Aunt May Deserved More From This Trilogy

  • Warning: There are main spoilers forward for “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
  • We want to speak about Aunt May (Marisa Tomei).
  • May deserved greater than being simply the “sizzling aunt” within the latest trilogy.

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“Spider-Man: No Way Home” is lastly out and whereas followers are probably rejoicing a couple of character’s massive return and some surprises, there’s at the least one different one who deserves our consideration. 

Aunt May. 

This is your final likelihood to go again earlier than spoilers.


Spider-Man: No Way Home Aunt May

Marisa Tomei as Aunt May in “No Way Home.”


Columbia Pictures

In an sudden second, the third movie within the franchise shockingly kills off Peter’s beloved aunt. It’s the film’s most sobering second as a result of it is a dying nobody probably noticed coming. 

If you have been confused by how she died, as a result of the movie would not make it tremendous clear, here is rapidly the way it performs out.

How May dies: She was probably impaled by the Goblin’s glider in a fast blink-and-you’ll-miss-it second

During the movie, May (Marisa Tomei) and Peter (Tom Holland) are attempting to flee an assault from Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe). 


As May tries to depart the foyer of Happy Hogan’s condominium, Osborn’s glider is available in and runs into her. Before leaving the premises, he throws one among his pumpkin bombs in the direction of May. Peter dodges in the direction of the bomb to try to defend her from the blast, however he would not fully make it.

Peter’s shocked to search out May alive and the 2 begin to stroll out of the foyer collectively. May offers a brief speech to Peter and delivers the enduring Spider-Man line: “With nice energy comes nice duty.” 

Spider-Man: No Way Home Tom Holland

May is OK after the blast, however one thing is off.

Columbia Pictures

Something then appears off with May and he or she tells Peter she must catch her breath. He lies her down and he or she slowly begins to fade although she seemed fairly OK mere seconds in the past. 

Peter, noticing a bag masking her abdomen, reaches down. When he lifts his hand up, it is coated in blood. Moments later, May dies. 

It wasn’t till a second viewing of the movie that I observed it is implied May was impaled by the Goblin’s glider when it enters the condominium constructing and rams proper into her. It’s powerful to make sure as a result of her mid-section is roofed by a bag more often than not. We by no means see the wound. The digital camera’s focus is on Peter’s bloody hand.

‘No Way Home’ fridges May. These movies might’ve carried out higher by her character. She deserved extra than simply being the ‘sizzling aunt.’

Aunt May in Spider-Man: Far From Home

Everyone appeared to have a crush on May within the “Spider-Man” movies.

Columbia Pictures

Look, I get it. 

May’s dying serves because the catalyst Peter wanted to develop from a child right into a extra mature grownup. Every single Spider-Man must have their massive “Uncle Ben” dying. No Spider-Man grew to become the hero they have been destined to turn out to be till their cherished one perished.

But wasn’t that what Tony Stark’s dying in “Avengers: Endgame” was purported to do for Peter?

Avengers Endgame Tony death

This was fairly traumatic for Peter. How far more do we have to put him by?

Marvel Studios

Couldn’t Tobey Maguire’s Peter have mentioned the well-known duty line as an alternative to offer an nearly related, if no more impactful, message?

Though it could imply loads to Holland’s Peter coming from May, the road has a higher impact on the viewers when mentioned by Maguire’s character, who followers final noticed in 2007’s “Spider-Man 3.” The phrase formed each his and Andrew Garfield’s Spideys over a mixed 5 movies.

Instead, viewers are left questioning if May dropped the road merely for the sake of claiming it earlier than dying. And that is disappointing.

After 20 years of “Spider-Man” movies, it sucks that the writers killed off May to drive Peter’s story ahead, successfully fridging her. The antiquated comic-book trope reduces a lady in a hero’s life to a plot machine by having her die solely to encourage the (often male) protagonist. 

Tomei’s Aunt May is the youngest model of the character we have seen on-screen. It appeared like your entire level of casting a youthful May was so she may very well be round in Peter’s life and function his confidant.

Instead, Tomei’s May was largely relegated to being the “sizzling aunt.”

From the second May was launched in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War” audiences have been instructed to think about her as an “unusually attractive” guardian to a teen (as if aunts aren’t usually enticing or aren’t purported to be thought of enticing).

Captain America: Civil War Marisa Tomei

When Tony Stark discusses Aunt May it is solely in reference to her attractiveness.

Marvel Studios

In her debut scene, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) tells Peter that it is tough to imagine May is somebody’s aunt. In 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” that turns into a operating gag.

First, a deli-store proprietor innocently asks Peter how May is doing earlier than making a remark about how sizzling she is in one other language. Peter catches him off-guard by displaying he understands him.

Spider-Man: Homecoming deli owner Aunt May comment

The native deli proprietor is one among many individuals within the MCU who has the hots for May.

