Despite his controversial revelations of spoilers in interviews and on social media, Tom Holland has proven to be very popular among both diehard comic book nerds and passive moviegoers in his role as Peter Parker. Although Thanos’ finger snap appeared to have killed Peter, he will be back next summer for his second solo movie. The new sequel seems to be a radical change of pace from the Spidey movies we’ve seen before – the setting is changing, the setup will have to follow on from the aftermath of Thanos’ reign. It’ll be a different kind of movie. So, here are 10 things you need to know before Spider-Man: Far From Home is released in theaters.
10. Tom Holland leaked the title on purpose
While superhero fans everywhere are desperate to get any sort of information or detail or tidbit from the latest movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that they can, they often look to actor Tom Holland to slip up and reveal spoilers or other juicy pieces of information about the movies he’s in. He’s got a big mouth. Everyone knows it. And he often gives away plot points or other MCU secrets by accident when he posts on social media or speaks in interviews. In an Instagram post that was captioned, “Sorry for no announcements, but I love you guys,” Holland revealed the title of this sequel on his iPad screen. This made fans go crazy and was played off as an accident. But producer Kevin Feige has revealed that this was actually done on purpose: “There are certain logistics of the way these movies are made that meant that [the] title would potentially be leaked in some way, because it was going out into the world in various forms. So, Mr. Holland took it upon himself to leak it for us.” He obviously has a sense of humor about his reputation for giving things away – and now, it seems that Marvel are using it as a marketing tool.
9. It’s the second part of a planned trilogy
Producer Amy Pascal gave a very cryptic statement when she was asked about Spider-Man’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: “I think we found the right formula and I think everybody is going to want the right thing to continue. And I think that there’s a, as I said, there’s a surprisingly generous and cooperative thing, and if it works for everybody, then it’s going to work for everybody. The thing is, and I always felt this way, if you worry about the movie and you worry about the story, all the politics take care of themselves. They just do. Because when the movies work, there’s enough for more than everybody. It’s when you start making the other stuff first that you start to get in trouble…Nothing precludes anything. The sky is open right now. And I think that you know, if we can keep this goodwill going, I think it’s going to be good for the fans and good for the journalists and the nerds and good for the companies.” It has since become much clearer. There’s going to be a trilogy, with each movie focusing on a year of Peter’s high school education. It will culminate with senior year in the third one. This one is the second chapter of a trilogy.
8. We’ll be treated to more MCU cameos
In Spidey’s first solo MCU outing, it was a delight to see all the familiar faces. Primarily, Tony Stark showed his face a lot and acted as a sort of mentor to Peter Parker over the course of the movie as he progresses as a hero. But we were also treated to a hilarious cameo appearance by Captain America in a series of PSAs that were shown throughout Peter’s high school – in detention, in gym class. There was even one about the virtues of patience shown as the post credits scene as a tongue in cheek jab at the fans who sit through the credits waiting for a teaser or a hint at the next MCU movie. According to a heavily hashtagged Instagram post by actor Numan Acar, the sequel will continue the trend of MCU cameos in Spider-Man’s solo movies. If his post is to be believed, then both Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders will be popping up to reprise their roles as Nick Fury and Maria Hill, respectively, which kind of changes everything. They both vanished after Thanos snapped his fingers along with Peter (theirs happened after the credits), so it will be interesting to see how they all end up together.
7. Aunt May is back
Marisa Tomei has proven to be popular among fans for her portrayal of a “sexier” Aunt May that we have seen before, so those fans will be pleased to know that she’s back for future sequels. How many? She says, “As many as they want. There will be a lot of surprises, because the end of the film is a new twist. That leaves a creative door wide open. It leads to some really exciting possibilities.” When Tomei was asked if she would like to see Aunt May in an action scene, she replied enthusiastically: “Why are you just limiting me to one? We did talk a lot, [the director] Jon Watts and I, about Spider-Man being a community hero. Maybe May was a community organizer or invested in the neighborhood, getting his values from that. At one point, we talked about her rescuing a kid. It never made it to filming, but it’s all there in the soup. First, we thought maybe she’d be a lawyer for the public interest, but ultimately we stopped on publishing. We questioned how much of the parenting did Ben do and how much did May do. It kind of seemed maybe Ben was someone she met in school. Maybe he was her professor in grad school. And she had a bit of a sisterly relationship with Peter, and took the reins when she had to, when Ben was killed. That was kind of our backstory.” It will be interesting to see how May reacts to (SPOILER ALERT!) finding out that Peter is Spider-Man.
6. Director Jon Watts is returning – and he’s already signed on to do more
Not only is director Jon Watts returning to direct Tom Holland in the sequel to their first solo Spidey outing, he has also been praised highly by his bosses. He wasn’t just contractually obligated to come back for a sequel – although he is signed on for more if this turns into a trilogy, which is the intention – they wanted him to come back. When producer Kevin Feige was asked if Watts was coming back, he said, “Certainly, that’s the intention, for sure.” When other producer Amy Pascal was asked about Watts and his potential return (back when his return was just potential and not a definite thing), she said similarly glowing things. Said of the job that Watts did with the previous movie, “He knocked it out of the park. We would be crazy [not to bring him back for the sequel]. He did a wonderful job and the whole atmosphere of the movie, all the things that people like about it are the things he brought to it. He’s really special.” So, suffice to say, he’s back. He always planned to come back. Back when the first one came out, he said, “I don’t like talking about anything until the movie comes out…[but] yeah, I think I’m signed for two movies.”
