Directed by: Jon Watts
Written by: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley
Produced by: Kevin Feige & Amy Pascal
Other cast: Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, John Favreau, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kerry Condon, and Chris Evans
Release date: 28 June 2017
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Running time: 133 min
Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine — distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the Vulture emerges as a new villain, threatening the safety of the city and everything that Peter holds most important.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is the second Spider-Man film reboot and the sixteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Jon Watts, from a screenplay by the writing teams of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Watts and Christopher Ford, and Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. Tom Holland stars as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, alongside Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker tries to balance high school life with being Spider-Man, while facing the Vulture.
In February 2015, Marvel Studios and Sony reached a deal to share the character rights of Spider-Man, integrating the character into the established MCU. The following June, Holland was cast as the title character and Watts was hired to direct. This was followed shortly by the hiring of Daley and Goldstein. In April 2016, the film’s title was revealed, along with additional cast, including Downey in his MCU role of Tony Stark / Iron Man. Principal photography began in June 2016 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, and continued in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York City. The other screenwriters were revealed during filming, which concluded in Berlin in October 2016. The production team made efforts to differentiate the film from previous Spider-Man films.
Spider-Man: Homecoming premiered in Hollywood on June 28, 2017, and was released in the United States in 3D, IMAX, and IMAX 3D on July 7, 2017. Homecoming grossed over $880 million worldwide, making it the second-most successful Spider-Man film and the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2017. It received positive reviews, with critics praising the light tone and focus on Parker’s high school life, and the performances of Holland and Keaton. A sequel is scheduled to be released on July 5, 2019.
Tom’s Character: Peter Parker / Spider-Man
A 15-year-old who gained spider-like abilities after being bitten by a genetically-modified spider. Producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal were impressed by Holland’s performances in The Impossible, Wolf Hall, and In the Heart of the Sea. Holland took inspiration from previous Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, but also hoped to deliver something “new and exciting” with his take on the character, the first to focus on Parker as “dealing with everyday problems that a 15-year-old deals with as well as trying to save the city.” Holland attended The Bronx High School of Science in The Bronx for a few days to prepare for the role, where other students did not believe he was cast as Spider-Man. Holland felt this would carry over well to the film, where other characters do not suspect Parker of being Spider-Man. It took 25 to 45 minutes for Holland to get into costume, depending on if he had to wear a stunt harness underneath the suit. Holland initially signed for six MCU films, including three Spider-Man films.
Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes / Vulture:
A salvager-turned-arms-trafficker after his company is forced out of business. He uses a suit with mechanical wings forged from Chitauri technology. Toomes is revealed to be the father of Liz, Parker’s love interest. Director Jon Watts wanted him to be a “regular guy”, closer to John C. Reilly’s Nova Corpsman Rhomann Dey from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) than other MCU villains like Thanos and Ultron, to go with Spider-Man as a “regular kid who becomes a superhero”. This helped avoid Toomes drawing the attention of the Avengers, and provided someone that Parker would be able to defeat while still learning to use his abilities. Keaton said Toomes was not completely villainous, as “there’s parts of him that you go, ‘You know what? I might see his point’.” Co-producer Eric Hauserman Carroll likened Toomes to “the dark Tony Stark”, a “businessman with a family. He wants to look out for his kids … He doesn’t have these big delusions of grandeur where he wants to take over the world, or replace the government, or even defeat the Avengers or anything. He just wants his shot at the good life.” Keaton was not hesitant to portray another comic book character after playing Batman in Tim Burton’s 1989 film and its 1992 sequel.
Jon Favreau as Harold “Happy” Hogan:
The former head of security for Stark Industries and Tony Stark’s driver and bodyguard. Hogan is “looking after” Parker in the film, with Favreau saying that Parker “needs someone to help him out”. Favreau previously portrayed Hogan in the Iron Man films, having also directed the first two of those, and described returning as just an actor as fun, allowing him “to maintain the relationship with the MCU … Especially when the filmmakers are taking care of you, and taking care of the characters and the story.”
Zendaya as Michelle “MJ” Jones:
One of Parker’s classmates, Zendaya called her awkward but intellectual, “she just feels like she doesn’t need to talk to people”. She added that it was “refreshing” that Michelle was weird and different, feeling that “a lot of young people—especially young women—can relate to that.” Watts likened the character to Ally Sheedy’s Allison Reynolds from The Breakfast Club (1985) or Linda Cardellini’s Lindsay Weir from Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000). The character is not an adaptation of Mary Jane Watson, but was given the initials “MJ” to “remind you of that dynamic”, with the writers “plant[ing] the seeds in this movie” for comparisons to Watson, but also making her “wholly different”. Feige added that Michelle is “not obsessed with” Parker like Watson is at times in the comics, “she’s just observant”.
Donald Glover as Aaron Davis:
A criminal looking to purchase weapons from Toomes. Davis is the uncle of Miles Morales, a version of Spider-Man, in the comics. Glover voiced Morales in the Ultimate Spider-Man television series, and campaigned to portray Spider-Man in a film in 2010. Watts was aware of the campaign, and as soon as he was hired he asked Feige about casting Glover. The role was designed as “a surprise treat for fans”, with Davis mentioning his nephew to set up Morales potentially appearing in a future MCU film.
Tyne Daly as Anne Marie Hoag: The head of the U.S. Department of Damage Control.