Columbia Pictures

Later, when the 2 exit to a restaurant, May and Peter are given a dessert they did not order. When May factors that out, the server tells them it is “on the home,” earlier than giving May a small wink. Peter jokes about it.

Spider-Man: Homecoming on the house food

Men are at all times attempting to woo May within the newest “Spider-Man” movies.

Columbia Pictures

In “Far From Home,” May dates Happy, however, by the top, we study it was only a fling for her.

We. Get. It. 

This May is youthful and enticing. So what?

So lots of May’s scenes resulted in low-cost laughs, however after three movies, it would not appear to be we actually know a lot about her. Yes, she labored at a shelter named F.E.A.S.T. (which video game players may be more familiar with), however a lot of her character revolved round her appears and different males.

Aunt May in Spider-Man: Far From Home

May and Happy dated briefly in “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”

Columbia Pictures

Sony had a chance to make this character extra significant on its third outing and it nonetheless failed to take action. In “No Way Home,” we lastly get a peek into her work with the shelter. She offers Peter nice recommendation by telling him to contemplate serving to out the varied Spidey villains delivered to their world as an alternative of sending them again to their universes to die.

Shortly afterward, we see May, barely damaged up with Happy, participating in some flirty moments with Doc Ock/Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) whereas in Happy’s condominium. Granted, this may occasionally have been a comic book nod to that point Doc Ock married Aunt May (Yes, that’s a thing), however it felt cheesy.

Tomei went together with it in some interviews, telling Nerdist just lately that May “has a nice sexual appetite” when requested if her character might fall for Ock within the new movie. 

Ugh. Couldn’t Aunt May have been greater than a love curiosity?

Even Tomei hinted that she regretted taking over the position

Marisa Tomei Spider-Man: No Way Home premiere

Marisa Tomei on the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” premiere on December 13, 2021.

Eric Charbonneau/Columbia Pictures

It’s not like Sony did not contemplate giving May a deeper story arc. In 2017, Tomei told HuffPost the position that she signed on for initially had a higher depth to it. She expressed frustration {that a} scene was reduce from the primary movie within the trilogy, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which might have explored extra of the connection between her and Peter.

“There have been additionally issues within the authentic, which I signed up for, which weren’t there once we shot it,” Tomei instructed HuffPost. “There was one thing occurring within the neighborhood, and there was a bit woman in misery, and I saved her, and Peter noticed me save her, so that you type of noticed that he obtained a part of his ethics from her.”

Three years later, throughout press for “The King of Staten Island” through which she performs a mom to Pete Davidson’s character, Tomei told Collider’s Perri Nemiroff she regretted taking over motherly roles. 

Aunt May in Spider-Man: Far From Home

May was someplace in between an enormous sister and mom to Peter.

Columbia Pictures

“I actually remorse beginning down this street and I actually remorse beginning to do this,” Tomei mentioned. “I used to be, you recognize, talked into it. Not this, however I imply simply that change, and I actually at all times felt like, ‘Oh, I might play a variety of issues.’ Honestly, it is most likely extra of a stretch than different issues.”

Tomei echoed that remark in a more moderen interview. While speaking with “ET Canada” for “No Way Home,” Tomei was requested what made her tackle the position of May and her reply was a bit shocking. 

Tomei mentioned, “I do not know. I listened to my brokers for as soon as.”

She then added, “Still debatable,” suggesting she wasn’t certain it was the suitable transfer. 

The first live-action May was the perfect model of the character on-screen

Rosemary Harris Aunt May Spider-Man

Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris performed Uncle Ben and Aunt May in 2002’s “Spider-Man.”

Columbia Pictures

The Tobey Maguire-era May, performed by Rosemary Harris, is probably the most fleshed-out live-action model of the character. 

Not solely was she Peter’s conscience, however she was greater than a background character. She was a spotlight of assaults by each the Green Goblin and Doc Ock. She additionally had a complete subplot about how she tried to cover the truth that she was struggling to pay her payments and was too proud to ask for assist from Peter. Instead, she tried giving him cash for his birthday at one level.

The movies even confirmed a small rift between the 2 when Peter revealed to Aunt May that he believed he was the explanation Uncle Ben was killed as a result of he lied about being on the library when Ben was shot. There have been some actual stakes in his relationship with May and the struggles she confronted after dropping the love of her life. 

For no matter cause, the brand new trilogy by no means explored Ben Parker and the impact his loss had on Peter and his aunt.

May surprisingly by no means talked about him, however we all know he existed within the MCU. We see his initials on some luggage Peter makes use of in “Far From Home.” The sequel trilogy acted like he by no means existed. Maybe they did not wish to rehash what had been carried out on-screen two occasions over already, however it felt weirder to not acknowledge it.

It nearly looks like it could’ve been a extra profound loss for Tomei’s May if she needed to say goodbye to somebody important in her life at an early age. That might have been one other approach so as to add dimension to a personality who’s so necessary in Peter’s life — as an alternative of decreasing her to a stereotype.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” is now in theaters. You can learn our evaluate right here.

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