‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Writers Discuss MCU’s Uncle Ben Twist

"With great power..."

Tom Holland Spider-Man No Way Home Uncle Ben

Spider-Man: No Way Home writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers discussed the Uncle Ben twist in the film.

Leading up to Spider-Man: No Way Home, two significant parts of the character’s history were never addressed under Marvel Studios. The first was a mention of Uncle Ben, and the second was the iconic line, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Spider-Man: No Way Home addressed both by putting a twist on the classic Uncle Ben death with Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May finally saying the line moments before passing away in Peter Parker’s arms.

While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, writer Erik Sommers revealed if the iconic Spider-Man line was being saved for No Way Home similar to Captain America’s “Avengers assemble” line in Endgame:

“I don’t think there was much impetus to put it into the other two movies. This iteration of Spider-Man didn’t start by telling the story of losing Uncle Ben. We started at a different place with Peter. Those words are so tied to Uncle Ben, there didn’t seem to be a natural place for it. We weren’t even thinking necessarily, “Oh, we have to do it in this one.” As the story started to develop, and as we got to the scene with May, we realized, “This is going to be Peter’s Uncle Ben,” and the words are going to come out. For the scene on the rooftop, where the three Peters meet, we felt pretty strongly that we need something to really, finally crystalize it for these three guys that they are the same, that they are brothers. And that they are bound in a cosmic way by something and having them share those words in common seemed like the thing to do.”

Chris McKenna explained further how they arrived at having Aunt May say the “with great power comes great responsibility” line in Spider-Man: No Way Home instead of Uncle Ben in the MCU:

“[screenwriters Christopher] Markus and [Stephen] McFeely and the Russos were so smart with Civil War to side step rehashing the origin story. You just leap over it, but it leaves so many questions and gaps. Some people [ask], “Oh, did Uncle Ben die? Was he guilty [of Ben’s death]? Are we losing that gravitas as part of that character?” I think that’s something we’ve always discussed. “What is the deal with his Uncle Ben? Is it a total parity — is it one to one? Is it absolutely the same way?” We started thinking, “Well maybe it’s not. Maybe his mentor is May and she’s instilled this thing in him. He doesn’t say, “With great power comes great responsibility,” but he says something to that effect in Civil War, which is, “When you can do the things that I can do and you don’t do anything, then you are responsible.” It’s that same sentiment that I think has been instilled in him from May, but you start realizing that May really is the moral guide of his life and he’s had a father-figure.”

No Way Home co-writer Chris Mckenna also addressed the complaints some Spider-Man fans have had in the past about Tom Holland’s version being so intertwined with Tony Stark:

“Hopefully you start seeing this is a different Peter Parker. They are all different. They have had different origins. They have had different contexts and this Peter is the only one of these three who has had a Tony Stark in his life. So he chases the fame. He chases this father figure and approval from this billionaire, philanthropist playboy. Then he realizes, “I don’t want to be an Avenger. I’m chasing the wrong thing.” And the next movie was, “I can’t be Iron Man. I can only be Spider-Man.” In this one, there is a whole new way he has to get tested about what these other two guys have been tested by. By the death of a loved one at the hands of a villain. What are you going to do about that? They help him get there. I think people can draw from it what they want, but these were the things we were working with as we were moving towards the creation of this story for him and really taking him down a dark path. I think it’s the darkest place he’s ever gone.”

Directed by Jon Watts from a script written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, Spider-Man: No Way Home stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Martin Starr, J.B. Smoove, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Benedict Wong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, and Jamie Foxx, with Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters. Stay tuned for the latest news on the future of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man after No Way Home, and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Ryden Scarnato

Ryden Scarnato

Ryden's affection for all things DC, Marvel, and Star Wars has led him to entertainment journalism at Heroic Hollywood as a News Editor.