Marisa Tomei as May Parker:
Peter’s aunt. First reports of Tomei’s casting caused backlash on social media, with comic book fans opining that the actress was “too young and attractive to portray the character”, especially after the character had previously been depicted by actresses older than Tomei. Regarding the casting, Captain America: Civil War co-writer Stephen McFeely said that, for the MCU, they were trying to make Peter “as naturalistic as possible…That’s partly why his aunt isn’t 80 years old; if she’s the sister of his dead mother, why does she have to be two generations ahead?” Carroll added that the creative team was looking for more of a “big sister” or someone closer in age to Peter Parker in the casting process. After researching the character, Tomei did make “a case to age me up, but no they didn’t do it”. Tomei felt there was a “blank slate” from which she could develop the character, and talked to Watts about May being “a community organizer or invested in the neighborhood” to indicate where Peter’s values come from.
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man:
A self-described genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist with electromechanical suits of armor of his own invention, who is Parker’s mentor and is the creator of the U.S. Department of Damage Control. Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group chairman Thomas Rothman noted that, beyond the commercial advantage of featuring Downey in the film, the inclusion of Stark was important due to the relationship established between him and Parker in Captain America: Civil War. Watts noted that after Stark’s actions in Civil War, introducing Parker to life as an Avenger, there are “a lot of repercussions to that. Is it a first step towards Tony as some sort of mentor figure? Is he comfortable with that?” Co-writer Jonathan Goldstein compared Stark to Ethan Hawke’s father character in Boyhood (2014).
Additionally, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kerry Condon, and Chris Evans reprise their roles as Pepper Potts, F.R.I.D.A.Y., and Steve Rogers / Captain America from previous MCU films, respectively. Rogers appears in public service announcements played at Parker’s school. Jacob Batalon portrays Parker’s best friend Ned, a “complete gamer”, whom Batalon described as “the quintessential best guy, the best man, the number two guy, the guy in the chair” for Parker. Marvel used Ned Leeds as a basis for the character, who does not have a last name in the script or film, but essentially created their own character with him. Carroll said that Ned and other characters in the film are composites of several of their favorites from Spider-Man comics, and while Ned may eventually wind up with the last name “Leeds”, it is not a certainty. Laura Harrier portrays Liz, a senior, Parker’s love interest, and Toomes’ daughter, with a “type-A” personality. Tony Revolori plays Eugene “Flash” Thompson, Parker’s rival and classmate. It was noted that the character is generally depicted as a white bully in the comics; the Guatemalan American actor received death threats upon his casting. Revolori worked hard “to do him justice”, as he is an important character to the fans. Rather than being a physically imposing jock, Thompson was re-imagined as “a rich, smug kid” to reflect modern views of bullying, by crafting him more into a social media bully and rival for Parker opposed to a jock; this depiction was largely informed by Holland’s visit to The Bronx High School of Science. Revolori said that Thompson has to work hard to match Parker’s intelligence, which is “one of the reasons he doesn’t like Peter. Everyone else seems to like Peter, so he’s like, why don’t they like me like they like him?” Revolori gained 60 lb (27 kg) for the role.
Garcelle Beauvais portrays Doris Toomes, Adrian’s wife and Liz’s mother, and Jennifer Connelly provides the voice of Karen, the A.I. in Parker’s suit. Hemky Madera appears as Mr. Delmar, the owner of a local bodega. Bokeem Woodbine and Logan Marshall-Green respectively play Herman Schultz and Jackson Brice, both incarnations of Shocker; they are accomplices of Toomes who use modified, vibro-blast shooting versions of Crossbones’ gauntlets. Michael Chernus plays Phineas Mason / Tinkerer, Michael Mando appears as Mac Gargan, and Christopher Berry appears as Randy. Faculty at Parker’s high school include: Kenneth Choi, who previously played Jim Morita in the MCU, as Jim’s descendant Principal Morita; Hannibal Buress as Coach Wilson, the school’s gym teacher, who he described as “one of the dumbass characters that don’t realize [Parker is] Spider-Man”; Martin Starr, who previously had a non-speaking role in The Incredible Hulk (2008), as Mr. Harrington, a teacher and academic decathlon coach; Selenis Leyva as Ms. Warren; Tunde Adebimpe as Mr. Cobbwell; and John Penick as Mr. Hapgood. Parker’s classmates include: Isabella Amara as Sally; Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Jason Ionello; J. J. Totah as Seymour; Abraham Attah as Abraham; Tiffany Espensen as Cindy; Angourie Rice as Betty Brant; Michael Barbieri as Charles; and Ethan Dizon as Tiny. Martha Kelly appears in the film as a tour guide, and Kirk Thatcher makes a cameo appearance as a “punk”, a homage to his role in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee also has a cameo, as a New York City apartment resident named Gary who witnesses Parker’s confrontation with a neighbor. Jona Xiao was cast in an undisclosed role, but did not appear in the final film.
Following the Battle of New York,[N 1] Adrian Toomes and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city, but their operation is taken over by the Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.), a partnership between Tony Stark and the U.S. government. Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the Chitauri technology they have already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons. Eight years later, Peter Parker is drafted into the Avengers by Stark to help with an internal dispute,[N 2] but resumes his studies at the Midtown School of Science and Technology when Stark tells him he is not yet ready to become a full Avenger.
