“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is going to look a little different than previous incarnations, and it’s not just because of amazing special effects and huge budgets. The film has a very diverse cast, and that’s something the filmmakers felt was important.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige discussed with Vulture how the studio is trying to make the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) more reflective of the real universe. He pointed out “Homecoming” as an example of how the MCU is changing. “Our filmmaker came in and had pictures of real high schools, and they are as diverse as you could imagine,” Feige said. “That was something that was important to us, to set it apart from other Spidey films that have been made — to carve that niche — and to have it represent the world today.”
Considering Spider-Man goes to school in Queens, a diverse cast makes sense. Though Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is white, he is surrounded by a group of friends who do not look like him. Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori), Liz (Laura Harrier), Ned (Jacob Batalon) and Michelle (Zendaya) play the main teenagers in the flick.
However, casting actors of different races has sometimes been controversial. Many fans were outraged after rumors surfaced that biracial actress Zendaya might actually be playing Peter’s love interest Mary Jane, but Marvel never confirmed if the rumors are true.
It isn’t just the setting that filmmakers wanted to feel authentic, though. As previously reported, Tom Holland, who plays the webslinger, revealed that even Spider-Man’s powers will have a certain realness that hasn’t been seen in previous incarnations.
“We’re trying to bring it down to its bare bones and make the most realistic version of a superhero movie we can possibly make,” Holland told Collider in July. “And that means watching him fill up his web cartridges and watching him run out of web and reload and all sorts of stuff.”
It does not seem like “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which is directed by Jon Watts, will be delving into the magic that this month’s “Doctor Strange” opens the door for. Even Spider-Man’s villains seem based in reality. The Tinkerer (Michael Chernus) and Vulture, who is likely being played by Michael Keaton, both are smart engineers rather than anyone mystical.
While it seems like the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Spider-Man” film has the realistic element down, it could get even more diverse one day. Plenty of fans are still holding out hope for Miles Morales, who has both African-American and Puerto Rican parents, to appear in the MCU alongside Peter Parker eventually. “Miles, I think is awesome. I think there are opportunities for him for sure if this all works,” Feige told MTV in 2015, shortly after Marvel and Sony’s collaboration on “Homecoming” was announced.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” hits theaters July 7, 2017.