Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts spoke with Variety about what happened behind-the-scenes in order to bring the long-awaited third installment in the trilogy to the theaters. 

Like everything else in the entertainment industry, production on No Way Home was suspended due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. When they resumed in May 2020, Watts said he returned with a sense of “deep gratitude,” a sentiment he thought was shared among the entire cast and crew. 

“The first day was completely different from the first day of any film I’ll ever be on, because of the situation,” he said. “So to be on the set and working, I felt deep gratitude. I think everyone else also felt that gratitude and I hope that comes across.” 

Watts said he sat down with Tom Holland and his fellow Spider-Men, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, before they filmed their first scene together to go through what he described as “a Spider-Man therapy session” where they discussed their own personal journey portraying the iconic character. 

“We sat on folding chairs in a circle and went through the script together. I had talked to everyone separately, but to have everyone together to talk about the story, how the pieces fit together and what Spider-Man meant to them — that was exciting for me,” Watts said of the meeting, which included Zendaya and Jacob Batalon. “We had the only three actors to ever play Spider-Man in a film, and each had been through so much, on and off screen. It was like a Spider-Man therapy session.” 

“Because we had done that work ahead of time, when filming that first scene with everyone, it was great to take a step back and see the crew watching, like they were watching the movie,” he continued. “You’re capturing something more than a scene from a movie; you’re watching a once-in-a-lifetime event.” 

Watts went on to explain that each film in his Spider-Man trilogy features a dilemma encountered by Peter Parker that is directly related to what he’s dealing with while making the movie.   

“I’ve always taken my greatest fear and made that central to the thematics of the films,” he said. “‘Homecoming’ is about a kid who gets a huge opportunity and is so afraid he’ll miss his chance, that he creates a disaster. That was my fear: ‘What if I screw the whole thing up?’ ‘Far From Home’ is about being afraid to make a second movie and screwing things up. Peter Parker is given a mission and he doesn’t want to take a risk.”

“‘No Way Home’ is about trying to finish this origin story and the responsibility that comes with this. Peter Parker and Spider-Man mean so much to people and I felt that responsibility,” he concluded. 

Head over to Variety to read the piece in full.