Parker quits his school’s academic decathlon team to spend more time focusing on his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man. One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons from Toomes, Parker returns to his Queens apartment where his best friend Ned discovers his secret identity. On another night, Parker comes across Toomes’ associates Jackson Brice / Shocker and Herman Schultz selling weapons to local criminal Aaron Davis. Parker saves Davis before being caught by Toomes and dropped in a lake, nearly drowning after becoming tangled in a parachute built into his suit. He is rescued by Stark, who is monitoring the Spider-Man suit he gave Parker and warns him against further involvement with the criminals. Toomes accidentally kills Brice with one of their weapons, and Schultz becomes the new Shocker.
Parker and Ned study a weapon left behind by Brice, removing its power core. When a tracking device on Schultz leads to Maryland, Parker rejoins the decathlon team and accompanies them to Washington, D.C. for their national tournament. Ned and Parker disable the tracker Stark implanted in the Spider-Man suit, and unlock its advanced features. Parker tries to stop Toomes from stealing weapons from a D.O.D.C. truck, but is trapped inside the truck, causing him to miss the decathlon tournament. When he discovers that the power core is an unstable Chitauri grenade, Parker races to the Washington Monument where the core explodes and traps Ned and their friends in an elevator. Evading local authorities, Parker saves his friends, including his fellow classmate and crush Liz. Returning to New York City, Parker persuades Davis to reveal Toomes’ whereabouts. Aboard the Staten Island Ferry, Parker captures Toomes’ new buyer Mac Gargan, but Toomes escapes and a malfunctioning weapon tears the ferry in half. Stark helps Parker save the passengers and takes away the suit.
Parker returns to his high school life, and eventually asks Liz to go to the homecoming dance with him. On the night of the dance, Parker learns that Toomes is Liz’s father. Deducing Parker’s secret identity from Liz’s account about him, Toomes threatens retaliation if he interferes with his plans. During the dance, Parker realizes Toomes is planning to hijack a D.O.D.C. plane transporting weapons from Avengers Tower to the team’s new headquarters, dons his old homemade Spider-Man suit and races to Toomes’ lair. He is first ambushed by Schultz, but defeats him with the help of Ned. At the lair, Toomes destroys the building’s support beams and leaves Parker to die. Parker escapes the rubble and intercepts the plane, steering it to crash on the beach near Coney Island. He and Toomes continue fighting, ending with Parker saving Toomes’ life after the damaged Vulture suit explodes, and leaving him for the police along with the plane’s cargo. After her father’s arrest, Liz moves away, and Parker declines an invitation from Stark to join the Avengers full-time. Stark returns Parker’s suit, which he puts on at his apartment just as his Aunt May walks in.
In a mid-credits scene, an incarcerated Gargan approaches Toomes in prison. Gargan has heard that Toomes knows Spider-Man’s real identity, which Toomes denies.
“There are so many things from the comics that haven’t been done yet … stories [that Spider-Man is] in high school for a lot of it. We want to explore that. That also makes him very, very different from any of our other characters in the MCU”
—Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios
Following the November 2014 hacking of Sony’s computers, emails between Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal and president Doug Belgrad were released, stating that Sony wanted Marvel Studios to produce a new trilogy of Spider-Man films while Sony retained “creative control, marketing and distribution”. Discussions between Sony and Marvel broke down, and Sony planned to proceed with its own slate of Spider-Man films. However, in February 2015, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios announced that they would release a new Spider-Man film, with Kevin Feige and Pascal producing (the latter through her company Pascal Pictures). The character would first appear in an earlier Marvel Cinematic Universe film, later revealed to be Captain America: Civil War. Marvel Studios would explore opportunities to integrate MCU characters into future Spider-Man films, which Sony Pictures would continue to finance, distribute, and have final creative control over. Both studios have the ability to terminate the agreement at any point, and no money was exchanged with the deal. However, a small adjustment was made to a 2011 deal that gave Marvel full control of Spider-Man’s merchandising rights, in exchange for a one-time payment of $175 million to Sony and paying up to $35 million for each future Spider-Man film rather than receiving their previous 5% of a Spider-Man film’s revenue—Marvel could now reduce their $35 million payment if the co-produced film grossed more than $750 million. Lone Star Funds also co-financed the film with Sony, via its LSC Film Corporation deal, covering 25% of the $175 million budget, while Columbia Pictures officially served as co-producer with Marvel Studios. Sony also paid Marvel Studios an undisclosed producer fee.
Marvel had been working to add Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe since at least October 2014, when they announced their slate of Phase Three films, with Feige saying, “Marvel doesn’t announce anything officially until it’s set in stone. So we went forward with that Plan A in October, with the Plan B being, if [the deal] were to happen with Sony, how it would all shift. We’ve been thinking about [the Spider-Man film] as long as we’ve been thinking about Phase Three.” Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, producers for The Amazing Spider-Man series, were set to serve as executive producers, with neither director Marc Webb nor actor Andrew Garfield returning for the new film. Sony was reportedly looking for an actor younger than Garfield to play Spider-Man, with Logan Lerman and Dylan O’Brien considered front-runners. In March 2015, Drew Goddard was being considered to write and direct the film, while O’Brien said he had not been approached for the role. Goddard, who was previously attached to a Sony film based on the Sinister Six, later said he declined to work on the new film as he thought he “didn’t really have an idea” for it and struggled with the idea of working on a new film after spending a year working on the Sinister Six film and being in that mindset. The next month, while promoting Avengers: Age of Ultron, Feige said the character of Peter Parker would be around 15 to 16 years old in the film, which would not be an origin story, since “there have been two retellings of that origin in the last [thirteen years, so] we are going to take it for granted that people know that, and the specifics”. Parker’s Uncle Ben is still referenced in the film, but not by name. Later in April, Nat Wolff, Asa Butterfield, Tom Holland, Timothée Chalamet, and Liam James were under consideration by Sony and Marvel to play Spider-Man, with Holland and Butterfield the front-runners.
