‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ writers wanted to avoid lazy fan service


Naturally, massive spoilers from Spider-Man: No Way Home follow from this point onward.

Fan service can often be as much of a detriment to a movie as it is a benefit, and there’s definitely a balance that needs to be struck. If you lean too hard into nostalgia and callbacks then you’re basically admitting the project in question can’t stand on its own two feet, but if you ignore the history of a beloved property, then the fans will call you out on it.

It would be an understatement to say that Spider-Man: No Way Home toes that line beautifully, with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and his struggles remaining the focal point of the narrative, despite the cavalcade of multiversal guest stars that dropped by to send audiences into raptures.

There’s every chance such an ambitious undertaking would have been a disaster had Sony been calling the shots on No Way Home solo without Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios, but writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers admitted to Discussing Film that they didn’t want to include any nods, winks or references just for the sake of it.

“I mean, it’s a balancing act because we love those previous movies, the Sam Raimi and Marc Webb ones, and we want to pay homage to them and make the fans happy. But you don’t want to just do lazy fan service for its own sake because it’ll ring false at some point.

It’s a balancing act and at every point, again, you have to be thinking about the story. So if you really want to hear this villain say the line that he said in that other movie, you can’t let that drive you in terms of finding a moment for that. If you just go looking for that and you spend all this time, you’re going to end up writing some scene that maybe doesn’t even need to be in the movie.”

Trying to crack the screenplay for Spider-Man: No Way Home must have seen the duo constantly reining themselves in from getting to far away, but based on the critical and commercial response to the comic book epic so far, the pair have evidently pulled it off with aplomb.