Ever since Tom Holland made his debut as Peter Parker in last year’s Captain America: Civil War, fans have been eagerly waiting to see him embark on his own adventure in Spider-Man: Homecoming. As its summer premiere date approaches, viewers are gradually getting a better idea of what they can expect from the webslinger’s next film.
1. It won’t be an origin story
By this point, audiences have seen the big-screen retelling of the spider bite and the death of Uncle Ben twice. Thankfully, we won’t be seeing it a third time around. Writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein have confirmed that the forthcoming reboot will not be another origin story.
As Goldstein told Grantland’s Andy Greenwald in 2016, “I think that everybody feels like, you know he got bit by a spider and you know Uncle Ben died. We probably don’t need to revisit that.”
The trailer also makes this clear, as it shows Holland’s Parker equipped with his Spidey suit and already taking down bad guys (albeit not always successfully).
2. It will be inspired by John Hughes
Last summer, Marvel head Kevin Feige revealed that the next iteration of Spider-Man will boast a Hughes-like tone. Hughes directed ’80s teenage-themed classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club, which are known for being both emotionally heartfelt and filled with comedic moments.
“Not that we can make a John Hughes movie – only John Hughes could – but we’re inspired by him, and merging that with the superhero genre in a way we haven’t done before excites us,” Feige said.
3. Uncle Ben won’t appear
Since Spider-Man: Homecoming will focus on Peter Parker in the present and not retell his origin story, the character of Uncle Ben will not be featured in the movie. Per co-producer Eric Carroll, this decision was partly made in order to help maintain the film’s lighter tone.
“We thought that, to keep this fun, light tone, as soon as they have to have their, like, ‘Let’s remember our dearly departed father figure’ — it derails that a little,” Carroll said, per CinemaBlend. “And again, what we’re trying to tell is this sort of fun story of the kid who is doing all the wrong things for the right reasons. And once you do that, it stops becoming a fun movie about a kid trying to be a kid. He’s mourning the loss of a parent.”
That being said, Carroll says Uncle Ben will be acknowledged in the movie. “They talk about [Ben], absolutely. It’s not… it’s not a huge thing that I want to go into too much, but there is an acknowledgment that there was a Ben,” he said. “He’s not around anymore, for sure. They talk about that. We don’t go into any specifics. … We’re implying he’s dead. We have not at all, again, gone into trying to change his origin story.”
4. There will be a handful of villains
Fans should expect to see more than one bad guy show up in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Michael Keaton is set to play the movie’s reported main antagonist, the Vulture, as captured in the images above.
As for the other characters you can expect to see stirring up trouble for Holland’s Spider-Man? Logan Marshall-Green will portray a still-unidentified villain, while Michael Chernus is set to play Phineas Mason aka the Terrible Tinkerer in the film. Meanwhile, Bokeem Woodbine is rumored to be playing the Shocker, as seemingly confirmed by leaked on-set photos of him in costume.
5. Mary Jane Watson won’t appear … or will she?Zendaya’s casting opposite Holland was announced a while ago, but it’s still unclear whom she’ll be playing. Her character is simply listed as “Michelle,” with some speculating that could mean Michele Gonzales, a character who appears in The Amazing Spider-Man as Peter Parker’s roommate and occasional love interest.
But there’s also been speculation that Zendaya may actually be playing Mary Jane Watson (a character previously played by Kirsten Dunst in the 2002–2007 movie trilogy starring Tobey Maguire). Zendaya herself has denied this rumor, telling ET Online that “I’m not Mary Jane unfortunately, but I am in the movie.”
From the trailer, Michelle certainly seems different from any version of Mary Jane we’ve seen so far, with her character sporting more of a dry, awkward humor. But some fans are still speculating that she may evolve into a Mary Jane-type character over the course of several films. Whether this will actually be the case and Marvel is just trying to throw us off track, or whether Zendaya will play someone entirely different, remains to be seen.
6. Tony Stark will appear
Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his role as Tony Stark aka Iron Man in the upcoming solo Spider-Man adventure. According to Variety, Marvel execs were eager to get Downey and Holland back together after seeing their “great chemistry” in Captain America: Civil War.
That could also explain the size of Downey’s role in the upcoming movie, which looks to be significant. Case in point: Iron Man has a heavy presence in a recent trailer (captured above) and can be seen mentoring Peter on his superhero duties and even revoking his Stark Industries tech suit at one point.
7. Some scenes will take place before Civil War
According to Heroic Hollywood, some early scenes in Spider-Man: Homecoming will take place after he meets Tony Stark, but before he joins the battle against Captain America and crew in Civil War. Audiences will reportedly see Parker get his new suit from Stark, travel to Germany, and engage in the battle (this time, from Parker’s perspective) — before abruptly getting sent back to his ordinary life as a high school student.
The switch in timelines is meant to highlight the jarring shuffle between Parker’s exciting hero life and mundane student life, and how he struggles to manage the two. As Carroll described per Heroic Hollywood:
It’s kind of the first time you get to see this tone. We’re really excited about, and we think is fun. After seeing all this amazing, glamorous stuff, boom… hard cut to him back in his cold weather gear. Riding the subway to school. Crammed next to all the other students, riding public transportation to school and we’ll realize that he’s still waiting for his call from Tony.
8. The Vulture is seeking revenge on Tony Stark
We know Keaton will be playing the main antagonist of the story, the Vulture. Per USA Today, Keaton will play Adrian Toomes, a blue-collar guy who runs a New York salvaging company that cleans up the messes left in the wake of various superhero battles. But business is taken out of his hands after a new government organization, founded by A-list businessman Tony Stark (Downey), steps in to take over the job.
As co-producer Carroll described, Toomes is angry and “sort of becomes the dark Tony Stark,” teaming up with a crew of villains — including the Shocker (Woodbine) and the Tinkerer (Chernus) — to steal advanced tech and put together amazing weaponry to sell to other criminals.
9. A sequel is already in the works
Spider-Man: Homecoming hasn’t even hit theaters yet, but Marvel has already announced a sequel to the film. The follow-up flick is currently set for release in July 2019. That’s obviously quite a way off, but if Homecoming lives up to its high expectations, you can bet the rumor mill will start humming before the summer is over.