In May 2015, Jonathan Levine, Ted Melfi, Jason Moore, the writing team of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, and Jared Hess were being considered to direct the film. Butterfield, Holland, Judah Lewis, Matthew Lintz, Charlie Plummer, and Charlie Rowe screen tested for the lead role against Robert Downey Jr., who portrays Tony Stark / Iron Man in the MCU, for “chemistry”. The six were chosen out of a search of over 1,500 actors to test in front of Feige, Pascal, and the Russo brothers—the directors of Captain America: Civil War. By early June 2015, Levine and Melfi had become the favorites to direct the film, with Daley and Goldstein, and Jon Watts also in consideration, while Feige and Pascal narrowed the actors considered to Holland and Rowe, with both screen testing with Downey again. Holland also tested with Chris Evans, who portrays Steve Rogers / Captain America in the MCU, and emerged as the favorite. On June 23, Marvel and Sony officially announced that Holland would star as Spider-Man, and that Watts would direct the film. The Russos “were pretty vocal about who [they] wanted for the part”, pushing to cast an actor close to the age of Peter Parker in order to differentiate from the previous portrayals. They also praised Holland for having a dancing and gymnastics background. Watts was able to read the Civil War script, talk with the Russos, and was on set for the filming of Spider-Man’s scenes in that film. He was able to “see what they were doing with it” and provide “ideas about this and that”, including what Parker’s bedroom and wardrobe looked like “so that my movie transitions seamlessly with theirs”. On joining the MCU and directing the film, Watts said he was excited to explore the “ground level” of the MCU, a world where characters like the Avengers exist but have only been depicted in previous films at “the Penthouse level of the Marvel world”.
Before getting the job of director, Watts created images of Nick Fury as Parker’s mentor in the story in early “mood reels” saying, “I don’t know what the situation would be, but that would be a person he’d want to get in trouble with.” Feige said the films of John Hughes would be a major influence and that Parker’s personal growth and development would be just as important as his role as Spider-Man. He noted that “at that age, in high school, everything feels like life or death”. He also said that the film hoped to use one of Spider-Man’s rogues that have not been seen in film yet, and that filming would begin in June 2016. In July 2015, it was reported that Marisa Tomei had been offered the role of May Parker, Peter’s aunt. It was also revealed that Daley and Goldstein, after missing out on the director role, had begun negotiations to write the screenplay, and were given three days to present Marvel with their pitch; both confirmed shortly after that they had reached a deal to write the screenplay. The pair had proposed a take on the character that was “diametrically opposed” to the previous Spider-Man films, creating a laundry list of all the elements seen in those films and actively trying to avoid re-using them. They chose to focus on the high school aspects of the character rather than the “drama and weight of the tragedy that leads to the origin of Spider-Man”. They felt this would differentiate him from the other MCU superheroes as well. Daley said the film was about Parker “finding his place” in the MCU, with the writing team wanting the film to focus on him “coming to terms with his new abilities and not yet being good with them, and carrying with him some real human fears and weaknesses”, such as a fear of heights when he has to scale the Washington Monument. Daley noted, “Even within the context of this movie, I don’t think you would feel that fear of heights or even the vertigo the audience feels in that scene if you establish him as swinging from skyscrapers at the top of the movie.” The writers also wanted to avoid the skyscrapers of Manhattan because of how often they were used in the other films, and instead wrote the character into locations such as “the suburbs, on a golf course, the Staten Island Ferry, Coney Island, and even Washington D.C.” One of the first sequences they pitched was “seeing Spider-Man attached to a plane 10,000 feet up in the air, where he had absolutely no safety net. … you’re familiar with the sort of areas he’s been in, [so] why not turn it on its head and make it something different that people haven’t seen before?” The pair conceded that the film took a more grounded, “low-stakes” approach than previous films, which avoided having to explain why the Avengers were not helping, since a world-threatening problem would logically require the “big guys”.
Marvel encouraged Daley and Goldstein to express their own sense of humor in the script, with Daley saying, “When you’re seeing the world through the eyes of a fun, funny kid, you can really embrace that voice, and not give him the cookie-cutter one-liners that you’re so accustomed to hearing from Peter Parker.” Inspired by their experiences working on sit-coms, the writers also looked to create “a network of strong characters” to surround Parker with in the film. In October 2015, Watts said he was looking to make the film a coming-of-age story to see the growth of Parker, citing Can’t Buy Me Love (1987), Say Anything… (1989), and Almost Famous (2000) as some of his favorite films in that genre. It was this aspect of the film that had initially got Watts interested in directing it, as he had already been looking to make a coming-of-age story when he heard that the new Spider-Man would be younger than previous incarnations. Watts re-read the original Spider-Man comics in preparation for the film, and “came to a new realization” about the character’s original popularity, feeling that he introduced a new perspective to the comics that had already established “a crazy spectacular Marvel Universe … to give a regular person’s perspective on it”. He felt that this was also the responsibility of this film, since it had to introduce Spider-Man to the already established MCU. Specific comics that Watts noted as potential influences were Ultimate Spider-Man and Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. In December, Oliver Scholl signed on to be the production designer for the film.
