The marketing for Spider-Man: Homecoming is beginning to paint a picture of the various moving parts of the upcoming movie. The second Homecoming trailer addresses concerns that Tom Holland's version of Peter Parker is becoming more of an Iron Man sidekick than a self-made hero. That no longer seems to be the case, with Tony Stark going so far as to take Spider-Man's high-tech suit away from him after what looks to be the dramatic ferry sequence, leaving our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man to battle Michael Keaton's Vulture in his 'homemade' Spider-Man costume.
This latest revelation about Robert Downey Jr.'s role in the movie adds a more personal element of drama to the spectacle of Homecoming. Director John Watts has teased that the film reveals a side to Tony Stark that audiences haven't seen before.
In an extensive interview with Fandango, Watts was asked what it was like bringing Downey Jr. into the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming:
It was great. I had such a good time with him. Robert is such an electric guy and him with Tom… basically my job was to set it up and just step back and let it happen because they have such chemistry together.
That chemistry was one of the most surprising aspects of last year's exceptional Captain America: Civil War, and it's featured heavily in both trailers for Holland's upcoming solo Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure. Yet, when asked if Homecoming's version of Tony Stark is one that audiences haven't seen before, Watts replied:
Absolutely. You have to think about the implications of what he did in Civil War, which is pluck this 15-year-old kid our of obscurity and bring him to Germany to embark on this insane adventure. And then he just drops him off at the end of it while he continues his part of the story. There’s a lot of repercussions to that. Is it a first step towards Tony as some sort of mentor figure? Is he comfortable with that? Has he ever seen himself as that? Or is he the one who’s needed the mentoring along the way? I think it’s a really interesting facet of Tony Stark’s personality that we get to explore in his relationship with Peter.
Tony Stark has consistently acted as the flawed heart of the Avengers in the MCU, stumbling often in his attempts to do what he believes is right. Marvel has already extensively explored the repercussions of Tony's actions, from the Iron Man trilogy to the Sokovia Accords of Civil War.
While it has been done before however, mentoring Peter Parker is a new challenge for Tony as it's loaded with paternal responsibility. It'll be interesting to see how the anxiety-prone Stark deals with the unique situation of shaping a young superhero - while struggling to keep him safe from a villain that's very much a dark version of himself.