Popular consensus on Spider-Man has been pretty positive since he popped up in the most recent Captain America: Civil War trailer. However, expectations remain high, especially since the last three outings for the character have been met with derision. He’s a character the fans love, but from Spider-Man 3 through The Amazing Spider-Man 2, his films have been less than kind.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have the chance to turn that around by bringing him in for a part in Civil War, and they recently spoke about the character to Forbes. When it came to being able to get the character, they knew that a huge amount of wheeling and dealing would need to take place between Marvel and Sony just to put Spidey in the movie, but he was always meant to be part of Civil War:
Spider-Man made an appearance at the end of the most recent Captain America: Civil War trailer. Did you always intend to put him in there or did you feel your hand forced by fans?
JOE RUSSO: We always intended to. He was my favorite character growing up, I still have my collection of comics in my closet so it was a dream come true for us to be able to have Spidey in the movie and interpret him as a character so we couldn’t be more excited and we wanted to share that with everybody else.
ANTHONY RUSSO: Also I think it was a little bit of a correction because it was a very complicated deal that Sony had to work out with Marvel Studios and Disney in order to make that work. We were very quiet about Spider-Man’s involvement in the movie for much longer than we would have been. We were artificially silent on the character because it was such a sensitive business deal still being worked out even while we were shooting. We went through a very thorough casting process, we tested Tom Holland vigorously with Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr,, we screen tested him along with several other actors, it was a very intense part of making Captain America: Civil War because he was an important part of the movie to us. Finally it’s all secure and we’re at a place where we can present him even in just a small taste.
JOE RUSSO: We thought it was a great way to reveal him. I think people are going to be happy with him in the movie, he’s got a very interesting role in it.
How big is that role?
JOE RUSSO: I think they’ll be happy.
ANTHONY RUSSO: I’ll say this, part of the fun of Spider-Man is that this film is basically a war amongst the Avengers and Spidey does not have the baggage that all these other characters have. He enters the story after the conflict that is happening between the Avengers and that gives him a very unique place in the story.
Naturally, fans also had some comments about the new costume (I thought it looked good, but not quite as good as the one from Amazing Spider-Man 2), but the Russo say it’s still a work in progress:
There’s been a lot of talk about the Spider-Man costume as well, a mixed reaction. What is your response to that?
JOE RUSSO: The design of the costume is what it is. That’s the design that we love, it’s the design that Kevin Feige loves and so on. He’s a very popular character so it’s always going to be controversial, people are always going to love or hate what you do with him, but all we can do is make sure that we love it, that we are true to ourselves and true to how we feel about the character and then hope that everybody else digs it.
ANTHONY RUSSO: Part of issue is that we gave such a small impression of the character in that trailer, it’s something of a Rorschach test where people can pour as much of their Spidey anxieties out but when they see the movie they are going to get a very big picture of a very complete character that they have never seen before. It’s kind of hard to react to people’s reactions but they will change radically when they see the movie.
JOE RUSSO: And there is still effects work that needs to be done on it.
The Russos wouldn’t confirm whether or not Spider-Man will return for Avengers: Infinity War (I’d be shocked if he’s not in it), but they pretty much confirmed that when it comes to the costume, this one for the MCU is version 1.0:
If he does appear in Avengers: Infinity War, could we perhaps see his costume and his appearance evolve and change as we have seen with other characters?
JOE RUSSO: Without question. We like making strong choices with characters so while this might be a slightly more traditional, Steve Ditko influenced suit, it is certainly in our vocabulary to develop it into something more extreme as the storytelling requires. I think there are things that people will discover when they see the film about why the suit operate the way it does, why the eyes move, all that stuff is substantiated. Everybody wants the answers yesterday but then what would be the point of seeing the movie?
And we definitely want to see the movie. Captain America: Civil War opens May 6th.