Spider-Man: No Way Home sound designer, Tony Lamberti, reveals how they improved the scene in which Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man catches and saves Zendaya’s MJ. Garfield reprised his role from The Amazing Spider-Man duology alongside Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, and Tobey Maguire. The film hinted at what happened to Garfield’s Peter Parker following his last appearance, building on his character arc.
After arriving in the MCU, Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man is accidentally summoned by MJ and Ned Leeds (Batalon) when they try to use a sling-ring to find Holland’s Peter Parker, followed by Maguire’s version of the character. Revealing his darker days following the loss of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to Holland’s Peter when comforting him over losing Aunt May (Tomei), Garfield and Maguire’s Spider-Men help Holland in the final battle. In the battle, MJ is caught in the fray, falling from the scaffolding in a moment fans quickly identified as a nod to Gwen’s fate upon seeing the film’s trailer. Though Holland’s Spider-Man is unable to save MJ, Garfield’s Spider-Man swoops in and catches her, giving him an opportunity to redeem his failure over saving Gwen and bringing him closure. One of No Way Home‘s most emotional moments, a sound designer who had worked on the film has revealed how a single choice improved the scene.
Speaking to Variety alongside other crew members about Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s chances in the coming awards season, sound designer Lamberti discussed the process behind Garfield’s redeeming moment. Lamberti revealed that the scene originally was scored with a choir, but Sony Motion Pictures Group chairman, Tom Rothman, intervened, saying he wanted the scene to be a “catch-your-breath moment.” The score was removed near the end of the process, relying on sound design instead. Check out Lamberti’s recollection below:
“It was scored with a giant choir, but when Tom Rothman, head of the studio saw the playback, he told the room and everyone involved that we were selling ourselves short by not making it a real catch-your-breath moment.
We turned it into a sound design moment at the 11th hour. Andrew catches her and they come to the ground. They have their little emotional moment, and then it’s back into music.”
Garfield revealed that this moment sold him on returning as his incarnation of Spider-Man for No Way Home, sharing in an interview that the scene was one of the earliest moments he’d discussed with higher-ups. Originally, Garfield was pitched the film without a script, instead only discussing how involved his and Maguire’s Spider-Men would be in the story. When the script was more developed and presented to Garfield, the main focus of the pitch to him centered on his rescue of MJ, with Garfield immediately taking a liking to the scene. Garfield found the scene mythic and beautiful, seeing it as a moment of destiny where Garfield’s Spider-Man is able to save Holland’s Spider-Man from suffering his fate.
While he found his return alongside fellow Spider-Men emotional, Garfield’s rescue of MJ proved to be one of the most impactful story choices in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Giving emotional payoff to Garfield’s Spider-Man in a way he was never able to receive due to his series being cut short, it is difficult to imagine MJ’s rescue in any other form. Even if the choral piece intended for the scene was a well-made track, it could be argued that it would take focus away from Garfield and Zendaya’s performances. Rothman’s last-minute intervention, therefore, allowed Garfield moment to finally fulfill an arc many had assumed would never be completed, giving Garfield’s Parker one of his finest moments.
Next: Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 And Garfield’s TASM3 Would Mean A Real Sony Spider-Verse
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