Spider-Man: Homecoming introduced an apparent continuity error into the MCU, an "eight years later" time jump. Now, Avengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo has finally admitted that this was, quite simply, "incorrect."
In 2016, Captain America: Civil War played an important role in the MCU. It set in place a fixed timeline, with Marvel movies mostly set in the year of their release. Iron Man was based in 2008, The Avengers in 2012, and The Winter Soldier in 2014. The Russo brothers are clearly continuing with that pattern, as Avengers: Infinity War is confirmed to be set in 2018. Unfortunately, 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming complicated the issue. The film was set in the aftermath of Civil War, but was apparently also a full eight years after The Avengers. This was confirmed in both a title-card and dialogue in the movie, and it essentially broke the Marvel timeline. Although Kevin Feige has insisted that the timeline still works, it's notable that he never explained quite how Homecoming's apparent continuity issue could be fixed.
Infinity War co-director Joe Russo is currently doing the rounds, and in an interview with Ashish Chanchlani he finally commented on the problem. Chanchlani decided to put Russo to the test with trivia questions about the MCU, and one of them was the time-gap between The Avengers and Homecoming. "It was eight years, I believe," Russo responded. "It was a very incorrect eight years."
This is the first time anyone from Marvel has actually admitted this was "incorrect." Marvel added Spider-Man into the MCU at speed, reaching an agreement over the character after they'd actually announced the Phase 3 slate. Although there have been a handful of proposed "fixes," nothing quite works. It's simply impossible for both Civil War and Homecoming to be correct. Russo is the first Marvel insider to openly acknowledge that.
So how will Marvel resolve this issue? It seems most likely that they won't; they'll instead elect to ignore it. Russo's comment is hardly an official statement from Marvel Studios, after all. Previous Marvel films have had their own continuity issues, with an incorrect calendar-date here, or a confused reference there. Homecoming was simply the first time this kind of continuity error was visible to general viewers. But it's one film out of 18 movies, easily overlooked, and the continuity problem doesn't affect the film's overarching plot at all.
Feige has promised that Marvel will eventually publish an official timeline of the MCU. If they do, it seems likely it will simply move Homecoming to 2016, a couple of months after Civil War. That may contradict the film itself, but it's the only way to correct this error.
Source: Ashish Chanchlani
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018