Spider-Man: No Way Home is arguably the best crossover event in the MCU. The 2021 film puts current Spidey Tom Holland with Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire to represent three generations of cinematic Spider-Men.
Suffice it to say, theatergoers were shocked when the latter two actors appeared on screen. This led Redditor phantom_avenger to investigate which one got the bigger reaction. Their question, posed in r/marvelstudios, has over 4,600 upvotes and 446 comments—and counting! Although it’s not unanimous, many responders have cited Maguire.
Maguire was the first actor to play Spidey in an American feature film, 2002’s Spider-Man, and continued until 2007’s Spider-Man 3. Andrew Garfield took over the webshooters in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Garfield made enough of a mark to get a bigger ovation in quite a few theaters.
Charlie Cox’s cameo as Matt Murdock (AKA Daredevil from the Netflix series of the same name) also got some big pops, according to responders who decided to give Cox his due even though he wasn’t part of the question.
Of course, Cox was a distant third, with some Redditors lamenting that he didn’t get any reaction during their screenings.
However, one Redditor recalled that he got the biggest reaction from a single audience member.
There you have it: the reactions were generally proportional to the nostalgia—the longer ago the actor played the superhero, the bigger the pop. Fittingly, the actors appeared in the film in reverse order to how they entered the cinematic universe, enabling the hype to build and climax with Maguire’s introduction.