Todd Williamson/Getty Images From left: Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr. and Kevin Feige
The future is bright for Peter Parker after Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Heat Vision was on the scene for the film’s Hollywood premiere, where the keepers of Spider-Man’s cinematic keys shared a few thoughts on what’s next for the wallcrawler following the film, which opens July 7 and stars Tom Holland as the titular hero, as well as Michael Keaton as the villainous Vulture.
Homecoming differentiates itself from previous big-screen versions of the character by keeping him rooted in high school. That’s something director Jon Watts, who has not officially signed on for the 2019 sequel, could see continuing following Spidey’s appearance in next summer’s Avengers: Infinity War.
"I think that would be a lot of fun. There’s still a lot of unexplored territory," said Watts of keeping Spider-Man in high school. "To deal with the fallout of Infinity War and be a junior in high school, I think sounds like a pretty good movie to me."
Homecoming pays homage to the high school classics of director John Hughes, but Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said for him the goal wasn’t necessarily to make a high school movie.
"One of my favorite movies is Back to the Future. I don’t think of that as a high school movie. I think of it as a great adventure movie, which is what Spider-Man: Homecoming is," said Feige. "But at the same time, having a Peter Parker, who is so different from our other heroes, that’s what Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created him to be in the early 60s, was an unbelievable counterpoint to all these other heroes. We want to maintain that and I don’t think we will be jumping ahead too much."
Holland brings an extra dose of humor and spirit to the MCU, which already has big personalities in Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord.
"There’s a lot of laughing, there’s a lot of joking, it’s a lot of action," Holland said of sharing the Infinity War set with so many larger-than-life characters. "But it’s really fun."
The splashy premiere — which featured Spider-Man events up and down Hollywood Blvd. — comes at the most fascinating time in the superhero’s 15-year big-screen history. An unprecedented partnership between Marvel Studios and Sony has allowed Spider-Man to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Meanwhile, Sony is moving forward with a series of spin-offs based on its Spider-Man stable of licensed characters, such as Venom as well as Black Cat and Silver Sable. And though Sony hasn’t publicly set plans, sources previously told THR that the studio is angling to have the ’90s villain Carnage in the Venom spin-off, with other projects in the works to focus on bad guys Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio.
Amy Pascal, who produced Homecoming and has been a driving force in Spider-Man’s cinematic presence since Sam Raimi’s 2002 film, declined to comment on spin-off plans, but did say of Venom star Tom Hardy: "Sony wants to make movies with the best actors and we’re really lucky. Tom Hardy is amazing."
"We’re going to get this out and then we’re going to start working in August on the next movie," Pascal said of what’s next after getting Homecoming out and in the world.
Sony Motion Picture Group Chairman Tom Rothman said the landmark deal between Marvel and Sony was done "for the good of the character, the good of the fans."
While Iron Man appears in Homecoming, sources have previously has stated that rather than Iron Man, another MCU character would be key to the Homecoming sequel. Rothman remained coy, but asked if we could count on seeing more of Spidey’s Marvel friends in future movies, he did offer this: "I think you can count on that."
In addition to screening movie, which is receiving largely positive reviews, the premiere was able to generate an impressive amount of social media buzz, with Sony saying the event amassed more than 100 million impressions when you account for its live stream, social posts from influencers (the red carpet was not only full of younger-skewing social media stars, but also screaming fans who couldn’t get enough of them), as well as promotional brand partnerships (stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau made a splash by arriving in an Audi tied to the movie).
But at the end of the day, the biggest stars were Spider-Man himself, and his creators: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Lee walked the carpet along with his staff, stopping to sign autographs from adoring fans. During opening remarks, Watts recognized the writer and artist for kicking off something special all the way back in 1962.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens July 7.