SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming, in theaters now.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is garnering massive praise as it hits screens around the globe, but a major talking point has been the movie’s ending which is certain to leave a lot of jaws dropped in cinemas due to Aunt May managing to catch an unaware Peter Parker in his room — unmasking as Spider-Man!
In the film, Peter returned to his Queens apartment after turning down Tony Stark’s offer to join the Avengers, only to find the Spider-Man suit Stark took away from him on his bed. Ready to embrace crime-fighting again, the youngster tries back on the suit, and proceeds to peel off his mask only for May to catch him and exclaim “What the f…” before a sharp cut to the end credits.
On the twist ending, director Jon Watts stated: “The goal behind this movie is to just come up with moments and things that people have never seen before, and people can’t believe that just happened. And that was one where, as soon as the idea came up, it was like, ‘Oh yeah, we gotta do that.’ … It’s definitely a thing where, well, now we have to figure that out! [Laughs].”
He likened it to the final shot of 2008’s Iron Man where Stark revealed his superhero identity to a group of reporters. “Did they just do that? How are they going to move on from that?” were his thoughts when he said he saw Jon Favreau’s film in theaters and the director indicated that if he signs on for a Homecoming sequel, he’s up for the challenge of handling Peter’s superhero identity out in the open like this. “I feel like we’re just getting started,” he said. Ironically, after Peter turned down the Avengers membership, Watts’ film had Stark hosting a press conference where he was expecting to unveil the youngster as his newest recruit, which drew comparisons to when Peter outed himself in the Civil War comic event.
As for Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, he revealed that the comic arc from Amazing Spider-Man #37 and #38 in 2002 by writer J. Michael Straczynski inspired the ending. In the books, May found out Peter’s superhero alias when he was out cold and recovering from a clash with Morlun.
“J. Michael Straczynski did an issue when he was doing his run of Spidey many years ago where she discovered the secret. I think it was in the laundry or something, and they had a sit-down scene. And probably going back to Spider-Man 2, I would sort of carry that issue around and go, ‘We should do this someday, we should do this someday.’ And it was great luck that it hadn’t been done yet. That was always part of the plan,” Feige said.
“And very much like our instinct to say, ‘Let’s have Tony Stark say “I’m Iron Man” at the end. Well, what does that mean for the next movie? I don’t know, but it will force us to do something unique. We did not want to do the secret identity thing at that point in the MCU. And now, same thing. The dynamic now is forced to be something fresh and something unique going forward,” he added.
As for the actress who played May — Marisa Tomei — she said that she was eager to explore the dynamic with her on-screen nephew now that the cat (or should we say, the spider) is out the bag. Tomei stated, “By the time [the script] got to me, that scene was already in place. And it was a set up for whatever is to come. It takes a big burden off of the character, too. You don’t have to do the same thing over and over again, so he and I can have a different kind of relationship going forward, also. … That will come in the next installation, if I’m lucky and it happens. But I think it will. I hope. I think that will free up having the same kind of, ‘I wonder what he’s doing? He looks suspicious!’ [Laughs] There are only so many ways I can skin that cat.”
In theaters now, Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.
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