A Big Character Almost Dies in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’—Here’s the Fake Out That Fooled Audiences

"Spider-Man: No Way Home"
Photo: Matt Kennedy / © Sony Pictures Releasing / © Marvel Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection.

Warning: Spider-Man: No Way Home spoilers ahead: If you’re a fan of the original Spider-Man movies, you may want to know if Tobey Maguire dies in Spider-Man: No Way Home after his and Andrew Garfield’s surprise cameos in the MCU.

Spider-Man: No Way Home—a sequel of 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home—is the third Spider-Man movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the 27th film in the franchise overall. The movie stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man), a high school student with spider-like superpowers. The film is set after the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, which saw Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) expose Peter as Spider-Man and frame him for his murder. Spider-Man: No Way Home sees Peter ask Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help to restore his life and secret identity. However, Dr. Strange’s spell doesn’t go as planned and the magic breaks open the multiverse to allow supervillains from alternate realities who fought other versions of Spider-Man to arrive in the MCU’s Spider-Verse.

In an interview with Uproxx in February 2021, Holland, who has a reputation among fans for spoiling MCU movies, confirmed that some details about Spider-Man: No Way Home had been leaked before its premiere while others stayed a secret. “It’s a tricky situation…sometimes the fans figure out what’s going on, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they figure out one thing, and it opens up a whole world of possibilities and they go off on a tangent, which could not be more different or more correct to what we’re making,” he said. “It’s a shame, sometimes, that things get leaked and things get ruined. But at the moment, with this film, I think we’re doing a very, very good job of keeping the things that need to be a secret a secret. And I’m sure there are things that are going on that I have no idea about. I mean, I’m usually the last person to find out what’s going on, because of this ridiculous rumor that I spoil movies!”

He continued, “But, I think, the tricky thing about those questions is: it’s a question that’s going to get a reaction regardless of what the answer is. So it’s one of those things where you just have to figure out, how is the best way to handle this? Shall I lie? Shall I tell the truth? Shall I just say, ‘I can’t say anything.’ Shall I say, ‘I can neither confirm nor deny’? There’s nothing you can really say that won’t spark a reaction from the fans. So, it’s a double-edged sword. It can be great. It can be a great thing, but sometimes it can be quite a damaging thing.”

One spoiler that was true was the return of Tobey Maguire (who starred in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy) and Andrew Garfield (who starred in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man movies) as Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man. Read on for how the actors came back in MCU’s third Spider-Man movie and whether Andrew Garfield or Tobey Maguire dies in Spider-Man: No Way Home. 

Does Tobey Maguire die in Spider-Man: No Way Home?

"Spider-Man 2"

Image: Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection.

Does Tobey Maguire die in Spider-Man: No Way Home? The answer is no. However, he comes close. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s versions of Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man)—who are in Tom Holland’s Spider-Verse after Doctor Strange’s spell to erase his identity misfires—come in the middle of Spider-Man: No Way Home, when Ned (Jacob Batalon) uses Doctor Strange’s Sling Ring to find “Peter Parker.” The Sling Ring opens a portal to what looks like Spider-Man, but instead of Holland’s Peter, it’s Garfield’s version of the character. When Ned tries again, he opens a portal for Maguire’s Peter to arrive. Ned and MJ (Zendaya) then take Maguire and Garfield’s Peters to meet Holland’s Peter, who is mourning the death of Aunt May after she was killed by the Green Goblin. Both Garfield and Maguire’s Peters tell Holland’s Peter about the loved ones they lost in their universe. Garfield tells Holland’s Peter about how he couldn’t save his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), while Maguire’s Peter tells him about the death of his Uncle Ben. Maguire’s Peter also discourages Holland from seeking revenge on Green Goblin by telling him a story about he killed someone in his universe but that the murder didn’t make him feel better.

Motivated by his conversation with Maguire and Garfield’s Peters, Holland’s Peter concocts a plan to bait the villains from the other Spider-Verses—Electro (Jamie Foxx), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Lizard (Rhys Ifans) and Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina)—to the Statue of Liberty, so he can cure them of their powers and what makes them evil before sending them back to their universes. The three Spider-Men manage to cure electro, Sandman and Lizard (Doctor Octopus was cured earlier in the movie), leaving Green Goblin as the last villain to cure. There’s a final fight between Holland’s Spider-Man and Green Goblin on a statue replica of Captain America’s shield. Filled with rage over Aunt May’s death, Holland’s Spider-Man knocks Green Goblin and punches on him until he can’t get up. Just as he’s about stab him to death with his own Goblin Glider, Maguire’s Spider-Man comes between Holland’s Spider-Man and Green Goblin and stops him. He convinces Holland’s Spider-Man to put the Goblin Glider down, but before he does, Green Goblin stabs Maguire’s Spider-Man in the back. Holland’s Spider-Man then jabs the cure into Green Goblin’s neck before checking on Maguire’s Spider-Man, who is on the floor in pain. While Spider-Man: No Way Home makes it seem like Maguire’s Spider-Man could die, in the end, he survives. Green Goblin’s attack wasn’t fatal and Garfield’s Spider-Man—who also saves MJ from dying earlier in the final battle—comes to comfort Maguire’s Spider-Man before they’re both sent back to their universes. Before they go, however, Holland’s Spider-Man gives the other two Spider-Men a hug and tells them that he loves them.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are available to stream on Disney Plus. Here’s how to watch them for free.

"Spider Man: The Definitive Comic Art Collection"

Image: Courtesy of Marvel. Insight Editions.

Spider-Man: From Amazing to Spectacular: The Definitive Comic Art Collection

For more about Spider-Man, check out Marvel’s special edition book, Spider-Man: From Amazing to Spectacular: The Definitive Comic Art Collection, which takes readers through 50 years of Spider-Man. The deluxe art book—which includes exclusive interviews and content from the writers and illustrators that brought the Marvel superhero to life half a century ago—follows Spider-Man’s history, from his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962 to how he went from being Marvel’s chronic underdog to the amazing and spectacular superhero fans know today. The book—which also includes a deep dive into Spider-Man’s superpowers, including his spider-like strength, genius mind and webslingers (not to mention his “fully loaded arsenal of quips—Spider-Man: From Amazing to Spectacular also features never-before-seen art of the friendly neighborhood superhero, and behind-the-scene details from creators like Brian Michael Bendis, Gerry Conway and Tom DeFalco, as well as others who helped bring Peter Parker to life. Spider-Man: From Amazing to Spectacular is a must-read for any Marvel superfan.

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