The Chinese Had One Note on Spider-Man

Tony Vinciquerra and Tom Rothman
Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images
Matthew Belloni
May 1, 2022

Here’s a crazy anecdote: Back at the end of 2021, Sony Pictures was stressing over whether Chinese regulators would allow Spider-Man: No Way Home into the country. The previous two Tom Holland Spideys, produced by Marvel Studios, had grossed $116 million and $200 million in China, respectively. So getting the film in, despite all the recent rejections of big-budget U.S. tentpoles, was a top priority for Sony’s leaders, Tony Vinciquerra and Tom Rothman.  

According to multiple sources, when the authorities got back to Sony, they had a request: Delete the Statue of Liberty from the ending of the film. Yes, seriously. As anyone who’s seen No Way Home knows, the entire climactic action sequence takes place with a trio of Spider-Men swinging over and around Lady Liberty as they battle the supervillains. Plus, without getting too into MCU plot points, the Statue plays a larger role in the Marvel movies. It was an outrageous ask.