Spider-Man: No Way Home was finally released this month, and it’s been a huge hit among Marvel fans. Not only has the movie been shattering box office records, already earning $1 billion, but it also has an impressive 98% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. There’s a whole lot to love about the new Spidey flick, but for many, the MVP is Andrew Garfield. The actor made a surprise return as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, a role he played in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). While there’s been a definite resurgence in love for Garfield’s movies, they’ve typically been considered the weakest when compared to the Tobey Maguire-led Spidey films or the recent ones starring Tom Holland. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, No Way Home writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommer talked about leaning into Garfield’s Spidey status and giving his version of Peter Parker “middle brother syndrome.”
“I think the last third of the movie is my favorite part of the whole movie,” McKenna explains. “You get to that point and you’re like, ‘We could have really dropped the ball and it would have been our fault.’ Because these guys were game. They showed up and we reworked all those scenes when they came on [with] the actors, the producers, and the director. We reworked the rooftop school scene and all that stuff and there was so much fun improv of those guys. Andrew really leaned into the lonely, middle brother. That’s one of the things we started saying. ‘He is the middle brother!’ You have the elder brother, Tobey, who is the wise one. The middle sibling thing, he feels like he’s not getting the attention of the other two. It works so great for that character. Andrew leaned into middle brother syndrome.”
McKenna continued, “‘The baby one is getting all the attention! What about me?’ [Laughs.] He’s obviously hurting. I think he has so many great flourishes. So does Tobey. I think that dynamic of brothers, that’s why it’s so great when Andrew says, ‘God, I always wanted to have brothers.’ While simplistic, it is a great paradigm for the three of them coming together and you want it to feel like, ‘Oh, it’s not just doppelgangers.’ They are different. They are not the same person. They are born of the same experience and the same spider-bite. They are like brothers. No one knows the heaven and hell if what it is to be in an experience quite like your sibling. No one knows what this family is like. At least they got a sense of, ‘You’re not alone. There’s a community. You guys have each suffered in your own way.’ And then to get help heal each other, it was wonderful to be a part of getting there.”
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters.