Last night, the first trailers for Marvel and Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming were released, giving fans their first real look at the upcoming standalone film following Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man after his introduction earlier this year in Captain America: Civil War. In addition to offering footage featuring Michael Keaton’s Vulture, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, and a general overview of the Spider-Man adventures that Homecoming promises to give, there was also a heavy focus on Peter’s high school life and the day-to-day struggles he faces, even when he’s not wearing a mask, web-swinging around New York City.
That aspect of the trailer kept in line with a majority of the comments that the film’s director Jon Watts, Marvel Studios Head Kevin Feige, and most of the other members of the film’s creative team have said about it, teasing the film’s heavy John Hughes influences. Turns out, Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland, tried to make Peter’s high school life as real as possible on his end too.
During a recent Facebook Live Q&A, Holland answered fan questions about Homecoming and revealed one of the ways that he prepped for the film, by enrolling secretly in a New York City high school under a different name:
“The coolest thing I think I did for the movie was I was enrolled in a high school in New York, in the Bronx, as a secret. No one knew who I was or what I was doing. I had a fake name and a fake accent. I went to school for three days. It was really fun. It was really interesting because New York high schools are so different to schools that I went to in London. I went to a school where you have to wear a suit and tie and it’s all boys, and for me it was the first time that I was in a classroom with girls. It was a really strange experience, it was really fun.
The actor went on to explain that even when he did reveal his identity, it wasn’t believed — much like what may happen with Peter/Spider-Man:
I told one person. I told one kid at the school. I was like ‘Hey man, listen, I’m actually Spider-Man.’ He did not believe me… At the time I hadn’t made the movie, so I didn’t have any pictures to show him to prove that I was Spider-Man…. No one believed me. Which is actually a good thing, because it makes me think that if Peter Parker went up in his school and was like ‘I’m Spider-Man,’ everyone would be like ‘Nah dude, no you’re not.’”
Now, Holland has already been on the receiving end of massive praise, from both fans and critics alike, for his take on Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Many believe he’s the best live-action incarnation of the character yet, and it’s obvious that he was just as dedicated to getting the character right in the standalone film as he was for his brief role in Civil War. It wouldn’t be the first time an actor or actress has gone to some extreme lengths to get into character by any means, and this probably ranks as one of the least crazy, but it’s the kind of fun prep that seems to have also revealed things about Peter’s life and character that the actor may not have thought of before.
Indeed, even the trailer for Homecoming seemed to touch briefly on the isolated feeling that Peter experiences throughout his days in Midtown High, saving his beloved city on a daily basis while not being able to share it with anyone else at the same time. For many, who relate to Peter Parker for those very same every day outsider reasons, Homecoming seems like the film that they’ve been waiting their entire lives to see. A Spider-Man movie that not only offers enough web-slinging action to satisfy everyone, but also dedicates time to showing the struggles of trying to fit in, despite never truly being able to show who you really are.