By Javier Romualdo
Los Angeles, Dec 15 (EFE).- Anticipation is at a fever pitch for the latest installment in the Spider-Man saga, with expectations that the third film with Tom Holland in the role of Peter Parker could be one of the biggest blockbusters in recent years.
More than 3 million tickets for “Spider-Man: No Way Home” were sold in just 24 hours in the United States, where the movie will be theatrically released on Friday. Meanwhile, fights erupted at some theater box offices in Mexico after websites where tickets were available online had crashed.
Yet despite the high level of interest, the film may never have seen the light of day if Holland hadn’t intervened in 2019 and convinced Disney (the owner of the film rights to most Marvel characters) and Sony (owner of the film rights to Spider-Man) to finance it.
Spidey had been effectively removed from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) when the two rival studios were unable to agree on fresh terms for a co-financing stake. But a new deal was later reached that gave Disney a bigger share of the profits compared to the previous arrangement.
A lot was on the line. The two previous installments in the series – “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017) and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (2019) – jointly grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. That latter film was the highest-grossing Sony picture of all time with $1.13 billion in worldwide box-office revenue.
“Sony and Marvel, they had a bit of a break-up and they needed some couples counseling. And I managed to get them to do that and we’re back,” the 25-year-old Holland said.
The British actor and American director Jon Watts have managed to generate fresh enthusiasm for the web-slinging teen superhero even though the character has been a regular on movie screens this century, with three Spider-Man films starring Tobey Maguire being released between 2002 and 2007 and two more starring Andrew Garfield hitting theaters in 2012 and 2014.
Holland’s secret has been to bring the character’s happy-go-lucky, innocent side to the forefront, a vibe that differentiates the current trilogy from previous Spider-Man films and also from the more solemn tone of Marvel’s latest offerings.
At the outset of this latest film, the characters are dealing with the fallout of Spider-Man’s secret identity having been exposed in one of the last scenes of the previous installment.
Parker’s solution is to have Doctor Strange cast a spell throughout the Multiverse, but the plan backfires and instead brings five enemies from different parts of the universe into Parker’s world, including Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina) and Electro (Jaime Foxx).
“The script is fantastic. It’s such an amazing story. Albeit this concept is kind of crazy and could be misconstrued as a gimmick, but it really serves the story really well and the writers and the creatives have done a great job of piecing together this kind of behemoth of cinematic awesomeness,” Holland said.
After the uneven “Black Widow” and “Eternals,” both released in 2021, Marvel Studios is looking to Spider-Man to give a huge lift to the so-called MCU: Phase 4.
Zendaya, who plays the role of MJ, Parker’s classmate and girlfriend, said she found the script highly intriguing from the beginning but acknowledged that she had her doubts.
“When I first read it, or was told about it, I just thought there was no way they could pull it off,” the 25-year-old American actress said. “So I was like, this is a great idea. I like that you have this thought, but it’s probably going to change and by the time we get to actually shoot it it’ll be something else.”
“I almost didn’t want to get too attached to how cool it was because I just didn’t think it would happen, but now I mean I still can’t believe that it happened.” EFE