Does Uncle Ben from ‘Spider-Man’ Exist in the MCU? Fans Think It’s Unlikely

One of the most perplexing aspects of the Tom Holland era Spider-Man movies is the lack of an Uncle Ben as seen in the prior movies. Rather than have a physical Uncle Ben around to bond with Peter Parker, he presumably died off-camera before the time of the movies.

The MCU doing this was arguably a smart choice after constant iterations of the Spider-Man origin story always involving Uncle Ben. Fans, though, want Ben to have some respect in this new franchise.

How will they go about acknowledging Uncle Ben once existing and apparently dying? A few fans on Reddit think it might be unlikely the MCU will ever mention the character other than a few more passing asides.

Avi Arad, Sally Field, Martin Sheen, and Matt Tolmach smiling at the camera
Avi Arad, Sally Field, Martin Sheen, and Matt Tolmach of The Amazing Spider-Man | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

How many mentions of Uncle Ben were there so far?

The version of Uncle Ben seen in the Tobey Maguire version of Spider-Man was so compelling (played by the legendary Cliff Robertson), having another actor trying to fulfill that would be challenging. Not that it was avoided after Martin Sheen portrayed Ben Parker in the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies.

Having Uncle Ben die twice in two different franchises–not including other variations–was easy to designate as overkill. A good argument can be made that the MCU not having Uncle Ben around for Tom Holland’s take was a more insightful way to reinvent the story.

Some loyalists think it a bit disrespectful, though, to just never mention Ben. Fortunately, there was mention of him a couple of times in the first two films in the new trilogy. Most of this occurred through Aunt May bringing out Ben’s suitcase.

Because May is much younger than previous incarnations, everyone also has to assume Ben Parker was younger than the Uncle Ben seen prior. Yet, how did he die?

Fans want at least one solid mention of Uncle Ben

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With Spider-Man 3 on the agenda for the coming year, will there be more considerable mention of Uncle Ben to appease fans? Over on Reddit, a fan thought it more than possible they will mention him, if maybe explaining how he died.

The original thread starter also had a good idea on how to approach this: “I’ve recently thought of a scene in my head that’s kinda cool. Peter is on the run and he’s alone in a warehouse or something, MJ goes there to see him and she asks him why and how he became Spider-Man. Peter talks about his uncle’s death and says he got bit by a spider etc”.

As every Spider-Man fan knows, Uncle Ben originally died at the hand of Flint Marko in the Tobey Maguire films. In the Andrew Garfield movies, Ben died at the hand of a random criminal who had just robbed a convenience store.

Both of these demises were similar, leaving Ben’s death more of a mystery in the Holland movies. Being presumably younger, something tragic must have happened to make Aunt May a widow at such a young age.

Not having Uncle Ben around paved the way to Tony Stark

Having Tony Stark become a bit of a surrogate Uncle Ben to Peter Parker was a smarter move by the MCU. This was obviously the real reason Ben was never referenced so Parker could bond more solidly with Stark.

Based on how Parker felt about Ben in the past movies, there was perhaps some internal family friction not discussed. Most remember when Parker lashed out at Uncle Ben by telling him he was not his father.

Even so, Parker felt intense guilt when Ben was killed. In the Tom Holland version, that guilt seems considerably lessened, making it possible it was a natural death rather than a tragic one.

If Parker now holds a torch for Stark, maybe audiences will find out the former was doing the same all along for Ben and just keeping it hidden away. Or, unless Ben was merely divorced from Aunt May’s life.