Watts wanted to heavily pre-visualize the film, especially its action sequences, as he does on all his films. For Homecoming, Watts worked with a team to “figure out the visual language for the action sequences and … try stuff out before” filming began to help Watts practice given his lack of experience working on large-scale films. For the “web-slinging” sequences, Watts wanted to avoid the big “swoopy” camera moves that had been previously used and instead “keep it all as grounded as possible. So, whether it was shooting with a drone camera or a helicopter or a cable-cam, or even just handheld, up on a roof chasing after him, I wanted it to feel like we were there with him.”
In January 2016, Sony shifted the film’s release date to July 7, 2017, and said the film would be digitally remastered for IMAX 3D in post-production. J. K. Simmons expressed interest in reprising his role as J. Jonah Jameson from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films. In early March, Zendaya was cast in the film as Michelle, and Tomei was confirmed as May Parker. The following month, Feige confirmed that characters from previous MCU films would appear, and clarified that the deal formed with Sony does not specify which characters can and cannot crossover. He noted that the sharing between the studios was done with “good faith” in order “to have more toys to play with as we put together a story”, and that “the agreement was that it is very much a Sony Pictures movie… we are the creative producers. We are the ones hiring the actor, introducing him in [Civil War], and then working right now on the script and soon to be shooting.” Sony Pictures chairman Thomas Rothman further added that Sony has final greenlight authority, but were deferring creatively to Marvel. At CinemaCon 2016, Sony announced the title of the film to be Spider-Man: Homecoming, a reference to the common high school tradition homecoming as well as the character “coming home” to Marvel and the MCU. Tony Revolori and Laura Harrier joined the cast as classmates of Parker’s, and Downey Jr. was revealed to be in the film as Stark. Watts noted that Stark “was always a part of” the films’ story because of his interactions with Parker in Civil War.
Also in April, Michael Keaton entered talks to play a villain, but dropped out of discussions shortly thereafter due to scheduling conflicts with The Founder. He soon reentered talks for the role after a change in schedule for that film, and closed the deal in late May. In June, Michael Barbieri was cast as a friend of Parker’s, Kenneth Choi was cast as Parker’s high school principal, and Logan Marshall-Green was cast as another villain alongside Keaton’s character, while Donald Glover and Martin Starr joined the cast in undisclosed roles. Watts said that he wanted the cast to reflect Queens as “one of [the] most diverse places in the world”, with Feige adding that “we want everyone to recognize themselves in every portion of our universe. [With this cast] especially, it really feels like this is absolutely what has to happen and continue.” This is also different from the previous films, which Feige described as being “set in a lily-white Queens”. Additionally, Marvel made a conscious decision to mostly avoid including or referencing characters who appeared in previous Spider-Man films, outside of major ones like Peter and May Parker, and Flash Thompson. This included The Daily Bugle, with co-producer Eric Hauserman Carroll saying, “We toyed with it for a while, but again, we didn’t want to go down that road right away, and if we do do a Daily Bugle, we want to do it in a way that feels contemporary.” This also included the character Mary Jane Watson, but Zendaya’s Michelle was eventually given the initials “MJ” as a nod to that character. Feige said that the point of this is “to have fun with [references] while at the same time having it be different characters that can provide a different dynamic”.
Spider-Man’s costume in the film has more technical improvements than the previous suits, including the logo on the chest being a remote drone, an AI system similar to Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S., a holographic interface, a parachute, a tracking device for Stark to track Parker, a heater, an airbag, the ability to light up, and the ability to augment reality with the eye pieces. Stark also builds in a “training wheels” protocol, to initially limit Parker’s access to all of its features. Carroll noted Marvel went through the comics and “pull[ed] out all the sort of fun and wacky things the suit did” to include in the Homecoming suit. Spider-Man’s web shooters have various settings, first teased at the end of Civil War, which Carroll explained allowed him to “adjust the spray” to different settings like the spinning web, web ball, or ricochet web. He compared this to a DSLR camera.
