Warning: Spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming are discussed in this intro and interview.
With Spider-Man: Homecoming now playing around the world, it’s finally time to post my interview with producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. As most of you know, Spider-Man: Homecoming takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War and features Peter Parker (Tom Holland) trying to adjust to life back in High School while trying to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The film stars Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Michael Keaton, Martin Starr, Bokeem Woodbine, Donald Glover, Hannibal Buress, Abraham Attah, Tony Revolori, Michael Barbieri, and Angourie Rice. For more on the film, read Matt Goldberg’s review.
During the spoiler-filled conversation with Feige and Pascal, they talked about what would have happened had Robert Downey Jr. said no, how this is a different version of Spider-Man than any of the previous movies, how Vulture was always going to be the villain, the awesome Captain America PSAs, the after-the-credits scenes, what Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 will be called, if Jon Watts will direct the sequel and when they start filming, and so much more.
As a long-time Spider-Man fan that grew up reading all the comics, I’m happy to report Spider-Man: Homecoming is everything I wanted it to be and so much more. Not only does it have a great script, fantastic action, and perfect casting, it captures what it would really be like to be 15 years old and trying to fight crime without enough life experience. Also, while Marvel makes some great movies, I think we can all agree the weak link is some of the antagonists. That’s not the case with Michael Keaton’s Vulture. He’s a great three-dimensional villain where you can understand his motivations and empathize with what he’s trying to do. Trust me, there is no way you see Spider-Man: Homecoming and walk out disappointed.
Check out what producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal had to say below.
Collider: So I’ll start with the big question is, what if Robert Downey Jr. had said no?
AMY PASCAL: That would have been bad.
KEVIN FEIGE: We always have a plan.
FEIGE: We always have a plan when we…
PASCAL: It wouldn’t have been as good a plan.
FEIGE: But no, and the miraculous thing is, Plan A has worked most of the time. But it would have been a lesser film for sure but there would have been a film.
PASCAL: But the thing is that Downey was actually involved in casting Tom [Holland] and that was one of the reasons that made him a part of it and loved to do it. Because he did the screen test with all the boys.
FEIGE: What’s great about him and you just saw it in the press conference, he’s actually invested in this. He actually loves all this and when I even first told him about the possibility of Spider-Man, he was as just as flabbergasted and giddy as we all were there was even a possibility and he was invested in Tom from the auditions and then he saw at the premier of Civil War and saw that dynamic I think and was in right after that.
So is the Plan B that would have been this movie now migrating into Spider-Man: Homecoming 2, I don’t know what the title is?
So that was just a separate idea.
PASCAL: That was just a separate idea.
FEIGE: They’ll be a new Plan A.
Right so my question is, as someone who runs a website, I’m having a tough time calling Spider-Man: Homecoming 2.
PASCAL: It will not be called Spider-Man: Homecoming 2. That I can promise you but I don’t know what it will be called.
Right, because you understand the problem.
FEIGE: I think it will be … what was this movie? This movie was basically Spider-Man “Subtitle.”
PASCAL: Spider-Man “Subtitle.”
FEIGE: It will be Spider-Man “Subtitle.”
Okay so there’s no “2” in the title.
FEIGE: But internally we just call is “Homecoming 2” because we’re not …
Obviously it’s not gonna be “Homecoming,” but you get what I mean.
So I thought everyone understood the dynamic between Sony and Marvel but yet there’s still people every day that are learning about it because they’re not…
PASCAL: They just can’t take it in.
They’re not as invested and so my question is, originally Sony paid Marvel a fee every time they made a Spider-Man movie. So now you negotiated the characters. Is it just, can you talk about what it is exactly…what is that business relationship?
FEIGE: No, I can’t, because I’m not the lawyer or the business affairs person. But I do know that it’s relatively simple in that it is a Sony picture and Sony paid for it and Sony the money from it. And Marvel and Disney owned Spider-Man and all of the accoutrements that would come with that.
PASCAL: Yes, all the merch.
