spiderman homecoming trailer shot

It’s a major moment in Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s marketing campaign: Tom Holland’s Spidey and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man soar through the skies of New York City side-by-side, off to save the day. The only problem is that this moment never actually happens in the film.

In a new interview, Homecoming director Jon Watts (Cop Car) explains why this – and one other shot from the trailers – didn’t end up making the final cut in the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

ScreenCrush’s Matt Singer spoke with Watts during Homecoming‘s press junket in New York and pointed out that there are two shots missing from the movie that appeared in the advertising: Spidey and Iron Man swooping through NYC, and Michael Keaton’s Vulture crashing down through a hotel atrium (that moment occurs at 1:36 in the movie’s first trailer). When asked if those shots were cut from the film or designed specifically for the trailers, Watts responded:

“The hotel atrium shot was originally created for Comic-Con, for like a sizzle reel before we had really shot anything; we had shot like two weeks of footage or something. That was never meant to be in the movie. But I did use that angle for Vulture’s reveal at the beginning of the movie; Vulture’s hovering, swooping towards the camera like that. I used that shot, it’s just no longer in an Atlanta hotel atrium. And then shot of [Spider-Man and Iron Man] together in Queens, that was never in the movie.”

Is it a thing where someone says “We need a shot of them together for the trailer” and then someone makes it? How does it work?

“I think what happened was in the very first trailer they wanted a shot of Spider-Man and Iron Man flying together. And they were going to use something from the Staten Island Ferry [scene], but it just didn’t look that great — the background plate, because the Staten Island terminal is a very simple building. It almost looks like an unrendered 3D object. So I think I was like “Let’s just put them in Queens. Let’s use that as a backdrop.” Because we couldn’t just create a whole new shot, so let’s just use one of these shots of the subway; put them in there.” I feel a little weird that there’s a shot in the trailer that’s not in the movie at all, but it’s a cool shot. It’s funny, I forgot that we did that.”

This sort of thing happens all the time. Homecoming is ultimately a Sony film, but we saw Disney do this recently with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, where the trailers utilized deleted scenes as the studio commissioned shots they knew wouldn’t make it into the final film just because they looked good in the trailer. The shot of Jyn Erso standing in disguise with lights illuminating around her was captured in between takes of another scene, and the shot of Jyn facing down a TIE Fighter on a bridge was an invention of the marketing department.

In the trailer for Anchorman, there are numerous shots and entire scenes that didn’t make the final cut (Ron Burgundy dressed as a hippie musician, Ron taking a bullet for Veronica Corningstone, the two of them destroying a desk while Ron screams, “Let’s make a baby!”). It’s clear that someone at Sony wanted to make damn sure that audiences knew that Iron Man was in this movie, and Watts decided that if that was going to happen, he should at least make it look as good as possible.

But don’t worry: even without that shot, there’s still plenty of Iron Man/Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming (I really liked the movie, and even I might argue there’s maybe a bit too much of him).

Homecoming swings into theaters this Thursday night.

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