It goes without saying that the very concept of Spider-Man: No Way Home would have been unworkable had either Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield refused to sign on the dotted line to return as their respective Peter Parkers.
While it always felt as though the latter had unfinished business with the character after The Amazing Spider-Man series was cut short by circumstances outwith his control, Sam Raimi’s Peter Parker wrapped up his solo trilogy in fairly definitive fashion, and Maguire hadn’t made a live-action onscreen appearance of any kind since 2014.
In an interview hosted by Deadline where all three actors sat down to talk about No Way Home, Garfield joked that he was essentially forced into committing to the project once he discovered Maguire was on board.
“Well I was just waiting to see if Tobey was going to do it and if Tobey was going to do it then I was like, ‘Well I have no choice’. I’d follow Tobey to the to the ends of the Earth, I’m a Lemming for Tobey. That was a sincerely a big part of it when I was approached about it, and again, it’s in a similar way to what Tobey was saying it was like ‘Oh the intention feels very pure here.’ It actually feels like a great creative idea and a great creative story. It wasn’t like they were just asking us to come and say ‘hi’ and then leave again but actually have us have our presence being in service to Tom, you know, being in service to Tom’s journey and where where he is as Peter Parker.”
Between being cast and the movie’s release, Garfield did an absolutely stellar job of lying through his teeth every time he was asked about his potential involvement, a task made all the more difficult by the fact he was hitting the promotional trail hard in service of biopics The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Tick, Tick… Boom! throughout the back half of 2021.
In the end, all of the secrecy was totally worth it, with fans around the world losing their minds when the duo showed up in No Way Home to confirm the rumors, sending theaters everywhere into a state of meltdown.