Spider-Man Far From Home

Other Supporting Players

Marisa Tomei returns as May Parker, and since that character discovered Peter’s secret identity at the end of Homecoming, she has a different dynamic with Peter this time around. “Marisa herself has pitched a lot of fun ideas about May’s sensibilities,” Carroll says. “One was, we were asking her where we could take this relationship, because we want to do something different than just having her be the doting grand matron sitting at home worrying about her nephew – ‘Oh my gosh, is he going to be OK? Is there gunfire? Oh, was that gunfire?’ – and she was like, ‘What if May’s a bit of an activist, and she’s like, ‘This is great! You should drop out of school. You could be the face of the Red Cross. You could generate all this money doing fundraisers. You’ve gotta sell your Xbox. You’re never going to have time to play PlayStation anymore. You’ve gotta spend all your time helping people and generating money for worthy causes!’”

Marvel and Sony enjoyed that take, so expect to see a more involved Aunt May this time out, even though Tomei won’t be in a majority of the movie.

Spider-Man Far From Home - Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan

Meanwhile, Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan is also back, serving as a sort of chaperone on the trip. In addition to the big Tom Holland Water Elemental scene, we were able to watch a quieter indoor sequence being shot that’s supposed to take place inside the Tower of London near the Crown Jewels. Happy is trying to protect MJ, Ned, Betty Brant, and Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) from an encroaching threat that’s looking to knock down the door. The situation looks dire, and in their darkest moment, the characters all start admitting their faults in front of the others because they think they’re on the brink of death. “My dream is to be an influencer, but I buy all my followers,” Flash admits. “I stole a denim vest,” says the goody-two-shoes Betty, embarrassed. Piecing together what we could from these and other lines of dialogue we overheard, it seems as if Flash posts something on social media that alerts Happy to the kids’ location and allows Happy to find and save them.

In one take, Betty doesn’t even know who Happy is. They filmed this scene a dozen different ways as we watched, with alternate takes on many of the lines so Watts can build the perfect version in post-production. But it was Happy’s revelation that surprised us the most: “I’m in love with Spider-Man’s aunt!” he blurts out. Flash doesn’t understand Happy’s confession: “You can’t date, because Spider-Man is your boss!” he exclaims. “Spider-Man is not my boss,” says Happy, “Tony Stark is.”

At the time, that seemed like a line we may not have been supposed to overhear, because it seemed to indicate that Stark was still alive. Could this movie be a prequel to Endgame after all? Or did Favreau specifically say that line to throw us visiting journalists off the scent? If you’ll recall, Spider-Man: Homecoming played a little fast and loose with the MCU timeline, so maybe this movie will do something similar.

Spider-Man Far From Home - Tom Holland as Peter Parker

Avoiding “Second Movie Bloat,” and Getting to the Heart of the Story

Sequels can be creatively risky. There are two key mistakes directors often make when approaching them: one is to just repeat what they did the first time, and the other is to expand the story too much and, amid that expansion, lose the elements that made the original great. Watts recognizes these mistakes and hopes to sidestep them.

“That second movie bloat is definitely something I was always aware of and trying to avoid,” he told us. “For me, it’s just really continuing to make the story be a personal story about Peter’s coming of age…If the last one is about wanting more responsibility and not being able to get it, this movie’s about getting that responsibility and not necessarily wanting it – at least at the moment. What Peter wants in the moment is to just go on this European trip with his friends, and he doesn’t want to get swept up into this world of intrigue with Nick Fury. In a way, Peter’s story is trying to resist the pitfalls of a sequel. It’s as if Nick Fury’s saying, ‘Come on, we’re going to expand the scope. We’re going to go to all of these different places.’ And Peter’s like, ‘Eh, I kinda just want to be hanging out with my friends still.’ So we kind of embraced it on a mildly meta level.”

This article has covered a significant amount of what happens in Spider-Man: Far From Home. But what is the movie truly about? Jon Watts brings it all home with a nice summary: “You know how when you’re a kid and you really want to be treated like an adult and be given more responsibilities, and you beg and beg and beg for that chance, and then one day, you wake up and suddenly you are being treated like an adult, and you’re like, “Hey, wait. It was way better when I was a kid. I want to go back!” and then you can’t? That’s a little bit of the story I wanted to tell here and where it fits, for me, on Peter’s timeline of growth. The last movie he was so desperate to be a part of the Avengers and have bigger responsibilities and be more than just a neighborhood Spider-Man. And then in Avengers [Infinity War], he goes to space! So much happens, that I wanted to capture that feeling of when you’re finally given that thing you’ve been chasing…what do you do with it?”

Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters on July 2, 2019.

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