Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Far From Home ahead.
Marvel Studios ensured that Spider-Man: Far From Home is different than any other previous film focusing on the web-slinging hero, Kevin Feige says. In the last three years since Tom Holland debuted a new version of the character via Captain America: Civil War, he's appeared in a total of five films - two of which are his own standalone flicks. And it was pivotal for Feige and his team that they emphasize how far he's come since was exposed to the bigger MCU in his latest outing.
There's a lot going on in Far From Home being the first MCU entry to come out after the events of Avengers: Endgame. But director Jon Watts and writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers did a great job focusing the narrative on Peter and how his life was drastically altered in the last few years. Him being shaped by his experiences being part of the bigger MCU was a major plot point in the movie, an element in the story that is unique to this version of the character.
Speaking with Screen Rant during the Far From Home junket, Feige details how they first came up with the idea of the movie's premise which apparently, came while doing the press tour for Spider-Man: Homecoming. From there, they decided to polish the narrative's finer details by looking at Peter's trajectory in the MCU, as well as the overall state of the universe by the time the sequel comes out.
Well, the idea when we started working on this was the notion of tracking his growth through high school. So we always know we wanted to advance him through high school a year or so. There were ideas while we were figuring out what could you do other than just sophomore year, junior year, senior. One of the early things I think Eric brought up was Summer break, Summer trip. That led to us being on the press tour for Homecoming, around Europe, around Paris and London. We were in Germany, and we were like, “This should be the next movie.” Traipsing around Europe with Peter and his class would be fun, and a way we’ve never seen Spidey before.
So from Homecoming, the thing we thought about most was knowing that Aunt May knows his secret at the end of Homecoming, how does that impact his life going forward. And from the idea that she doesn’t get upset or mad, she kind of embraces is and brings in the fundraisers. “Are you doing a good job? Are you catching up on all your crime-fighting that you need to do? Your Peter tingle?”
But one of the great storytelling advantages to the MCU is that most of our sequels aren’t just follow-ups to the prior movie, they’re follow-ups to the movies in between. And clearly with Infinity War and Endgame, we have a massive change for Peter. Not only has he been to space, not only has he encountered that he disappeared for five years, most importantly he’s lost his mentor. Peter traditionally loses mentors in the comics and in the earlier movies with Uncle Ben, but seeing how he deals with that and even when he tries not to deal with it early on in this movie, just going on this trip. So those were the two big things that really tapped into early development on Far From Home, taking advantage both of where we left him in Homecoming and the events that we knew were gonna happen to him in Endgame.
Marvel Studios have made some controversial creative decisions when it comes to approaching this latest version of Spider-Man including skipping the character's traditional origin story. Yes, the franchise has alluded to it, but it also barely tackled the ramifications of Uncle Ben's death on Peter, instead, the hero's grief is rooted on the death of his mentor Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). Holland admits that somehow Stark has taken over the Uncle Ben figure in the franchise, and that understandably upsetting for comic book readers who wants to stick to his original origin story. That being said, it also makes sense that Peter is struggling to cope with the death of his father figure, especially since their dynamic was developed over the last few years. Their relationship is the result of Peter existing in a bigger universe where other superheroes exist.
The MCU made a name for its interconnectivity - something that the previous Spider-Man iterations didn't have since they were in their own bubbles. There are pros and cons to both versions and people have their preferences when it comes to their favorite take on the hero. Admittedly much of Peter's story in the MCU hinged on Stark, but with the way Spider-Man: Far From Home wrapped up, it seems like he's finally ready to step out of his mentor's shadow and be the hero he's always meant to be, and yet still a pivotal piece of the franchise.