MCU Theory: No Way Home Prevented Maguire & Garfield's Spider-Man Deaths

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Spider-Man: No Way Home!

Spider-Man: No Way Home might have prevented Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield from dying as Spider-Man in their original universes. Tom Holland's third solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe went in an entirely different direction than the first two entries, as the movie went all-in on the multiverse. This allowed prior Spider-Man villains to return and fight Tom Holland's Peter Parker, but it also opened the door for Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to play Spider-Man again. In doing so, Spider-Man: No Way Home may have prevented their deaths.

The returns of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man: No Way Home was rumored for quite some time. It wasn't until the movie officially arrived in theaters that audiences knew with absolute certainty that both of the former Spider-Man actors were in it. Marvel and Sony hid Garfield and Maguire from Spider-Man: No Way Home's marketing despite them playing major roles in the movie's plot. This included them helping Holland's Peter develop cures for their past villains and then fighting them together atop a redesigned Statue of Liberty. The three live-action Spider-Men are successful in saving the day with Spider-Man: No Way Home's ending sending Maguire and Garfield back to their original universes.

Related: How No Way Home's Ending Spell Changes The MCU's Past & Timeline

Even though the movie wraps up its Spider-Man crossover fairly cleanly, many details about the lives that Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire are returning to remain shrouded in mystery. Their entrance into Spider-Man: No Way Home's story doesn't provide any information on what they were doing prior to visiting the MCU. However, it is possible that both of them were destined to die prior to the multiverse adventure.

Spider-Man: No Way Home brings back five previous movie villains to serve as the antagonists, and it is made clear that each of them came to the MCU right before they were about to die in their original universes. Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina) repeatedly asks for the location of his fusion reactor upon his arrival and remembers being in the middle of a fight with Spider-Man. Spider-Man 2 showed him die when he drowned the fusion reactor, so this Doc Ock comes from right before his death. Electro (Jamie Foxx) also comes to the realization that he was going to die due to the electricity he was absorbed in the grid, confirming that he did die in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Although Green Goblin's (Willem Dafoe) last memories before the multiverse trip aren't shared, all signs point to him crossing over to the MCU right before his glider impaled him, as seen in Spider-Man. Based on this logic, it stands to reason that Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church) and Lizard (Rhys Ifans) also came to the MCU before their deaths. Spider-Man: No Way Home might not take the time to spell this out completely, but the intention is there. Peter's entire story is built around the idea that he can cure these villains before returning them to their universes with the hope that this can save their lives.

While Spider-Man: No Way Home provides a few teases about what happened to the various villains in the original universes, the movie gives audiences a better understanding of what happened to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Men after their last appearances. In both cases, time appears to have passed at the same rate as real life, with Maguire's Peter clearly being in his 40s and Garfield's presumably in his 30s. There isn't as much revealed about Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man compared to Garfield's. Spider-Man: No Way Home kept details about his life after Spider-Man 3 to a minimum per the actor's request, but he is clearly still a hopeful superhero and admits to still trying to make his relationship with Mary Jane Watson work.

Related: What Happened To Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker After Amazing Spider-Man 2

What happened to Andrew Garfield's Peter after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a bit more clear based on his MCU role. He is quite clearly haunted by the death of Gwen Stacy, and the pain that came with that loss directly impacted how he acted as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. He says in the movie that he stopped pulling his punches over time, signifying the darker path that he went down. This potentially explains how Spider-Man could've killed Lizard after The Amazing Spider-Man. His confidence is at an all-time low too, as it takes Maguire's Spider-Man to boost his self-esteem and tell him he's amazing.

Based on what is and isn't revealed about the Spider-Man pasts, exactly what Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's heroes were doing before Spider-Man: No Way Home remains a mystery. However, their fates could be the same as the villains, meaning Maguire and Garfield's Spider-Men were about to die before Doctor Strange's spell occurred. This fits with the logic established by the movie that the multiverse villains were moments away from dying. Viewers have attempted to find a commonality between when the characters were taken from in their original universes and right before their deaths make the most sense. If that is true of the multiverse villains, then Garfield and Maguire's Spideys may have also been nearing death before moving through the multiverse.

This could also explain why both of them happened to come to the MCU with their Spider-Man suits already on. Garfield is shown in the full costume right from the beginning, which could mean he was in the middle of superhero activities when Spider-Man: No Way Home took him away. Maguire's Peter has the Spider-Man suit on underneath his youth pastor-looking clothes, so he was at least prepared to face a threat in the Raimi universe. While both of them could just have the suits on all the time to stay prepared in case trouble strikes, it is just as possible they were both actively trying to stop the latest threat.

The possible missions that Maguire and Garfield's versions of Spider-Man were on could be where they were meant to die had Spider-Man: No Way Home not happened. The darkness that Garfield's Spidey developed could put him in a compromised position where the villains get the upper hand. Meanwhile, Maguire could've finally met his match or been caught off guard with a surprise attack. In any case, Spider-Man: No Way Home could've saved Maguire and Garfield's heroes from dying.

Related: No Way Home Finally Confirmed Uncle Ben Never Mattered In The MCU

If Spider-Man: No Way Home could save its multiverse villains from dying, then it is also possible that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's characters were saved as a result of the crossover. The events of the multiverse adventure surely would have changed how both of them act once they return to their original universes. Garfield's Spider-Man gets the ultimate redemption when he saves Michelle from dying the same way Gwen did. This emotional moment for the character and his interaction with other versions of himself could lighten his perspective upon his return. Without the darkness of recent years, his clear head could change his actions. In doing so, whatever he was going to do that may have resulted in his death no longer would happen.

As for Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man, it is possible that his experience changed him in a few ways. His fixed back courtesy of Garfield's Peter may have allowed him to be a better fighter upon his return. It is also possible, though, that the stab wound he receives in Spider-Man: No Way Home would prevent him from jumping into any danger immediately upon his return. That could stop him from encountering a situation where Maguire's Peter otherwise would've died. There is also the chance that working with two other Spider-Men taught him about teamwork, resulting in him seeking out more help since he's not as young as he once was. This could mean working with Miles Morales or even Doctor Strange, who is confirmed to exist in the Raimi Spider-Man trilogy.

In any case, Spider-Man: No Way Home avoiding Maguire and Garfield's Spider-Men deaths also potentially means they can return. There is renewed interest from audiences to see their stories continue in some fashion. Sony now has the chance to bring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield back for more Spider-Man projects and explore what happened when they went back to their original universes. Whether or not those confirm if they would've died without Spider-Man: No Way Home is uncertain, but the possibility exists nonetheless.

More: Spider-Man: No Way Home Finally Reveals Peter Parker's Biggest Strength

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