew Garfield could appear as his “Amazing” Spider-Man in No Way Home — so many signs are pointing in that direction — but a crew t-shirt is by no means confirmation of his appearance.
As stated, crew merch is typically just a quick and cute photoshop job that is not meant to be taken seriously. Here’s a t-shirt gifted to staff on 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which shows Godzilla getting kicked below the belt by Jet Jaguar. Jet Jaguar did not appear in King of the Monsters, but that didn’t stop him from being on a t-shirt to hit Godzilla where it hurts.
Again, it’s still super possible that there is a big crossover in store for Spider-Man: No Way Home. Between “Mr. Multiverse” Doctor Strange appearing in the movie, and actors like Jamie Foxx and Alfred Molina confirmed to reprise their past Spider-Man villain roles, Tom Holland’s boyish Peter Parker is probably going to meet older Peter Parkers of other dimensions. You just can’t tell that it will happen from a t-shirt.
Spider-Man: No Way Home will open in theaters on December 17, 2021.