‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Bosses Talk Diversity And Reinventing The Web-Slinging Marvel Character

Edward VKanty - Author

Apr. 12 2017, Updated 1:35 a.m. ET

From the beginning, we all knew Spider-Man: Homecoming was going to give us a different take on the Spider-Man story, particularly since Marvel had already given fans two takes on the classic Peter Parker origins story. Now, as Spider-Man: Homecoming nears its theatrical debut, the bosses behind the film are opening up about what that really means in terms of recreating Spider-Man for a new, more diverse generation and where they would like to take the Marvel web-slinger in the not so distant future.

For Spider-Man: Homecoming, Amy Pascal Says: “We Needed To Do Something Different”

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Amy Pascal is in a unique position to speak about how Spider-Man: Homecoming came about, following two previously abandoned attempts to create a long-running Spider-Man franchise, reports Digital Spy. Pascal moved from her position as a Sony executive to helm Spider-Man: Homecoming as a producer, giving her more input into how a third version of the Peter Parker character would evolve.

If they were going to give that particular Marvel character a third try, Pascal says they all recognized the need to do something different. First, they wanted to distance the new Tom Holland character from another retelling of the Spider-Man origin story, but Pascal says they were trying to do even more than that with Homecoming.

She says the first step was bringing Holland in on Captain America: Civil War, because Spider-Man had always been alone, the only superhero feeling his way along without guidance from any other Marvel characters. This, in itself, was a miracle, Amy points out, because it forced Marvel, Sony, and Disney to all work together, which is something studios don’t really like doing. They like to keep their secrets and they like to keep a tight reign on their properties, so bringing so many superheroes together in on Spider-Man: Homecoming was something Pascal says will never happen again.

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“And truthfully – there is nothing cynical I can find in this statement – everybody did it because they wanted Spider-Man to be great,” said the Spider-Man: Homecoming producer. “Truly, it was because Spider-Man is great, the character is great, and people love him. That’s good for Disney. That’s good for Marvel. And that is certainly good for Sony.”

Sony Saw An Opportunity For More Diversity With Spider-Man: Homecoming

Jon Watts, director of Spider-Man: Homecoming, recently spoke with Screen Rant about bringing Spidey back to the big screen, following Tom Holland’s debut as Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War. While many Marvel fans may be rolling their eyes at the mere thought of a third adaptation of Marvel’s Spider-Man, Watts says he was hyped to come to the project, because the character’s appearance in Captain America allowed for a whole new world of possibilities.

Jon adds that Spider-Man: Homecoming gave him an opportunity to give a more urban look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, something not previously seen, because characters like Iron Man and Thor come to the game with virtually unlimited resources.

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Mr. Watts says he wanted Spider-Man: Homecoming to be a high school movie and wanted Peter Parker to spend more time adjusting to his teen years than had been the case in previous versions. To that end, Jon says he took a unique approach to casting Peter’s peers, because he wanted to be realistic and bring a more diverse look to the film.

“The very first thing I made was a look book of what I wanted the world to look like and what the kids should look like and the high school should look like,” says the Spider-Man: Homecoming director. “I lived in New York for thirteen years and it should look like a school in New York, it shouldn’t look like a school in the Midwest in the 50s.”

Jon says he went to resources outside of Hollywood for his casting ideas and it paid off.

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“So I pulled a bunch of pictures of kids and documentary photos of kids in schools, and that was part of my pitch and everyone was really into that and followed through with the casting, which is so, so cool, I love the kids.”

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Other than that, Watts says he didn’t go into the Spider-Man: Homecoming sessions with any preconceived notions about who he wanted in his film. He just wanted a diverse pool of characters to build a story for Peter Parker around and the actors he cast worked great for that purpose.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is set to hit theaters on July 7.

[Featured Image by Marvel/Sony Pictures]


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