Principal photography began on June 20, 2016, at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, under the working title Summer of George. Salvatore Totino served as director of photography. Filming also took place in Atlanta, with locations including Grady High School, Downtown Atlanta, the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Piedmont Park, the Georgia World Congress Center, and the West End neighborhood. Holland said building New York sets in Atlanta was cheaper than actually filming in New York, a location closely associated with the character, though the production may “end up [in New York] for one week or two”. A replica of the Staten Island Ferry was built in Atlanta, with the ability to open and close in half in 10 to 12 seconds and be flooded with 40,000 gallons of water in 8 seconds. Additional filming also occurred at two magnet schools in the Van Nuys and Reseda neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
Casting continued after the start of production, with the inclusion of Isabella Amara, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., J. J. Totah, Hannibal Buress, Selenis Leyva, Abraham Attah, Michael Mando, Tyne Daly, Garcelle Beauvais, Tiffany Espensen, and Angourie Rice in unspecified roles, with Bokeem Woodbine joining as an additional villain. At San Diego Comic-Con International 2016, Marvel confirmed the castings of Keaton, Zendaya, Glover, Harrier, Revolori, Daly, and Woodbine, while revealing Zendaya, Harrier, and Revolori’s roles as Michelle, Liz Allan, and Flash Thompson, respectively, and announcing the casting of Jacob Batalon as Ned. It was also revealed that the Vulture would be the film’s villain, while the writing teams of Watts and Christopher Ford, and Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, joined Goldstein and Daley in writing the screenplay, from Goldstein and Daley’s story. Eric Pearson, a member of Marvel Studios’ writing program who had written the Marvel One-Shot films, did uncredited work on the film as well. Watts praised Goldstein and Daley’s drafts as “really fun and funny”, and said that they “sort of established the broad strokes of the movie”, with he and Ford, close friends since childhood, then re-writing the script based on specific ideas that Watts had and things that he wanted to film, which he said was a “pretty substantial structural pass, rearranging things and building it into the sort of story arc we wanted it to be.” McKenna and Sommers then joined the film to deal with changes to the script during filming, as “it’s all a little bit flexible when you get to set. You try things out, and you just need someone to be writing while you’re shooting.”
Harrier noted that the young actors in the film “constantly refer to ourselves as The Breakfast Club”. Shortly after, Martha Kelly joined the cast in an unspecified role. In August, Michael Chernus was cast as Phineas Mason / Tinkerer, while Jona Xiao joined the cast in an unspecified role, and Buress said he was playing a gym teacher. By September 2016, Jon Favreau was reprising his role as Happy Hogan from the Iron Man series, and filming concluded in Atlanta and moved to New York City. Locations in the latter area included Astoria, Queens, St. George, Staten Island, Manhattan, and Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn. Additionally, UFC fighter Tyron Woodley said he had been considered for a villain role in the film, but had to drop out due to a prior commitment with Fox Sports. Principal photography wrapped on October 2, 2016, in New York City, with some additional filming taking place later in the month in Berlin, Germany, near the Brandenburg Gate.
In November 2016, Feige confirmed that Keaton would play Adrian Toomes / Vulture, while Woodbine was revealed as Herman Schultz / Shocker. In March 2017, Harrier said the film was undergoing re-shoots, and Evans was set to appear as Steve Rogers / Captain America in an instructional fitness video. Watts was inspired by The President’s Fitness Challenge for this, feeling that Captain America would be the obvious version of that for the MCU. He then started brainstorming other public service announcements (PSA) starring Captain America, about “just anything you could think of, we had poor Captain America do it”. Watts said that many of the additional PSA videos would be featured on the home media of the film. Watts confirmed that the company Stark creates that leads Toomes on his villainous path in the film is Damage Control, which Watts felt “just fit in with our overall philosophy with the kind of story we wanted to tell” and created a lot of practical questions Watts wanted to use “to drive the story”.
The film features multiple post-credit scenes. The first gives the Vulture a chance at redemption, showing him protect Parker from another villain. Watts said this “was a really interesting thing in the development of the story. You couldn’t just rely on the tropes of the villain being a murderer and killing a bunch of people. He had to be redeemable in some capacity in the end and that he believes everything he said, especially about his family.” The second post-credits scene is an additional Captain America PSA, where he talks about the value of patience—a joke at the expense of the audience, who have just waited through the film’s credits to see the scene. This was a “last-minute addition” to the film. Watts completed work on Homecoming at the beginning of June 2017, approving the final visual effects shots. He stated that he had never been told that he could not do something by Marvel or Sony, saying, “You assume you’ll have to fight for every little weird thing you wanna do, but I didn’t really ever run into that. I got to do kind of everything I wanted to.” That month, Starr explained that he was playing the academic decathlon coach at Parker’s high school, and Marshall-Green was said to be portraying another Shocker.
In July, Feige discussed specific moments in the film, including an homage to The Amazing Spider-Man issue 33 where Parker is trapped underneath rubble, something Feige “wanted to see in a movie for a long, long time”. Daley said that they added the scene to the script because of how much Feige wanted it, and explained, “We have [Parker] starting the scene with such self-doubt and helplessness, in a way that you really see the kid. You feel for him. He’s screaming for help, because he doesn’t think he can do it, and then … he kind of realizes that that’s been his biggest problem.” Feige compared the film’s final scene, where Parker accidentally reveals that he is Spider-Man to his Aunt May, to the ending of Iron Man when Stark reveals that he is Iron Man to the world, saying, “What does that mean for the next movie? I don’t know, but it will force us to do something unique.” Goldstein added that it “diminishes what is often the most trivial part of superhero worlds, which is finding your secret. It takes the emphasis off that [and] lets her become part of what’s really his life.” Feige also talked about the film’s revelation that the Vulture is the father of Parker’s love interest, feeling that if it did not work, the film would not work. The team “worked backwards and forwards from that moment … You had to believe that we had set it up so that you would buy it [and it] doesn’t seem like something out of left field”. Watts said the revelation scene and the following interactions between the Vulture and Parker were, “more than anything else, [what] I was looking forward to, and I got to have a lot of fun shooting that stuff”. Goldstein said the scene after the reveal, where Vulture realizes that Parker is Spider-Man while driving him to the school dance, was the moment he was most proud of in the film, and Daley said that scene’s effect on audiences was the dramatic equivalent of an audience laughing at a joke they had written. He added that the writers were “giddy when we first came up with [that twist], because it’s taking the obvious tension of meeting the father of the girl that you have a crush on, and multiplying it by 1,000, when you also realize he’s the guy you’ve been trying to stop the whole time.”
