Rarely are blockbuster action movies more lied about than Spider-Man: No Way Home. Everyone except Alfred Molina was swearing up and down about falsehoods surrounding the Marvel movie. Even LEGO got in on it, with several sets for the Spider-Man movie depicting scenes that do not exist. Turns out, the toy company had good reason.
“It was really similar to Endgame where they gave us almost nothing because this has so many secrets in it they don’t even want a whisper of it to leak out,” Mark Stafford a designer at LEGO, told MiniSuperHeroesToday. “Until the day I went to the movie, opening day, of course, I didn’t know there was going to be more than one Spider-Man.”
Stafford states Marvel’s remit for the extended merchandise range was extremely limited, including not even telling the makers what Spidey villains were going to appear. This meant improvising what shipped. “We also knew that we weren’t allowed to do any of Spider-Man’s regular roster of villains,” he says. “Everyone we suggested, we were told no. So, if he needs an antagonist, something to fight against, it’s Doctor Strange’s basement, so make something up, something that’s sort of part insect and part tentacles.”
So, what resources did LEGO have access to? Some set photos, and that was about it. Toy and products like LEGO need to be conceptualised and figured out as the film is being made to hit shelves in time for the opening, and that means the teams have to essentially gamble on what makes the final cut.
“They were building the set at the time and they actually sent me 60 photos from the set, they walked around and took pictures of the set,” Stafford states, “but nothing through the door, it was all Doctor Strange’s basement.”
And that’s how we ended up with No Way Home LEGO that had Spider-Man villains the Vulture and Mysterio, and a giant, mutant arachnid in Doctor Strange’s basement. We can only wonder what’s going on with Across the Spider-Verse.