Andrew Garfield thinks Spider-Man: No Way Home’s resonance with audiences has to do with its core themes of loneliness and brotherhood.
Andrew Garfield explains why he thinks Spider-Man: No Way Home resonates so strongly with fans. The latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to hit theaters is also the third in a trilogy of solo-outings for Tom Holland’s friendly neighborhood hero, who joined the franchise in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. After a marketing campaign that generated significant hype and speculation, No Way Home opened on December 17 to strong reviews from critics and is still playing in cinemas worldwide.
Since its release, audiences have flocked to see the latest Spider-Man, giving the Marvel movie by far the best box-office performance since the pandemic began. No Way Home crossed the $1 billion milestone in just 12 days and surpassed the entire domestic gross of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, considered the last pre-pandemic blockbuster. Fans have also been very happy with what awaited them, as the combination of a compelling arc for Holland’s Peter with the multiversal nostalgia tour of Spider-Man movies past made for a thrilling theatrical experience reminiscent of Avengers: Endgame.
Garfield, who reprises his role as Spider-Man from The Amazing Spider-Man movies in No Way Home, thinks he knows why the film has proven such a big hit with viewers. Speaking to ET, the British-American actor connects back to the project’s core themes, claiming that the loneliness Peter Parker experiences as he grows into his gifts is something everyone can relate to. The uniting of three individuals who can perfectly relate and support each other, Garfield says, makes for a powerfully positive experience. Check out the full quote below:
I think one of the reasons why I think it’s so appealing to so many people around the world, is that feeling of solitude that we can all — and loneliness is maybe a better word — that we can all relate to, as we are figuring out our giftedness, our ordinariness and how that meets our extraordinariness and going through adolescence and becoming a full person. The loneliness that that character feels, archetypally, that he seems destined to feel all his life, suddenly gets broken open. And these three guys, who maybe felt very lonely in the universe before, suddenly are aware that they’re never alone, they never have been alone and actually there is a brotherhood out there, and God knows how many more Spider-Men, Peter Parkers, there are out there to share in that support group with.
The positivity Garfield describes is certainly a key aspect of Spider-Man: No Way Home. When the villains from previous Spider-Man franchises initially arrive and Dr. Strange makes it clear they need to be sent back, even if to their deaths, Holland’s Peter makes the decision to disobey the Sorcerer Supreme and try to fix whatever plagues the antagonists. Though this costs him greatly, it proves quite a healing experience for those he helps, and once all three Spideys are together, they continue to help one another process the trauma of their lives.
For Garfield’s version, of course, this meant dealing with the tragic death of Gwen Stacy, which he was able to revisit by saving Zendaya’s MJ in virtually the same situation. Indeed, the catharsis of that moment, and Garfield’s performance of it, has resulted in an online campaign to revive his unfinished trilogy, though it’s unclear if that could ever actually come to pass. While many might take a more cynical approach to explaining No Way Home‘s popularity and chalk it up to fan service, this explanation has merit, and the movie’s almost therapeutic tone might have been just what audiences were craving in decidedly difficult times.
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