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The cast of 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' on the multiverse, rumors and watching Tom Holland grow up

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The cast of Spider-Man: No Way Home talks to Yahoo Entertainment about wrapping their heards around the idea of the multiverse, how they dealt with rumors and what it's like watching Tom Holland grow up on screen.

Video transcript

- We tampered with the stability of space time. Multiverse is a concept about which we know frighteningly little.

KEVIN POLOWY: "No Way Home" introduces the multiverse into the MCU, which if you're not too steeped in the comics, can be a little difficult to grasp. Tom, was that something that took you a minute to wrap your head around at first or did you get it right away?

TOM HOLLAND: I mean, Jon Watts has always been very good at explaining himself and explaining to us what is going on, in his initial pitch, it was very clear as to what Marvel and Sony were trying to achieve. And then once we read the script, it was even clearer.

There are obviously some sort of logistical rules that we are breaking in order to make the multiverse make sense, which, you know, this is a movie about a young 17-year-old kid who shoots webs out of his hands so--

ZENDAYA: And gets by a radioactive spider.

TOM HOLLAND: A radioactive spider.


TOM HOLLAND: So I think it's OK for us to break those--

JACOB BATALON: Break some rules.

TOM HOLLAND: --physics laws. It was clear to us, and for anyone that doesn't understand, the multiverse is a concept in which alongside with our universe, is an infinite amount of alternate realities that are running at the same time. And because of a spell that Peter Parker has asked Doctor Strange to do to wipe his memory from existence to stop the world remembering that he is Spider-Man, he unfortunately has opened up portals to those alternate dimensions where some very, very scary villains from films that we have all seen make their way into our universe for a very, very fun, action-packed movie.

KEVIN FEIGE: The plan was always to follow the journey of Peter Parker through high school. The journey was always to tell a new type of Peter Parker's story than had been told before in the movies with the addition and the inclusion of him in the MCU. And when you're in the MCU, anything that has happened in the comics becomes fair game for storytelling possibilities.

So bringing in villains we hadn't seen before like Vulture and Mysterio. Seeing him interact with people like Tony Stark and Nick Fury and now Doctor Strange. All of that was part of the-- was part of the plan.

Having his identity revealed, something that had never happened to Peter Parker in a movie before, was something we talked about early on. And then the notion of the multiverse really started within Marvel Studios as we were doing the first Doctor Strange movie. We started to really think about the possibilities there.

Mysterio obviously used the idea of the multiverse to his advantage in "Far From Home" although he was lying about it. So soon after all that that we thought, OK, Peter needs help with the fact that his identity has been revealed. His life has been upended. And more importantly, the lives of his friends and his family has been impacted by this.

AMY PASCAL: It really is always about what Peter Parker's journey is. And for all of the Spider-Man movies, it's always about identity. And it's always about what fate has in store for him as Spider-Man and what he wants as Peter Parker.

And when Mysterio reveals who he is to everyone at the end of "Far From Home," we had to deal in this movie with what happens when you have that collision and Pandora's Box is open. And that led us to the multiverse.

KEVIN POLOWY: This movie also confirms the existence of the multiverse, which if you're not steeped in the comics, I think can be a little bit difficult to grasp. Was that something that took you a minute to wrap your brain around?

MARISA TOMEI: Honestly, I still don't really know entirely what the hell that is. And I think Mr. Watts explained it to me at least five times.


MARISA TOMEI: So but I-- you know, the learning curve is OK. I got there eventually.

KEVIN POLOWY: I don't know if we've ever seen a movie as rumor-filled as this one, in part, because of the multiverse. I mean, just rampant fan speculation, leaks or fake leaks, who even knows. You know, what's that been like to deal with from your vantage point? Does that stuff stress you guys out?

KEVIN FEIGE: You know, nobody wants leaks, nobody wants surprises spoiled. But the truth is, in the years that that's happened, I've just looked at it as a positive that people are interested enough to want to know every little thing. And that if we do our jobs right, when the lights go down in the theater, people are ready for the story as it was intended to be told.

AMY PASCAL: You have to work really hard to not get distracted by it because on the one hand, you're making the movie for the fans. The fact that they want to talk about it and they're excited is thrilling.


AMY PASCAL: Because if they weren't talking about it at all, that would be super bad. On the other hand, you don't want to get distracted because you've got to finish the movie. So it's a balance, like everything else.

KEVIN POLOWY: Jacob, I love that Ned's role seems to expand more with each film. You are clearly doing something right. Were you aware from the first film that he would be so integral to these movies or has it been sort of a gradual discovery with each script that you get?

JACOB BATALON: I think it's-- yeah, I think it's both. I think like it's definitely been-- it's definitely been-- in the beginning, I feel like it was definitely just I was just very grateful to have been in the films. And then as the third one came along, I pretty much demanded to be in most of it.

No, but yeah, it was both of me kind of discovering and also Jon, again, letting us know how much more we will be doing eventually. And it's been a really great process for me because Jon has been great in like, you know, taking our ideas and our thoughts and really-- really helping us shape who we are. And I'm really glad that he listened to me when I said I want to be a bigger part of the franchise.

No. But no, yes, it's definitely a bit of both for sure.

KEVIN POLOWY: We got to talk some Tom Holland. What has it been like seeing-- this is his third Spidey standalone movie then the others of the MCU-- but what has it been like, you know, seeing Tom grow into and evolve this role over the years as his on screen aunt?

MARISA TOMEI: You know what's really impressive is to see that he can always go back to the baseline of that character. It's a very difficult thing to do when a lot of time has passed. And he's played a lot of different roles in between and he's had a lot of life experience in between and he's grown up a lot in between.

But he still has to be a younger age than he really is. He's still doing a character. He still has to be in touch with a certain kind of innocence that Peter has. He has to still walk and move like Peter.

And it's really in the revisiting that you really see his chops.

KEVIN FEIGE: He was always an remarkably and extraordinarily gifted performer. That hasn't changed and that's only grown. And he was always a kind man. And that has also continued, which is not a given when you become a megastar like he is now.

AMY PASCAL: I saw his screen test the other day for homecoming to remind myself. And I remember me and Kevin and all of us standing at the monitor watching this kid who was clearly going to be Spider-Man but he was a kid. And he's a man now.

And what is beautiful about his growth is that, you know, it's sort of like life imitating art. You know, it's like he's grown up in these movies and he's grown up in reality.

- I can't save everyone, but together we can. You are not alone.


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