5. Michael Keaton is returning to play the Vulture
Marvel’s team are making a smart move by keeping comic book movie royalty Michael Keaton – the former and arguably most memorable Batman – in the fold as they bring him back to reprise his role as the Vulture in the new sequel. Keaton was enthusiastic about his role as the Vulture when he was promoting the first one last year. He spoke about the sociopolitical relevance of the character at great length: “You know, this is a little bit learning as I go along. Yeah, you’re going to probably go away a little bit angry, but they’re very secretive about it. And also, I don’t want to give away too much, because the approach that Jon [Watts, the director] has chosen [is] a really interesting one, and kind of risky – which was appealing, because [Adrian Toomes is] somewhat of a victim. He takes things in that he feels like a victim, and some of it is justified, actually. He believes that there’s an upper echelon of society of people who are getting away with a lot and have everything. And there’s a whole lot of folks who are working hard, and don’t have much. Does that sound familiar to anybody, given the political climate? Which I think is an interesting way to go about this.”
4. Peter is going on vacation in Europe
Peter Parker, it appears, will be destressing after being wiped from existence and banished to the Quantum Realm (maybe) by traveling around Europe with his friends. That’s what the title means when it says he will be “far from home,” although the produces have also teased that the title is “full of alternate meaning.” When many fans first heard about the change of setting to Europe, they were at first excited by the new possibilities that were allowed by the big shakeup, and then they began to speculate about what exactly would bring Peter Parker to another continent. Some people thought that it might have something to do with a class trip. Kevin Feige, the head honcho over at Marvel Studios, has clarified Peter’s reason for traveling to Europe, and it’s very simple: “We know it’s the summer. I think it’s summer vacation. I think he’s going to Europe with his friends.” So, it’s not some sort of class trip and it’s not a special mission that he’s doing for Tony Stark or for the Avengers. He is simply going on summer vacation with his friends. Sounds simple enough, but since this is Peter Parker, danger is sure to follow him.
3. Jake Gyllenhaal will play the villain Mysterio
Jake Gyllenhaal has been cast as the lead villain in the sequel, Mysterio. Mysterio is the supervillain alter ego of the special effects expert Quentin Beck, and he is one of the most iconic villains from the Spider-Man rogues’ gallery. Along with Doctor Octopus, the Scorpion, the Sandman, Kraven the Hunter, and of course, the Vulture, Mysterio is a member of the Sinister Six, the supervillain squad dedicated to destroying Spidey. It will be interesting to see how that dynamic develops. With the inclusion of Mysterio, the MCU now has two of the Sinister Six – just four more to go! Funnily enough, Gyllenhaal was almost cast as Spider-Man himself over a decade ago. When Tobey Maguire was halfway through shooting his trilogy with director Sam Raimi, he injured his back and the studio feared that he wouldn’t be able to finish the second movie, let alone the rest of the trilogy, so they cast Gyllenhaal in the role to be waiting in the wings as kind of an understudy in case Maguire didn’t pull through. In the end, Maguire made it to the end of the trilogy and Gyllenhaal didn’t need to replace him – but it would’ve been interesting to see Peter Parker played by Jake Gyllenhaal.
2. Avengers 4 will greatly influence the sequel
Next May, we will learn what happened to all of the superheroes who turned to dust when Thanos completed his Infinity Stone collection, grappled with the fabric of reality, and then snapped his fingers to wipe out half of the life in the universe. Two months later, we will be watching Peter Parker jet off to Europe for a summer vacation with his pals. There is a lot of middle ground to cover between those two things – and they will all apparently be covered in the as yet untitled sequel featuring Spidey as a supporting player alongside the Avengers. By the time his own standalone movie comes along, he will be living in a very different world than he was when we last saw him. According to producer Amy Pascal, that next movie will “launch [Spider-Man] off into a very new cinematic universe” than when we first met him. It’s certainly a very exciting prospect that we can’t even imagine what to expect from the next Spidey movie, because it all rests on how the Avengers decide to go about fixing the colossal destruction that Thanos has caused and bringing Peter and everybody else who was erased back from the dead.
1. It’s apparently bigger and funnier than Homecoming
Dan Lebental is Marvel Studios’ go to film editor as he has performed the editing duties on their latest handful of projects. He will also be sitting in a dark room for the next year or so as he cuts together Tom Holland’s second solo outing as Spidey, so he’s got the inside track. As the editor of the movie, which is currently shooting all over Europe and is not expected to wrap until as late as December this year, he has seen drafts of the script and all of the storyboards and a lot of the dailies – because this is all stuff that he will be working from – so he has a better idea than most people about what this movie is going to feel like, what it’s going to look like, what the story will be about, where it’s headed, all that stuff. When he was asked about the sequel, he got all coy about the details, but he did have some wonderful things to say about the way that it is shaping up. He said, “I can’t say much about the new Spider-Man, but I will offer up that it will be both grander in scale and even funnier than the last one. The rest of the story will have to wait.”