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Spider-Man: No Way Home writers explain a plot hole everyone’s talking about

Published Jan 10th, 2022 1:05PM EST
Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home ending scene
Image: Sony

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There’s no question that Spider-Man: No Way Home is the best and most enjoyable MCU Spider-Man movie so far. It’s not just because of the multiverse angle that turns the film into the first live-action Spider-verse movie. The story is excellent, and the ending makes perfect sense for Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. No Way Home sets up the next phase of MCU Spider-Man stories, delivering the soft reboot that Sony, Marvel, and the audience needed. But the film isn’t perfect. We’ve already discussed the No Way Home plot holes and how some of the biggest issues could be very exciting for the future. And now, it turns out the writers are aware that some plot issues need to be ironed out in the future.

Mind you, if you haven’t seen No Way Home, then you should avoid what follows below because it contains significant spoilers.

The No Way Home plot holes

To quickly recap our earlier coverage of No Way Home plot holes, I’ll remind you that we placed the plot holes in different categories, from minor to huge.

Peter largely ignoring the big Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) revelation or a part of Venom (Tom Hardy) avoiding the final spell’s effects are minor No Way Home plot holes. The latter is just a trick to keep Hardy’s Venom in the MCU.

The bigger plot issues concern the arrival of Maguire and Garfield’s Spider-Man variants. They’re powerful superheroes, yet they need Ned (Jacob Batalon) to find them. They spend more than a day in a foreign world without actually taking action themselves that would have led them to the MCU’s Peter Parker.

Curing villains is also a significant plot hole. It sets a dangerous precedent for every fight that concerns these three Peter Parkers. It could impact the entire MCU if Peter teaches the Avenger to cure villains. And superheroes can obtain that cure in less than a day if you have enough Spider-Men on hand.

The multiverse offense

The worst plot hole concerns the fates of these villains. They’re all cured, which means they go back to their timelines as regular people. They’re no longer villains in those timelines, but only they know that.

Let’s not forget that the spell yanked them from various points in time from their universes. For example, Doc Ock (Alfred Molina) will return to a place in time where he was fighting a younger version of Maguire’s Spider-Man. Maguire’s Peter, meanwhile, will return to his present time, which is years after Otto’s death.

That’s to say, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) casts a spell that messes with the multiverse in a big way. And it’s a big plot hole that might never be explained away. I did say a few days ago that Sony and Marvel could always explore the aftermath of the spell. Future movies could explain precisely what happened to the seven characters — the five villains and two Spider-Men.

Spider-Man in No Way Home bridge fight scene
Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in No Way Home bridge fight scene. Image source: Sony

No Way Home writers address the final spell

Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna spoke with Variety about writing the Spider-Man: No Way Home.

They addressed one of the No Way Home controversies that some might consider a plot hole. The spell at the end makes everyone forget who Peter Parker is. We explained before why the spell isn’t an issue. We speculated that the spell erases knowledge of Peter Parker’s identity from everyone and everything. That might be someone’s mind or something digital, like a news report or files that people have on Spider-Man.

The writers apparently knew this spell could be a problem for the audience. “We were like, do we do a Back to the Future kind of thing where you see him fading out of photos?” Sommers explained. “Does he still have a driver’s license or a passport? It just led to more questions.”

He continued, “We decided, let’s try to do it in the most satisfying way and just focus on the emotion of it. And then if people have questions about some of those details that didn’t get answered here, we’ll answer them hopefully in another movie somewhere down the line.”

“Obviously, some sort of magical redaction has occurred,” McKenna added. “At the end of all this, we didn’t want a lot of people trying to do magical math in their head.”

Magical math isn’t so bad if you’re trying to make sense of everything when it comes to the bigger picture. I already explained a couple of years ago that Far From Home has a few big plot holes that ruin the movie. McKenna and Sommers penned the script for that movie as well.

Image source: Sony

Fixing other plot holes is more important

The biggest issue with the action in Far From Home concerns the lack of action from the authorities.

Peter is on vacation in Europe for about a week. While there, he has to fight seemingly big villains with the help of Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). Yet we see no real response from local authorities or other Avengers to what appears to be a massive threat.

That’s not something we’d expect from a world that has dealt with the blip and is learning how to cope with alien attacks. You’d think that the world would be more prepared to mount some sort of defense even without the Avengers.

It might seem like a small detail. But the events and plot holes in Far From Home dictate what happens in No Way Home. Except then, if you have any authorities coordinate with Peter and Mysterio, those authorities would know by the end of everything that Mysterio had been lying all along. The murder accusations might not even stand up, although Mysterio would still reveal Peter’s identity to the world.

It didn’t help that back then, the Spider-Man writers didn’t have access to the Avengers: Endgame plot.

Fast forward to No Way Home, and the movie doesn’t have that plot hole problem. There’s no time for anyone else to intervene. This time around, the action takes place over the course of two days. That’s just enough time for Peter & Co. to contain the situation before other Avengers would assemble. But all the other No Way Home plot holes could certainly be addressed in the future.

We’ve seen in the past that timelines and plots can get so confusing that even Marvel employees can barely follow what’s going on. But this should provide a little more explanation going forward.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.