Throughout the course of the past 15 years, there’s one superhero who’s been something of a recurring presence at movie theaters across the globe. Spider-Man, aka Peter Parker, the famed photojournalist turned crime fighting web-slinger, has appeared in five standalone films since 2002’s Spider-Man and is set to launch his sixth adventure in 2017 with Spider-Man: Homecoming.
While Spidey might be very familiar to audiences far and wide, the directors who've been put in charge of bringing the hero to life over the years have also maintained a certain degree of recognizability. Beginning with Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) for the first three films in the franchise, the torch was then passed on to Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) for both The Amazing Spider-Man films. Now as Spider-Man: Homecoming begins to build momentum, fans might be a little confused by the latest choice in directors, Jon Watts.
For most people, the name John Watts is not synonymous with previous hits – or even a familiar film title. His first film Clown, started as a joke – a fake trailer about a demonic clown suit that causes its wearer to hunt children – before it was seen by horror maven Eli Roth and brought to life. Following that, Watts directed 2015’s Cop Car about two 10 year olds who take an abandoned police cruiser for a joy ride, only to find themselves getting into more than they bargained for. Now as he prepares to get things underway with Homecoming, he chatted with The Daily Beast about his approach to directing the upcoming film:
“It was already a moving train when I got on board, but I came on right as they got Tom [Holland], and so I knew everything that was happening with Civil War. I was there when they were shooting it and sort of lurking in the back, looking over the Russos’ shoulders, and I had ideas about this and that. We were already on the same page, but it was great because I got to sort of meet everyone and see what they were doing with it, and that informed where we eventually took it.
“I never anticipated anything like this would happen, but I’m having a really good time. It’s such an amazing team working with both Marvel and Sony, and I have the support of just the very best technicians in the world. The best people who do this stuff are all supporting me, and I’ve always worked on things very collaboratively, so it’s been great so far. We start shooting really soon, but it’s been a really fun, interesting experience.”
With recent news of Homecoming involving a more diverse cast than its predecessors by casting the likes of Donald Glover (possibly as Miles Morales) and newcomer Zendaya as Peter Parker’s love interest Michelle, the unique background of Peter Parker’s hometown seems especially relevant to Watts:
“Peter Parker goes to high school in Queens, and Queens is one of—if not the—most diverse places in the world. So I just wanted it to reflect what that actually looks like.”
And while some might argue that Watts doesn’t have the experience yet to take on something as huge as the Spider-Man franchise, it could very well end up being the filmmaker’s less rigid and easy going openness that ultimately works to his advantage. As Watts himself rather lightheartedly points out:
“All my movies so far involve children in danger. It starts with 7-year-olds in Clown, then 10-year-olds in Cop Car, and now I have 15-year-old Peter Parker. I’m slowly working my way up to actual adults getting into dangerous situations.”
What is certain about Spider-Man: Homecoming is that fans are extremely curious to see how this latest addition to such a busy franchise will pan out. Should the film reach the levels of success that its predecessors have, the name Jon Watts could end up becoming synonymous with blockbusters.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Source: The Daily Beast