FEIGE: Yeah, but my focus was always, and remains always, on can I do a Spider-Man movie? It puts Spider-Man in an Avengers movie? That’s it.
PASCAL: And to be honest, that’s how it happened. It happened because Kevin came to me and said, “you know I love Spider-Man and I really want to make the Spider-Man movie and I have an idea for what we should do.” That’s how it happened.
Tom has said that the idea is a trilogy, where each year is in high school. So sophomore, junior, senior year, maybe even you told me that.
PASCAL: Right, but I think we’re focusing just on the next movie right now.
My question is and this goes back to the business deal, I heard it was a two picture deal that you guys had agreed to, so is that what it is? A two picture deal, or is a three picture deal?
FEIGE: No, Tom Holland’s contract I’m sure is three pictures.
PASCAL: Yes, three or seven.
FEIGE: What we are working on, and I just said this the other day, is I think it’s only at Marvel, maybe it’s at Star Wars or DC, but where you can talk about five giant movies that you’re working on.
FEIGE: Five, Civil War, Homecoming, Infinity War, Untitled Avengers, Homecoming 2. Five movies with Spider-Man in the MCU and people go, “Well what about six? What about seven? What about eight?”
PASCAL: It’s true.
But the thing is that I think we’ve lost track as an audience. So many people have no longer enjoy the moment because they’re always looking ahead.
PASCAL: I know, we’re trying to make you enjoy the moment.
FEIGE: And that’s all anybody really cares about. It’s not all everybody writes about, but it’s all anyone cares about when they sit down to watch a movie.
You guys made it very friendly downstairs in terms of looking at Jon Watts when you were talking about Homecoming 2. So can we just announce right now during this interview that he’s directing the sequel?
PASCAL: You’re terrible. I get how this works.
FEIGE: Certainly that’s the intention for sure.
I mean it just seems he knocked it out of the park with…
PASCAL: He knocked it out of the park. We would be crazy. He did a wonderful job and the whole atmosphere of the movie, all the things that people like about it are the things he brought to it. It’s really special.
Well one of the things is I saw on the thing there’s five screenwriters. A lot of people got credit, but one of the things that really impressed me about the screenplay is that you guys are taking it in a different direction where it’s no longer the weighed down Spider-Man by what’s happened to him. He’s a completely different version of Spidey than we’ve ever seen in the movies.
PASCAL: Well that’s because he’s in the MCU. Because before he has to carry the whole movie, now what he is, he’s in contrast to these other weightier characters who are grown-ups and he’s a kid which is how he was supposed to be from the beginning.
Sure but was there ever talk about making, because you don’t really touch on the origin in this movie. There’s two lines in the entire movie…
PASCAL: Right, and that’s all you need, don’t you think?
Yes, I’m all in favor of this.
PASCAL: I think the little thing about Aunt May having gone through a lot, I think you get it. I don’t think you need to know any more.
Yeah, but this is so not the norm of a Spider-Man movie, because in all the other movies it’s always barreling down on the origin.
PASCAL: Yes, that’s one of the gifts of doing this together.
So I do want to ask was there ever gonna be more focus on the origin in any previous version of the scripts?
And was there ever gonna be a more weighed down Spider-Man or was it…
PASCAL: No. This was always the idea, was to do effervescent, fresh true to the comic book character.
I loved the portrayal of Vulture. Vulture’s a really tough character to make good in the movie but you did ’cause you made him grounded and I believed his back story.
Was it always gonna be Vulture?
PASCAL: It was always gonna be Vulture. We liked the costume and the stuff he did.
FEIGE: I went to see Amy four or five times over the course of this process and I think every single thing we talked about from the fun-Spidey, to the Vulture, to of course, MCU, Tony giving him the suit, all the way to the title Homecoming was from those initial discussions.
PASCAL: Yes, it actually was, in that first lunch we talked about Homecoming.
PASCAL: I know. Kevin’s really smart, that’s why.
Yeah, he’s landed on his feet. So you said Plan A for this movie with Iron Man. Was Plan B still Vulture?
So it was a question of what other Marvel character would have been…