Concept artist Phil Saunders revealed an alternate Aunt May scene from Spider-Man: No Way Home, which underwent changes in the final film.
In the Spider-Man story, there’s a pivotal moment considered a “canon event” by Sony in Across the Spider-Verse: the loss of someone dear to Peter Parker. For Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, it was the tragic death of Uncle Ben. Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man endured the loss of both Uncle Ben and Captain Stacy. In the MCU’s Spider-Man, a significant character death occurred when Aunt May was unexpectedly killed in the explosion caused by one of Green Goblin’s pumpkin bombs in No Way Home. However, due to pandemic-related limitations, this particular scene had to be altered from its original plan.
Spider-Man: No Way Home delivered an emotionally charged moment with the death of Aunt May, a pivotal event in Peter Parker’s journey. A recently revealed alternate concept shows that this heartbreaking scene was initially conceived to take place in a different setting.
The Alternate Scene of Aunt May’s Death
Concept artist Phil Saunders, who contributed to Spider-Man: No Way Home, shared an image on Instagram that captures a teary-eyed Peter Parker (Tom Holland) hovering over the dying Aunt May, portrayed by Marisa Tomei. In the final film, this tragic moment unfolds in the lobby of Happy Hogan’s apartment building. Still, the concept art reveals that it was originally planned to occur in the back of an ambulance.
Saunders described this artwork as a “wonderful shot to be assigned” due to its emotionally resonant nature. The caption of his Instagram post also mentioned that, in an earlier version of the script, Aunt May’s death was scripted to happen inside an ambulance en route to the nearest hospital.
The Impact of Aunt May’s Death
Aunt May’s death is a poignant and crucial moment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Spider-Man’s journey. This sequence marks the first time in the MCU that a character delivers Spider-Man’s iconic motto: “With great power, there must also come great responsibility.” It serves as a defining moment for Peter Parker, reinforcing his commitment to use his abilities for the greater good.
In the aftermath of Aunt May’s death, Peter makes a heart-wrenching decision to ask Stephen Strange to erase the memories of everyone who knows him, effectively removing himself from their lives. This choice shapes the character’s trajectory and sets up intriguing possibilities for future MCU Spider-Man stories.
The Home Trilogy, consisting of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, serves as the hero’s origin story within the MCU. These films have showcased Peter Parker’s growth, struggles, and the enduring theme of facing adversity with resilience, making Spider-Man one of the most relatable and beloved superheroes in the Marvel universe.
While it’s unclear when Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will return to the big screen, these films continue to resonate with audiences, and his journey is far from over. Spider-Man: Homecoming is already available for streaming on Disney+ in the United States, with the other two installments expected to follow suit soon. As fans eagerly anticipate the next chapter in Spider-Man’s adventures, the character’s enduring appeal remains a testament to the enduring power of great responsibility.