Magic. In Spider-Man: No Way Home, magic was both the problem and the solution and, because how magic works remains a mystery to us, fans were left with a lot of questions as they walked away from the theaters. Why did Doctor Strange’s original spell-gone-wrong draw Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock into the MCU? Does Strange’s final spell mean the Guardians or Captain Marvel, who weren’t on Earth when it was cast, will forget Peter, too? In an interview with Variety, writers Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna explained their approach to magic in the year’s biggest box office hit.
The film’s central plot revolved around Peter meeting five villains from previous Spider-Man films and trying to cure them. The mid-credit scene, however, introduced a sixth: Hardy’s Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote companion, Venom. While the other five found themselves involved in a conflict with the Spider-Men, Brock chose to while away his time in Mexico, having drinks and catching up on the history of the MCU. But why was this version of Brock, who has yet to meet a Peter Parker in his own universe, brought to the MCU by the spell? According to the writers, the answer lies in a line spoken in the post-credit scene to Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which the duo revealed was actually directed by No Way Home’s Jon Watts.
In that scene, Brock and Venom are catching up on their telenovelas while hiding out in Mexico when Venom begins to explain to him that he possesses “80 billion light years of hive knowledge across universes” that would “explode” Eddie’s “tiny little brain.” And just as Venom prepares to give Eddie a “taste” of that knowledge, the pair are caught up in Strange’s spell and brought to the MCU. According to McKenna, somewhere in that hive knowledge exits the Parker/Spidey connection, as he explained, “The idea is that the symbiote has knowledge of other universes. Buried in his brain is some knowledge of that connection.” Problem solved.
The writers were a little less specific in their explanations as to exactly how Strange’s final spell, which made everyone on Earth forget about Peter Parker, would play out down the line, especially with him still actively working as Spider-Man. “Obviously, some sort of magical redaction has occurred,” McKenna explained. “At the end of all this, we didn’t want a lot of people trying to do magical math in their head.” And so, according to Sommers, they left the problems to be solved by their future selves:
We decided, let’s try to do it in the most satisfying way and just focus on the emotion of it. And then if people have questions about some of those details that didn’t get answered here, we’ll answer them hopefully in another movie somewhere down the line.
Give that the duo have worked on each of the MCU’s Spidey films so far and that there’s a fourth in development, they’ll probably have to start figuring out how to answer them sooner rather than later.