With Spider-Man: No Way Home, we were treated to a fantastic film that culminated not just the Tom Holland trilogy of web-slinging films but was also able to, somehow, wrap up the previous iterations as well. The storyline and mechanics around what they pulled off were frankly stunning, unlikely to be repeated anytime soon in any other franchise. But for all of the achievements around the film and how it set about and accomplished its goals, there might have been one person who wasn’t all that pumped with how things concluded. That would be Tom Holland himself who shared some honest feelings about how this trilogy wrapped up.
Warning: Some Tom Holland Spider-Man: No Way Home spoilers coming very soon
Marvel (via ScreenRant) shared an interview with Tom Holland in which he discussed his thoughts on how this part of the Spider-Man franchise came to an end and his feelings about having played the character for so long (and so successfully). Holland’s reaction was a mixed bag, of course, identifying with both the storytelling elements of the final film, while also feeling something of a connection to both his character and those of his friends. Holland’s words are an interesting window into the process, lending credence to the idea that his on-screen and off-screen relationships had significant overlap. Check out part of what Tom Holland had to say:
“It’s brutal…It’s bittersweet… (Peter) starting a new chapter. And the people that he loves— (He’s lost them, but) the people that he loves are safe, and they’re alive. It’s very sad, the ending. I wanted them to have a happy ending. We’re still here, we’re feeling good… It would have been so nice for them to go to college, and just swing off into the sunset. Unfortunately, this is the way it is.”
This makes a lot of sense that Tom Holland would identify this as a difficult thing, artistically to come to grips with as they ended the series of films. In many ways, Holland is speaking as a fan more than anything. Many of us were likely thinking the same thing as Peter walks into the bakery at the end and sees Zendaya’s MJ and Jacob Batalon’s Ned having kept their friendship alive as a pair rather than a trio. This was, like Tom Holland says, incredibly bittersweet, the realization that Peter has made the nearly-ultimate sacrifice, now having effectively lost everyone that he loves in some form or fashion.
Though Tom Holland, and we as viewers, would have liked to have things turn out a different way in No Way Home, from stakes and “realism” perspective, this ending makes more “sense”. I say that in quotes because we are clearly still talking in the vein of a comic book movie after all. But couched for this distinction, the way Jon Watts and company brought things to a close gave the franchise just the thing it sort of needed: closure. The latter doesn’t always need to be happy. The Marvel folks understand this.
Where the Spider-Man franchise goes after this, with Tom Holland or without is anyone’s (except Marvel’s) guess. We have seen the last of the actor in the role for some time, and maybe forever. With Sony taking over parts of this universe’s story, but also the stage set for a different version of the web-slinger to come about, the future is wide open for Tom Holland and the character. If it’s truly the end, I think we got just about the perfect one, even if it wasn’t out of a storybook.