Visual effects for the film were completed by Sony Pictures Imageworks, Method Studios, Luma Pictures, Digital Domain, Cantina Creative, Iloura, Trixter, and Industrial Light & Magic.Executive producer Victoria Alonso initially did not want Imageworks, which worked on all previous Spider-Man films, to work on Homecoming, in order to give it a different look than those earlier films. She changed her mind after seeing what she called “phenomenal” test material from the vendor.
Trixter contributed over 300 shots for the film, including: the opening scene at Grand Central Terminal; the sequence that retells the events of Civil War from Parker’s perspective; the sequence where Toomes takes Liz and Parker to the dance; the school battle between Parker and Schultz; and the scene around and within the Avengers compound. They also worked on both Spider-Man suits and the spider tracer. Trixter created additional salvage workers to populate the Grand Central scene, whose clothes and proportions were able to be altered to create variation. For the battle between Parker and Schultz, Trixter used an all-digital Spider-Man in his homemade suit, which came from Imageworks, with Trixter applying a rigging, muscle and cloth system to it “to mimic the appearance of the rather lose training suit”. They also created the effects for Schultz’s gauntlets and had to change the setting from the Atlanta set to Queens, by using a CGI school and adding 360 degrees of matte paintings for the mid to far distance elements. Trixter received concept art and basic geometry that was used previously for the Avengers compound, but ended up remodeling it for the way it appears in Homecoming. Models and textures for Spider-Man’s Avengers costume were created by Framestore for use in a future MCU film, with Trixter creating the vault that it appears in. Trixter VFX supervisor Dominik Zimmerle said the idea was “to have a clean, high tech, presentation Vault for the new suit. It should appear distinctively ‘Stark’ originated”.
Digital Domain worked on the Staten Island Ferry battle, creating the CGI versions of Spider-Man, the Vulture suit, Iron Man, and Spider-Man’s drone. Digital Domain was able to LIDAR an actual Staten Island Ferry, as well as the version created on set, to help with creating their digital version. Lou Pecora, visual effects supervisor at Digital Domain, called that sequence “brutal” because “the way they were shot, it was lit to be a certain time of day, and afterwards it was decided to change that time of day.” Sony Pictures Imageworks created much of the third act of the film, when Parker confronts Toomes on the plane and beach in his homemade suit, and Toomes is in an upgraded Vulture suit. Some elements from Vulture’s first suit were shared with Imageworks, but the remainder was created by them based off a maquete. For the plane’s cloaking ability, Imageworks was inspired by the real world Adaptiv IR Camouflage tank cloaking system from BAE Systems, which uses a series of tiles to cloak against infrared. For their web design, which was based on the one created for Civil War, Digital Domain referenced polar bear hair because of its translucent nature. Imageworks also looked to the Civil War webs, as well as to those they had created for previous Spider-Man films, in which the webs had tiny barbs that aided in hooking on to things. For this film, they dialed back the barbs to line up more closely with the other web designs created for this film. Method Studios worked on the Washington Monument sequence.
While promoting Doctor Strange in early November 2016, Feige accidentally revealed that Michael Giacchino, who composed the music for that film, would compose the score for Homecoming as well. Giacchino soon confirmed this himself. Recording for the soundtrack began on April 11, 2017. The score includes the theme from the 1960s animated series. The soundtrack was released by Sony Masterworks on July 7, 2017.
Spider-Man: Homecoming held its world premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood on June 28, 2017, and was released in the United Kingdom on July 5. It opened in additional international markets on July 6, with 23,400 screens (277 of which were IMAX) in 56 markets for its opening weekend. The film was released in the United States on July 7, in 4,348 theaters (392 were IMAX and IMAX 3D, and 601 were premium large-format), including 3D screenings. It was originally slated for release on July 28.
Spider-Man: Homecoming was released on digital download by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on September 26, 2017, and on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Ultra HD Blu-ray, and DVD on October 17, 2017. The digital and Blu-ray releases include behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, and a blooper reel.
The physical releases in its first week of sale were the top home media release, according to NPD VideoScan data. The Blu-ray version accounted for 79% of the sales, with 13% of total sales coming from the Ultra HD Blu-ray version.
Spider-Man: Homecoming grossed over $334.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $546 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $880.2 million. The film had the second biggest global IMAX opening for a Sony film with $18 million. In May 2017, a survey from Fandango indicated that Homecoming was the second-most anticipated summer blockbuster behind Wonder Woman. By September 24, 2017, the film had earned $874.4 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing superhero film of 2017, and the sixth largest film based on a Marvel character. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $200.1 million, accounting for production budgets, P&A, talent participations and other costs, against box office grosses and ancillary revenues from home media, placing it seventh on their list of 2017’s “Most Valuable Blockbusters”.
