Tom Holland's Spider-Man is unlike any other cinematic version of the character. For one thing, he was brought up in the shadow of heroes, and like any child he dreamed of joining their ranks. In fact, Marvel has even retconned Peter Parker into Iron Man 2, revealing he was a boy who Stark saved from Justin Hammer's robots.
Spider-Man: Homecoming saw Peter and Tony Stark develop a close bond. There's a sense in which Stark was more than just a mentor; Iron Man was almost a surrogate father-figure for Spider-Man, who Peter was desperate to impress. With the pair front-and-center in Avengers: Infinity War, that relationship is clearly going to continue.
During our set visit for Infinity War, Screen Rant had the opportunity to speak to the Russo brothers about Peter and Tony's roles. They briefly described Stark's status quo, and then homed in on the relationship between the two heroes.
Anthony: Tony is still in his, you know, he sort of sided with the Accords. He's playing out the consequences of that choice and still leading the Avengers who are not on the opposite side of the Accords. And the opposite side of the law at this point. And he still has this connection with Spider-Man that he's established-
Joe: In Homecoming.
Anthony: -And that evolves. And they basically have a unique mentor-mentee relationship that continues to evolve as they move into this film.
The Russos are clearly determined to ensure there are consequences for Stark's actions in Civil War. Robert Downey Jr. has promised that the conflict between Iron Man and Captain America will continue; for all these two Avengers need to work together, they'll first have to resolve their history. The fact Wakanda has been sheltering the Winter Soldier will no doubt add another layer of tension. Meanwhile, it's interesting to see Anthony Russo describing Stark as "still leading the Avengers who are not on the opposite side of the Accords." Although Stark was attempting to reform the Avengers in Homecoming, he doesn't seem to have had much success. By Infinity War, even Vision appears to have retired, while Spider-Man refused to join up. The Avengers: Infinity War Prelude concluded with Tony Stark alone, fearing an imminent alien invasion.
One thing Stark does have, though, is his continuing relationship with Spider-Man. That father-son/mentor-student relationship seems to be a key part of Spider-Man's five-film arc in the MCU: Civil War set up the bond between Peter and Tony, Homecoming built on that, and according to the Russos, Infinity War will continue from there. It makes sense, given Peter will don the Iron Spider armor in Infinity War, but it certainly seems to hint Stark's story in the MCU will soon come to an end. Marvel has already confirmed that Iron Man won't appear in the Homecoming sequel, meaning this relationship will need to resolve in either Infinity War or Avengers 4.
Back when Marvel launched the MCU, they promised that everything would be connected. The Russos' comments confirm that's still the case; Infinity War really will weave together all the plot threads that have been in play since Civil War.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018