Spider-Man joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe again for his first Marvel Studios (well, with the help of Sony) solo movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming. And after months of speculation, we finally have a trailer. Now, the thing about this trailer is that it’s packed with big Spidey moments, but it also leaves enough mystery about who some of these characters are supposed to be and there’s lots of room for interpretation. Director Jon Watts (have you seen Cop Car? You should go watch Cop Car) looks like he’s giving us a lot of things we haven’t seen before in this one, so that’s kinda cool.
With that in mind, I took a really careful look at it to try and connect the dots. But first, watch the trailer if you haven’t already…
Now, I’m not going chronologically or shot by shot through this. I’m just gonna pull the stuff that sticks out, and try and make a few educated guesses based on what we’ve seen and what we already know. It’s gonna be a long wait until Spider-Man: Homecoming opens on July 7, 2017. The full schedule of Marvel movies can be found here.
Ready? Fine, I’ll start at the beginning, but then we’ll swing all over the place.
Just in case you don’t know, we’re not just in NYC, we’re in Queens. While most of this movie was shot in Atlanta (and quite a bit of that shows), the trailer at least goes out of its way to have some proper Queens exteriors to drive home the fact that Spidey is more of a neighborhood guy, rather than a world or city saver most of the time.
And while we’re on the subject of Queens, there’s something I need to get out of the way right up front…
I’ve said this to anyone who will listen for ages, but once and for all, Peter Parker is a New York Mets fan. That’s a Mike Piazza flag on his wall. Mike Piazza, in case you don’t know, is the Mets second (and most recent) induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, an absolute legend, and the greatest offensive catcher in baseball history. Now, Peter would have been like, a toddler when Piazza played his last game for the Mets, but whatever, I’m not complaining.
Also, note Peter’s AT-AT.
Anyway, back on track…
Gotta love the hi-tech weaponry the bank robbers are sporting. Will this turn out to be Chitauri tech? Could it be Michael Chernus’ Tinkerer character (who we don’t actually see in the trailer?) Or is somebody else supplying small time douchebags in Queens with this stuff? It’s very “Marvel” but still keeps the street-level elements of Spidey intact. That purple energy certainly looks familiar.
Let me just bask in the wonder of this next moment…
The timing of this, the pose, even Spidey’s “‘sup guys?” reminds of…wait for it…Bugs Bunny. This is a straight-up Bugs Bunny munching on a carrot, “What’s up, Doc?” moment.
And he follows it up with a Looney Tunes-esque “stop hitting yourself” spot. No Spidey movie has ever given us the comedy element in the fights, and they’re leaning into it hard here. It’s about time.
Can you give me a moment to just gush about how much I love this costume? This is the best Spider-Man costume ever put on screen, and probably my single favorite live action superhero costume of the moment. It’s flexible and there’s no obvious padding. While the suit from the Sam Raimi films remains the most purely faithful to the design of the comics, it always looked a little too stiff and rubbery for my taste, and I rarely felt like whoever was under there could move properly as Spidey.
Not so with this costume. But most of all, you know what my favorite part is?
The clearly visible external webshooters!
I’ve said many times what a fan I am of the 1970s live action TV series and it’s clunky external webshooters, which make practical sense. They’re more streamlined here, but I just love that they’re visible in the first place.
We also get to see another cool feature of the suit…
It appears to have a touch/quick release thingy, which helps explain how you can keep a secret identity. I love that. I also love the vintage Star Wars figures on Peter’s shelf. I totally spy an R2 unit, Bossk, and an X-Wing pilot there.
You can go screengrab the shirtless Tom Holland stuff yourself. Dude just reminded me I need to lay off the carbs and Spidey my ass back to the gym.
But let’s talk about villains for a moment…
Spider-Man: Homecoming Villains
And here’s Michael Keaton, sans Vulture costume, as Adrian Toomes, who is perhaps more cool/badass and menacing than the kinda shrill, bald, elderly version we’re accustomed to in the comics. Let’s get a look at that costume…
There’s considerable appeal in the inclusion of the Vulture. The older and more experienced the bad guy, the more contrast we get with Tom Holland’s youthful and inexperienced Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Using a seasoned actor like Keaton emphasizes that further, in all the best possible ways.
Yeah, I’m into this design in a pretty serious way. I love how they incorporated the “feathery/fur” highlights (see the comic book reference down below) as a practical thing to keep him warm at high altitude. It’s like a fighter pilot jacket or something.
That’s…pretty intimidating, and a fine updating of the comic book version. Just to give you some perspective, this is what he usually looks like.
The Vulture was one of the first villains Spider-Man ever fought in the comics, first appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #2 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
So, this is kinda weird. The guy on the right is definitely dressed kind of like minor Spidey villain, The Shocker. See the resemblance?
What’s Donald Glover doing here? I dunno. It appears they’re all members of Adrian Toomes’ gang, though. The thing is, Bokeem Woodbine is credited as the Shocker. So what gives? I dunno. There does appear to be a shot of Woodbine looking Shocker-esque in the international version of the trailer, but it’s pretty quick, and kinda low quality…
And the school bus stuff puts this in line with the “homemade Spidey gets his ass handed to him” scene (which I’ll get to down below).
