Part 2 of 3: Marvel takes first step into multiverse with “Spider-Man: No Way Home”

By DESTINY RAMOS and EMMIT MURPHY

Warning: The following article contains spoilers.

Be sure to read Part 1 first: https://ethic-news.org/2022/02/16/act-1-marvel-takes-first-step-into-multiverse-with-spider-man-no-way-home/

A second marketing poster before the movie was released. (Credit to Marvel Studios)

A second  marketing poster before the movie was released. (Credit to marvel studios)

This is not the first time MCU fans have seen the multiverse. In earlier projects, the multiverse was hinted at in films such as “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and “Doctor Strange” but only proved to be real when the short series “Loki” and “What If…” were released in mid 2021.

Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel Studios, said, “The Ancient One mentions it in Doctor Strange, when she’s taking Stephen Strange through that sort of mind warping journey. It was always one of the most powerful storytelling tools in the comics. One you have to wield carefully, because it can get overwhelming. One that now with, obviously the 60 to 80 year history of the comics, now we have a 20 plus history of the movies and there are enough characters that we can start playing with it that way.”

Having 20+ films in the MCU provided enough material for the multiverse to finally come alive in “Spider-man: No Way Home” and future MCU projects, such as “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness” which is said to feature the Scarlet Witch, Spider-man, and many other characters.

Parker leaves without knowing the multiverse has been opened. Now feeling completely hopeless, he attempts to make things better for his friends, who have endured the same amount of trouble Parker has, by meeting with someone from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). But during that time, Parker has an unexpected visit from none other than Otto Octavius, better known as Doc Ock (Alfred Molina) from the original Spider-Man films from 2002. Molina’s return as Doc Ock had been leaked long before the confirmation in the trailer that was released Aug. 30, 2021, but it was constantly denied. 

“When we were shooting it, we were all under orders not to talk about it, because it was supposed to be some great big secret,” Molina told Variety. “But, you know, it’s all over the internet. I actually described myself as the worst kept secret in Hollywood!”

“It was wonderful,” Molina stated. “It was very interesting going back after 17 years to play the same role, given that in the intervening years, I now have two chins, a wattle, crow’s feet and a slightly dodgy lower back.” 

Because of these concerns, CGI was used to disguise him to look the same as he did 17 years ago. This was all it took for Doc Ock to come alive once again, even though Molina had other concerns regarding fight scenes, but remembered the robotic arms did all the fighting and all he had to do was have “a kind of mean look on [his] face.”

Parker is confronted by Octavius. Minutes pass and the two are fighting because of a big misunderstanding. Octavius is not aware he is in a new universe, and believes he is fighting a different Peter Parker. When he finally realizes that Holland’s Peter isn’t the one he knows, Parker takes control of Octavius’s mechanical arms.

After Parker takes control of Octavious and safely saves MIT’s Vice Assistant Chancellor, he and his friends are accepted into the school with the Assistant Chancellor’s blessing. The short moment of peace is interrupted by the Green Goblin’s (Willem Dafoe) pumpkin bombs. As Parker is ready to head back into battle, he and Octavious are transported back to the crypt of Doctor Strange.

Dafoe’s reprisal of Norman Osborn was welcomed with open arms by fans and was received as well as his first time as the Goblin nearly 20 years ago in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. 

Dafoe was very willing to return as the Goblin for the film on one condition, he wanted to do his own stunts. 

“To do this physical stuff was important to me,” the 66-year-old actor Dafoe stated. “In fact, one of the first things I said to Jon [Watts] and Amy [Pascal], basically, when they pitched it to me before there was even a script, was, ‘Listen. I don’t want to just pop in there as a cameo, or just fill in in closeups. I want to do the action because that’s fun for me. And also, because it’s really impossible to add any integrity or any fun to the character if you don’t participate in these things.”

Now, in captivity along with Octavius and Lizard (Curt Connors), Strange explains to Parker what is happening and that he needs to capture the last two villians and where to find them.

Parker heads to a forest in an all black suit, which seemed vaguely familiar, reminding fans of the black suit used in San Rami’s “Spider-Man 3” in 2007. Coming to a clearing in the forest, Parker finds Electro (Jamie Foxx) using the energy from power lines running through the forest. 

Foxx stated, “You know what I was excited, knowing Amy [Pascal] for years man, and knowing what she’s done with this franchise, and she was explaining to me it was gonna be hot you know.” 

Foxx also explained that “[he] didn’t have to be blue” which was a major point of contention for him and his character.

Dillons initial, and obvious, first move is to attack Spider-Man, and has the upper hand until Sand-Man, or Flint Marko from Sami Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 (Thomas Haden Church) is also revealed to be in the forest and saves Spidey. After the duo take down Electro and the newly introduced villains stop seeing Parker as a threat, Parker explains their situation. The two are then teleported to the same crypt the other three villains are being held in by Parker.

Now back at the crypt, Strange continues to explain to the three (and the villains in captivity) the concept of the multiverse and the fate of those being held, which was to be killed by Spider-Man, in their own universes. Now upset by this, Parker takes the ancient artifact from earlier in the movie and traps Strange in the mirror dimension seen in Doctor Strange. Now Parker believes it’s his duty to ‘save’ these villains so that their fate isn’t to die at the hand of Spider-Man.

Parker then takes all five villains and Aunt May to Hogan’s apartment where he uses the missing Stark tech that Hogan has possession of to accommodate each villain, with MJ, the artifact and Kaecilius’ Sling Ring safely at Ned’s home. Starting with Octavius, Parker (with the help of Norman Osborn, given he is also a skilled scientist) replicates the chip that keeps the robotic arms from controlling Ock and attaches it where it was before being destroyed. Immediately, Ock is met with relief. Every voice Ock has claimed to hear from the past is gone and he is able to control the arms on his own. Parker and Osborn are ecstatic knowing it worked.

The happiness doesn’t last long, as a moment after, Osborn’s second personality (Green Goblin) has made itself clear and begins to attack Parker because they “do not need [him] to save [them] and do not need to be fixed”. It isn’t long before all remaining villains begin to rebel and leave the building to avoid being ‘fixed’ and sent back to their universes.

Osborn and Parker fight in Hogan’s apartment for a while before smashing through multiple stories within the building. Before watchers know it, Parker and Osborn are in the main lobby of the apartment complex where the final moments of the fight take place. May, who followed Parker downstairs with the cures to the final three villains, Osborn, Lizard, and Sand-Man, tries to help Parker by injecting Osborn’s cure into him. To their surprise, it does not work, and now angered by this attempt, Osborn attacks May and Parker with the glider that killed him over 20 years ago. 

With no time to recover, Parker is caught more off guard as Osborn hops on the glider and leaves with a single pumpkin bomb left to finish the job. These attacks did not kill Parker as Osborn had wanted, but rather ended with the death of May with her uttering the famous words, ‘With great power, must also come great responsibility’ in one of her last breaths.

Read Part 3 here: https://ethic-news.org/2022/02/17/act-3-marvel-takes-first-step-into-multiverse-with-spider-man-no-way-home/

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