SPOILER WARNING: This article will discuss spoilers from Spider-Man: No Way Home alongside the additional footage released in the extended cut.
With the official re-release of Spider-Man: No Way Home this Labor Day Weekend, Sony added extra incentive for audiences to get back into theaters by folding in previously unseen footage into an extended cut. Whether or not this was worth removing from the digital and Blu-ray release of the film remains to be seen, but nonetheless, there are some interesting new facets to discuss coming out of it. Before getting into the film itself, audiences are treated to an introduction via a video conference call from Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire. It’s a fairly straightforward exchange of pleasantries and gratitude about the experience of working on Spider-Man: No Way Home. Now a breakdown of the new footage.
The very beginning of the film remains the same as the original, with the first additions coming in the form of extended investigations done by Arian Moyaed’s Cleary with Peter Parker and company. The most noticeable difference is with Cleary having extended conversations with Peter about his previous ventures and his penchant for being in action near popular monuments. In addition, the infamous Night Monkey is addressed in the interrogation process.
The first outright new scene brought into this cut of No Way Home is the notably cut scene involving Harry Holland’s drug-dealing character being stopped by Spider-Man. The main focus then switches towards the civilians in the surrounding area accosting Peter Parker despite stopping a criminal which is built around a debate about the morality and culpability of Spider-Man being erroneously claimed to be a 14-year-old child. This scene closes out with the green paint being thrown on the suit of Spider-Man (as opposed to it just being part of a Daily Bugle montage).
The most distinct additions in this new cut are scenes at Midtown High School. Essentially every scene is expanded upon with new lines of dialogue from supporting and background characters expressing their excitement or disdain towards the webhead. One moment of note is Hannibal Buress’ Coach Wilson loudly goading Peter Parker to climb a wall during gym class with other classmates gawking onwards. This ultimately culminates in a new extended montage of interspersed sit-down interviews done by Betty Brant with supporting members of the Midtown ensemble. Of note here is the comically terrible green screen akin to the wonky production quality seen at the beginning of Spider-Man: Far From Home. The montage provides Buress, Martin Starr, and J.B. Smoove time to flex their comedic chops in the way of one-off cutaway lines. Additionally, audiences further dive into the vapid psyche of Flash Thompson in the midst of selling his new autobiography and receive some awkward closure between the Ned Leeds and Betty Brant relationship.
After leaving Midtown High, this version of No Way Home has no real changes to the structure of the film for a considerable amount of time. There are only two tangible additions of note. Firstly, there is a brief segment from J. Jonah Jameson on the Daily Bugle interviewing a construction worker on-site during the fight between Spider-Man, Sandman, and Electro. However, the construction worker comedically refers to it being a conflict between Spider-Man with a sparkle web fighting Dirt Man and a Power Monster (to the bemusement and confusion of Jameson). This scene is essentially an extension that leads into J. Jonah Jameson receiving the tip about the location of Peter Parker at the F.E.A.S.T. facility.
And then, this is followed up with the long-rumored second scene involving Charlie Cox’s Matthew Murdock. The lawyer is seen representing and defending Happy Hogan while under investigation from Cleary and his team at Damage Control. However, Hogan is distracted by watching the arrival of Peter Parker, May, and the villains into his condominium on the security camera via his phone (this scene is spliced with the original cut version of Peter and co. entering the condo). Murdock accosts Hogan for being distracted and closes by insisting on Jon Favreau’s character to stop sweating so much.
Following the new Matt Murdock scene, there are no new full scenes added to the film in the new cut. However, audiences will come to find a few new brief exchanges between the Spider-Man variants while on the Statue of Liberty scaffolding. These are all extensions of conversations already seen in the original No Way Home. Of note, Andrew Garfield’s variant continues his motif of being uber-excited about being able to interact with two versions of himself and is already planning a future meet-up between the trio. In addition, there are further points made about Tobey Maguire’s ability to create organic web-fluid and the unconscious process in which he generates it. Audiences will likely find a brief, yet tender exchange between Maguire and Garfield’s versions discussing the thought of being able to have second chances on past mistakes to resonate most strongly out of all of the additions. Once the villains then arrive for the final battle, the film remains the same course with no changes or additions abound.
POST CREDIT SCENE
Though there still remains one last surprise for audiences who stick around to the end of the film. A new post-credit scene is introduced that adds an interesting perspective to the resolution of Spider-Man: No Way Home. It takes the point of view of a final school news broadcast from Betty Brant celebrating the graduating class of Midtown High. In it, she discusses all the various events that they’ve gone through during their years, including The Blip (with Betty and Jason Ionello dusting and returning during news broadcasts). Though what’s most notable is the presence (or lack thereof) of Peter Parker. To slightly dispute the leak description from Reddit, Tom Holland’s character is technically present but is conventionally barely cut out of frame in every photo he is in (or has birds flying in front of his face). And of course, there is no mention or memory of him during the scene.
This helps bring new insight and understanding towards the nature of Doctor Strange’s spell and how the memory of Peter Parker was wiped from the minds of everyone in the world. And of course, provides a discreetly somber reminder of the lonely place Spider-Man is in at the end of the film.
THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS
Ultimately, the extended edition of Spider-Man: No Way Home was a fun experience, but certainly not game-changing in any way. As one can infer from the breakdown, a vast majority of the new scenes come from the first act of the film and at Midtown High School. While all the scenes brought new perspectives and enjoyable moments, director Jon Watts and his team made the right call in making the opening of the film as succinct as it was. Confirmation that Angourie Rice’s Betty Brant is an unsung hero in this first Spider-Man trilogy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is almost certainly the main takeaway. The only scene that could be considered worthwhile to have been included in the original cut was the Matt Murdock-Happy Hogan scene and the new lines from the Spider-Man variants solely from how little was changed via their additions. It will come down to the individual viewers to determine if the extended cut of Spider-Man: No Way Home was worth a full-on new theatrical release. However, if a fan is interested in being able to see the film again on the big screen as it was designed, it’s certainly an enjoyable experience either way.