When a movie grosses $2 billion at the box office, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, a sequel should be all but inevitable. However, that’s not quite the case with Spider-Man: No Way Home. Though the film was by far the biggest hit of the past few years and, obviously, the studio would love to make a sequel, there are big questions about how or when it could all come together.
In an interview with Deadline, Sony chairman Tom Rothman addressed the question. Speaking about the studio’s big franchise IPs, he said, “We hope to get working on the next Spider-Man movie.” When he asked if that meant director Jon Watts and stars Tom Holland and Zendaya would return, he said, “That whole group, we hope.”
The keyword in those quotes, so important he used it twice, is “hope.” “Hope” is what an executive has when he just made a massive hit but can’t just greenlight a sequel immediately. And there are several reasons why. First and foremost, it’s getting everyone back together. That’s a complex equation that involves contracts, money, schedules, and the needs of two studios because Marvel Studios has a say in what happens with those characters too.
Another, arguably bigger part of the equation is a worthy story. After crafting such a great ending to this Spider-Man story, no one involved with Spider-Man: No Way Home would want to taint that just for a paycheck. Rothman says it best in the same interview. “I know this goes against the outsider’s perception of Hollywood, but I find that while talent rightfully cares about money, that’s not the prime motivation,” he says. “They care more about their work and making something that matters and lasts.” Giving everyone enough money to come back isn’t going to be an issue. It’s having something that would be worth coming back for.
The opportunity is there though. No Way Home, of course, ends with Peter Parker continuing his work as Spider-Man on a smaller, more anonymous basis now that no one in the world knows who Peter Parker is. That includes MJ, so trying to win back the love of his life while also battling a new foe seems inevitable. Or, at least, we “hope.” And that a person with the power to do it hopes so too is very encouraging.
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