Spider-Man: Homecoming Characters
They’re leaning hard into the high school/comedy elements, and I’m fine with that. That’s Jacob Batalan as Ned Leeds. It’s interesting that they’re making Ned into Peter’s high school best friend for this, because in the comics, Ned Leeds is an older character, a reporter for The Daily Bugle, and somebody who has a seriously troubled history ahead of him. I can’t imagine that’s where they’re going with this version.
That’s Laura Harrier as Liz Allan, who appears to be Peter’s main crush in this one. Is that The Nice Guys‘ Angourie Rice with her? If so, she’s playing another character from the comics, Betty Brant. These characters go back to Spidey’s earliest days, with Liz first appearing in Spidey’s first ever comic, Amazing Fantasy #15, with Betty making her debut a few months later in Amazing Spider-Man #4. This is Liz’s first time in live action.
Like most of these characters, they were also created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Well, that sure is an almost unrecognizable Zendaya in her mystery role. They’ve been fairly adamant that she isn’t Mary Jane Watson (or a love interest), and that this is a character known as “Michelle.” I suppose this could just be a mystery box and they’re setting her up for a big reveal later and a “face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot” moment or something, but I’m not sure what to make of this.
It’s nice to see a Spider-Man movie set in high school that’s been cast full of, y’know, actual teenagers, rather than the 20-30 somethings we’ve had in previous movies. The diverse cast helps it feel more like NYC, too.
If you look to your right, you can spot Tony Revolori giving Peter side-eye in class. Apparently he’s playing Peter’s high school tormentor, Flash Thompson. We’ll see if that turns out to be true.
Also, I can’t believe I missed this the first time…that’s Bruce Banner in the upper right hand corner, taking his place with the great scientists in history. Nice touch!
Aside from the fact that this is a cool shot, and the white of the Washington Monument contrasts nicely with Spidey’s costume, this is something else that Spider-Man: Homecoming is doing that no other Spidey movie has done before: they’re actually taking Peter and friends out of New York, at least for a little while.
Which brings me to…
Ah, the web wings. The web wings were an original piece of Spider-Man’s costume design, and stuck around for years. They were more decorative than anything else, which is why we never saw them in the movies (or the cartoons for that matter), so this is their first live action appearance. I wonder what Spidey’s co-creator and web-wing originator Steve Ditko thinks of this? He probably is annoyed.
Oh, look who it is. Anybody ever heard of this guy?
Why is Peter at Avengers HQ? I have a theory here. I suspect that Peter invites himself and/or tries to break in to try and prove himself worthy of being a teammember, and then Tony gives him a pep talk and drives him home. Why do I say this? Because in Amazing Spider-Man #1, a very young (and very broke) Peter Parker tried to break into Fantastic Four headquarters because he wanted the security (personal and financial) that being part of a superhero team would bring him.
It…ummmm…it didn’t go well for him. Also…see the web wings?
Despite Tony Stark’s heavy presence in the trailer, I suspect this is more to kind of ground the proceedings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and make it perfectly clear what’s up to more casual fans. If I had to guess, Tony is probably in this movie for about 10 minutes, although his influence will be felt throughout.
I’m fine with that. The idea of Peter looking up to Tony Stark as a mentor not only fits with Peter’s science nerd background, but also plays into a few things we’ve seen in the comics. An adult Peter infamously apprenticed himself to Tony in the Civil War comics, for one thing. Also, having Tony keeping an eye on a powerful teenage superhero plays into stories from the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, where it was Nick Fury and SHIELD who kept their eye on Peter, with the intention of “drafting” him (whether he wanted it or not) when he turned 18.
Anyway, Iron Man…
This is fun, but again, I wouldn’t expect to see too much of it in the actual movie. This feels kind of obligatory.
You know what’s cool about this brief sequence with the school buses? Peter is wearing his pre-Tony Stark homemade Spidey costume, something which I desperately which we could have gotten a better look at in Captain America: Civil War. Here’s another look at it…
So, there’s two possibilities here. The first is that these scenes take place in flashback, and Peter is obsessed with Vulture (or as Tony calls him “flying monster guy”) because he kicked his ass really badly early in his career.
The other possibility is that Peter’s public stunt at the Washington Monument pisses Tony off so badly that he revokes Peter’s Stark-tech costume, and he has to go back to his old homemade version to take on the Vulture.
Either one is cool with me, because I want to see more of this homemade suit. My favorite part of Spider-Man (2002) remains the hoodie costume that Peter wears for the wrestling match, and in general, we haven’t spent enough time with a costume that a teenager would pull together in his bedroom.
So, I’ll be honest, this is the only scene in the trailer that didn’t do it for me, and felt a little obligatory/by-the-numbers. It’s Spidey saving the Staten Island Ferry…with the Statue of Liberty in the background. This feels an awful lot like the subway train sequence in Spider-Man 2, and it’s on such a larger scale than everything else we see here that it just sticks out a bit. Other than that, though, this was quite a ride!
Did you spot anything I missed? Let me know in the comments or throw webs at me on Twitter!