Spider-Man: No Way Home stars Tom Holland and Zendaya discuss the MCU film’s “bittersweet” ending.
WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home, in theaters now.
Spider-Man: No Way Home stars Tom Holland and Zendaya — who play Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Michelle “MJ” Jones-Watson, respectively — recently opened up about the film’s emotional ending. Holland describes the ending as “bittersweet,” whereas Zendaya sees it as being “just bitter.”
In No Way Home, Peter’s primary motivation is wanting his life to go back to normal following the ending of 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, which saw the Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) reveal Spidey’s secret identity to the world. By the end of the film, Peter does indeed get a chance at a fresh start, though it comes at a great cost.
In order to avert the multiverse crisis he inadvertently set into motion, Spider-Man has Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) cast a spell that will make it so everyone on Earth forgets who Peter Parker is. This includes the people who love Peter the most, such as his fellow Avengers, his girlfriend MJ and his best friend Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon). What’s more, this is only after Peter loses Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), who perishes at the hands of the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe).
Holland and Zendaya discussed the film’s ending during an interview with Marvel’s official website. “I actually hate we’re in these interviews like, ‘This movie’s so fun!’ I cried throughout the whole movie,” Zendaya said. “And the first thing I said when we finished was, ‘This is awfully sad.'”
Holland added, “It’s brutal. It’s tough. It’s bittersweet.” This prompted Zendaya to reply, “Is it though? Because it’s very much just bitter. Like, I’m not getting the sweet part.” Further explaining his viewpoint on the matter, Holland discussed how Peter is “starting a new chapter. And he’s cleared his name. He’s free of all that stuff. And the people that he loves–“
Zendaya then pointed out, “He’s lost everyone he loves.” Holland replied, “The people that he loves are safe, and they’re alive.” Zendaya was quick to remind Holland that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “They’re never safe!”
“It’s very sad, the ending,” Holland said.
Zendaya also noted that she wanted the film to end with Peter and MJ going to college together, which, of course, doesn’t happen following the mass memory wipe. Holland chimed in, adding that he too wanted Peter and MJ to get their happy ending, but that he knew it wasn’t going to happen. “We’re still here, we’re feeling good. We’re proud of the movie,” Holland said. “It would have been so nice for them to go to college, and just swing off into the sunset. Unfortunately, this is the way it is.”
As the interview was wrapping up, Zendaya had a revelation. “There’s going to be a lot of really upset little kids that are going to be like, [mimics wailing].” Ever the optimist, Holland replied, “We may be teaching young kids a lesson they might not be ready for. But, [at least the movie’s] entertaining.”
Spider-Man: No Way Home is playing in theaters now.
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Spider-Man’s Tom Holland and Zendaya Discuss No Way Home’s ‘Bittersweet’ Ending