Spider-Man: No Way Home Writers Address The Logistics Of Doctor Strange’s Final Spell

This post contains major spoilers for "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" is a big movie with big emotions. It also features some big spellwork, thanks to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who comes on board to fix Peter's (Tom Holland) life once the teenager's secret identity is revealed to the world. When the dust has settled and the multiverse guests are on their way back home, Doctor Strange casts one more spell for Peter: he makes it so the world forgets Peter Parker ever existed.

As an ending, this one's an emotional gut punch, but it also raises some questions. Do MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon) remember having another best friend, but not remember who he is? Do they remember their involvement with Spider-Man? Happy (Jon Favreau) clearly does, even if he doesn't recognize Peter. Also, is Peter going by a different name now? Is his apartment so small because he had to pay in cash since he technically doesn't exist? There's a lot to consider, and the movie doesn't really get into any of it.

Don't Focus On The Details (Yet)

In an interview with Variety, the film's co-writers, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, touched on questions about the realities of Peter's forget-me spell. "Obviously, some sort of magical redaction has occurred," McKenna says, but goes on to indicate that we shouldn't get too bogged down in the details for now. As if Marvel fans can resist. "At the end of all this, we didn't want a lot of people trying to do magical math in their head," McKenna says, explaining that the donut shop scene should leave us thinking first and foremost about the sacrifice Peter made for his friends.

According to Sommers, the interconnectedness of the MCU makes it possible to put something like Doctor Strange's spell into effect while knowing the details can be ironed out later. "If people have questions about some of those details that didn't get answered here, we'll answer them hopefully in another movie somewhere down the line," he told Variety. He doesn't say when, or what any of that will look like, but it sounds like Peter's spell will have more narrative clarity in the MCU's future. For now, the writer wanted to "just focus on the emotion of it."

This isn't the worst plan in the world. Marvel fans have been left with similar worldbuilding questions before, as when "Avengers: Infinity War" ended by showing us The Snap without detailing what it would look like. In that case, the cliffhanger worked well, as Marvel has used not only "Avengers: Endgame," but also much of Phase 4 to explore the real impact of the global event. Of course, erasing Peter Parker from history isn't nearly as narratively complicated as erasing 50% of the world's population. Hopefully, when Marvel does address these plot holes, it'll be with the humor and creativity we've come to expect from their "Spider-Man" movies.

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" is currently in theaters.

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