Was Aunt May’s Death Scene In Spider-Man: No Way Home Almost Set In An Ambulance?

Explore the altered Aunt May death scene in Spider-Man: No Way Home, originally planned for an ambulance but changed due to pandemic restrictions.

By Amitabh Mukherji
September 15,2023

A pivotal moment in Spider-Man’s cinematic journey, the death of a beloved character, was reimagined in Spider-Man: No Way Home due to pandemic-related constraints. Concept artist Phil Saunders offers a glimpse of the alternate scene that didn’t make it to the final cut.

An Emotional Departure: Aunt May’s Death In The MCU

Aunt May’s Death In The MCU

In Spider-Man lore, the loss of a loved one is a defining moment for the hero. Tobey Maguire’s Peter mourned the murder of Uncle Ben, while Andrew Garfield‘s Spider-Man grieved for both Ben and Captain Stacy. In the MCU, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker faced the untimely demise of his cherished Aunt May, caused by the explosion of one of Green Goblin’s pumpkin bombs, as depicted in No Way Home. However, this scene underwent significant changes due to the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Revealing The Altered May Parker Death Scene

The Altered May Parker Death Scene

Phil Saunders, a concept artist who contributed to Spider-Man: No Way Home, recently shared an illustration on Instagram that he created during his work on the film. The image portrays a teary-eyed Peter Parker (Tom Holland) beside Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May in her final moments. This poignant scene, originally set in the back of an ambulance, was moved to the lobby of Happy Hogan’s apartment building in the final film.

Saunders’ Instagram caption reflects the emotional depth of the moment:

“‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ has one of the most poignant moments in the MCU, the death of Peter Parker’s beloved Aunt May. In an earlier version of the script, this moment took place in an ambulance racing to the nearest hospital. I always like to capture the emotion of a scene in my keyframes, so this was a wonderful shot to be assigned.”

Screenwriter Erik Sommers previously revealed that the initial plan was indeed to stage May’s death inside an ambulance. However, the practicality of filming such a scene during the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a change in location.

A Defining Moment For MCU Spider-Man

Peter Parker

May’s death sequence marked a significant moment in the MCU, as it was the first time a character delivered Spider-Man’s iconic motto: “With great power, there must also come great responsibility.” This lesson profoundly impacted Peter Parker, leading him into the film’s climactic battle. He ultimately sought the help of Stephen Strange to erase all memories and references to Peter Parker from the world, setting a new direction for his character.

Spider-Man: No Way Home played a crucial role in advancing Spider-Man’s narrative within the MCU. The trilogy, known as the “Home Trilogy,” served as the hero’s origin story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-Man’s relatability and ability to persevere through adversity have made him one of the most beloved and enduring superheroes in pop culture.

While the future of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man remains uncertain, fans can revisit his first three solo adventures, available for purchase wherever movies are sold. The enduring appeal of Spider-Man promises more exciting stories to come in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.