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Spider-Man: No Way Home Writers On How Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Delay Changed Their Film

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Things seem to be going pretty well for Spider-Man: No Way Home, which has been beloved by critics and fans, and has already earned more money than any movie Sony Pictures has ever put out. The process wasn’t necessarily easy, though, and one of the complications was baked into the nature of Marvel’s shared universe: Doctor Strange, who plays a key role in No Way Home, had a sequel in development, which was scheduled to come out before No Way Home and cover a lot of the same thematic ground. Of course, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness still isn’t out yet, so how did that impact the release of Spider-Man?

Well, it turns out there was some rewriting necessary, but it was easier than you might think to adjust expectations. That’s according to writers Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna, who told industry trade Variety that they essentially just had to account for Strange’s lack of knowledge when they reworked the new movie.

“We were actually working off of things that were happening in Doctor Strange 2, and trying to incorporate them into our script,” McKenna said. “When we started writing, [Strange] knows firsthand the dangers of screwing with these things. Then we changed it so he was a person who doesn’t know that much about the multiverse. But that makes it even more frightening, to start fooling around with these things, because it’s the fear of the unknown. Either way, he was the voice of reason going, ‘You don’t mess with the fate of an individual’ — and Peter Parker being naive enough to go, ‘Why not? Why can’t we save these people?'”

Of course, going the other way — acknowledging that Strange now needs to understand a lot more about the multiverse — might explain some of the reshoots that Multiverse of Madness underwent.

Jon Watts directs Spider-Man: No Way Home, closing out his trilogy of MCU Spider-Man movies. Tom Holland stars as Peter Parker, with Zendaya as MJ and Jacob Batalon as Ned. Returning villains include Jamie Foxx as Electro, Willem Dafoe as Green Goblin, and Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus.

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In Spider-Man: No Way Home, with Spider-Man’s identity now revealed, our friendly neighborhood web-slinger is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life as Peter Parker from the high stakes of being a superhero. When Peter asks for help from Doctor Strange, the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.

Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Alfred Molina, and Benedict Cumberbatch, Sony and Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: No Way Home is in theaters now.

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