It doesn’t feel like Tom Holland has been Spider-Man for all that long. His first appearance came just five years ago, in Captain America: Civil War. In total, he’s made three solo films as Spidey plus two Avengers movies. That makes Holland the most tenured movie Spider-Man by far; Tobey Maguire made three movies as Peter Parker, while Andrew Garfield only did two. So while it might seem like Holland might just be getting started — he’s still a young guy after all — the reality is he could be winding down his time as the Wall-Crawler with this winter’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.

In fact, Holland says the creative team of No Way Home looked at it as the potential “end of a franchise.” That’s what he told Entertainment Weekly in a new interview. While he didn’t say No Way Home is the definitive conclusion of his Spider-Man series, the movie was designed in a way so that it could be if that’s how everything shakes out.

As he put it:

We were all treating [No Way Home] as the end of a franchise, let’s say ... I think if we were lucky enough to dive into these characters again, you’d be seeing a very different version. It would no longer be the Homecoming trilogy. We would give it some time and try to build something different and tonally change the films. Whether that happens or not, I don’t know. But we were definitely treating [No Way Home] like it was coming to an end, and it felt like it.

EW also debuted several new images from the film:

No Way Home had a rough journey to the screen. The initial deal that was struck between Marvel and Sony to share Spider-Man on screen expired after Avengers: Endgame. For a time, it seemed like the two sides wouldn’t come to a new deal, which would have meant Sony and Holland could have continued making Spider-Man films, but not with the support of Kevin Feige or the Marvel team. (You could have said goodbye to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange having a supporting role in the film, for example.)

Some fans are probably going to speculate that there’s more to Holland’s quote than tat, given the movie involves Dr. Strange and Peter accidentally tearing some kind of hole in the multiverse, which allows Spider-Man villains from previous franchises to cross over into the MCU. Holland’s comments could mean that by the end of the movie, the version of Spider-Man from the last couple of movies gets changed in some way — or that the MCU gets permanently changed by Dr Strange’s spell. In Marvel Comics, these kinds of stories tend to end with reality being rewritten in some way — to make the universe forget, for example, that they all know that Peter Parker is Spider-Man.

We’ll see exactly what Holland meant when Spider-Man: No Way Home is scheduled to open in theaters on December 17, 2021.

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