Coming as a bit of a surprise, the director of Spider-Man: Homecoming reveals the destruction of the Staten Island Ferry seen in the trailers was almost entirely practical. With five Spider-Man films existing to date, Homecoming has a bit of an uphill battle to differentiate itself. Still, Spidey’s introduction in Captain America: Civil War and the film’s new approach to the hero look to have created both a fun and funny film.
Part of the appeal of the movie is its youthful nature, focusing on Peter Parker’s friends and life in high school. Not only have those aspects made for a fresh take on Spider-Man, but they’ve created a completely different Marvel movie. Homecoming is also one of the few superhero movies involving a character who actually enjoys their superpowers, rather than feeling burdened by them. Of course, Spidey still has plenty of burdens in the new film. From fighting the Vulture and other villains, to all the destruction we’ve seen him attempt to stop in the trailers, Peter’s life is plenty challenging both in and out of the costume. One of the scenes we’ve seen the most in them marketing so far is Spidey attempting to hold together a ferry that’s splitting in two. And while a good amount of CGI helped bring it to life, it turns out it was more real than previously thought.
Marvel spoke with Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts at the premiere for the film last night, and he revealed a bit about how the action scene with the ferry came to be. Towards the end of the clip above, he discusses how there was an actual ferry replica built that could split in two. This allowed Holland—and the stunt performers—to actually interact with the severed ship and add something to the action. Meanwhile, the earlier shots were filmed on a real ferry, though not without some damage being caused.
Given how much modern blockbusters rely on CGI, it’s refreshing to hear that one of the more grandiose set pieces in the film was actually practical. As everything from Mad Max: Fury Road to The Force Awakens has shown us, there’s something more visceral about the actors interacting with real sets and objects. It gives the action more kick and helps audiences suspend their disbelief more.
Of course, not everything in the ferry scene was practical. A clip released earlier this week showing the build-up to the ferry’s destruction featured Vulture careening through the skies and one of his weapons detonating on Peter. Naturally, plenty of CGI went into the film. That said, it’s good to know Watts went to great lengths to try and establish a unique tone while trying to build on the previous Spidey films.
As for the aftermath of the ferry scene, we’ll have to wait until the movie releases to see how Peter deals with it. He’s not new to that scale of chaos, however. We know he was a kid in New York when the Chitauri invasion happened and it helped shape him as an individual. We may even see its impact on the character play out in a future movie. Until then, Spider-Man: Homecoming will give us more than enough Spidey action to hold us over.
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