The film earned $50.9 million on its opening day in the United States and Canada (including $15.4 million from Thursday night previews), and had a total weekend gross of $117 million, the top film for the weekend. It was the second-highest opening for both a Spider-Man film and a Sony film, after Spider-Man 3’s $151.1 million debut in 2007. Early projections for the film from BoxOffice had it earning $135 million in its opening weekend, which was later adjusted to $125 million, and Deadline Hollywood noting industry projections at anywhere between $90–120 million. In its second weekend, the film fell to second behind War for the Planet of the Apes with $45.2 million, a 61% decline in earnings, which was similar to the declines The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 had in their second weekends. Additionally, Homecoming’s domestic gross reached $208.3 million, which surpassed the total domestic gross of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($202.9 million). The film fell to third in its third weekend. By July 26, Homecoming’s domestic gross reached $262.1 million, surpassing the total domestic gross of The Amazing Spider-Man ($262 million), leading to a fifth place finish for its fourth weekend. The next weekend, Homecoming finished sixth, and finished seventh the following five weekends. By September 3, 2017, the film had earned $325.1 million, surpassing the $325 million projected amount for its total domestic gross. In its eleventh weekend, Homecoming finished ninth.
Outside of the United States and Canada, Spider-Man: Homecoming earned $140.5 million its opening weekend from the 56 markets it opened in, with the film becoming number one in 50 of them. The $140.5 million was the highest opening ever for a Spider-Man film. South Korea had the highest Wednesday opening day gross, which contributed to a $25.4 million five-day opening in the country, the third-highest opening ever for a Hollywood film. Brazil had the largest July opening day of all time, with $2 million, leading to an opening weekend total of $8.9 million. The $7 million earned from IMAX showings was the top opening of all time for a Sony film internationally. In its second weekend, the film opened in France at number one and number two in Germany. It earned an additional $11.9 million in South Korea, to bring its total in the country to $42.2 million. This made Homecoming the highest-grossing Spider-Man film and the top grossing Hollywood film of 2017 in the country. Brazil contributed an additional $5.7 million, for a total of $19.4 million from the country, which was also the largest gross from a Spider-Man film. The film’s third weekend saw the Latin America region set a record as the highest-grossing Spider-Man film of all time, with a region total of $77.4 million. Brazil remained the top-grossing market for the region, with $25.7 million. In South Korea, the film became the 10th-highest-grossing international release of all time. Homecoming opened at number one in Spain in its fourth weekend. In its sixth weekend, the film opened at number one in Japan, with its $770,000 from IMAX the fourth largest IMAX weekend for a Marvel film in the country. The film opened at number one in China on September 8, 2017, grossing $23 million on its opening day, including Thursday previews, making it the third biggest opening day for a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, behind Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, and the largest opening day gross for a Sony film in the country. The $70.8 million Homecoming earned in China for its opening weekend was the third-highest opening behind Age of Ultron and Civil War, with $6 million from IMAX, which was the best IMAX opening weekend in September, and the best IMAX opening weekend for a Sony film. As of September 24, 2017, the film’s largest markets were China ($115.7 million), South Korea ($51.4 million), and the United Kingdom ($34.8 million).
Tom Holland garnered widespread acclaim for his performance as Spider-Man.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 92% rating based on 317 reviews, and an average rating of 7.7/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, “Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.” Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 73 out of 100, based on 51 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A” on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 89% overall positive score and a 74% “definite recommend”.
Sara Stewart of the New York Post praised the film as “an endearingly awkward kid brother to the glamorous Wonder Woman”, attributing much of the “heavy-lifting” to Holland’s performance and the “perfectly cast” Keaton. She also noted Watts’ focus on Parker’s human side. Mike Ryan at Uproxx felt Homecoming was the best Spider-Man film yet, specifically praising the light tone, younger and more optimistic portrayal of Parker, and Keaton’s performance—Ryan named the Vulture twist reveal as one of his favorite scenes in the MCU. He said Homecoming is “the kind of movie you leave and you’re just in the best mood—and still will be days later.” Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times called the film unique and refreshing, praising its lower stakes and focus on the character’s school life. He praised Holland as “terrific and well-cast”, as well as the other cast members; Roeper believed that Keaton’s performance is more interesting than the character otherwise could have been. Owen Gleiberman of Variety felt the film was “just distinctive enough” from the previous Spider-Man films to become a “sizable hit”, and highlighted its focus on making Peter Parker a realistically youthful and grounded character. He found Holland to be likeable in the role, and thought the Vulture twist was a positive direction for that character. He did criticize the vague take on Spider-Man’s origin and powers, but “the flying action has a casual flip buoyancy, and the movie does get you rooting for Peter.” At IndieWire, David Ehrlich criticized the film’s superhero genre clichés and underwritten female characters, but praised the elements of the film that leaned into Parker’s high school life and the humanity of the Vulture.
Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a mixed review, criticizing the “juvenile” depiction of Parker and Watts’ “unevenly orchestrated” direction, but feeling that the film “finds its pace and rhythm by the end” and praising Keaton’s performance. The Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore found the film to be “occasionally exciting but often frustrating”, and suggested it might have worked better if less focus had been put on integrating the film with the MCU. DeFore did praise Holland’s performance as “winning” despite the script, and called Zendaya a scene-stealer. Mick LaSalle, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, said the film was a “pretty good Spider-Man movie” that “breaks no new ground”, not exploring the human side of the character enough and instead focusing on action that is not thrilling. At The Telegraph, Robbie Collin argued that “a little of the new Spider-Man went an exhilaratingly long way in Captain America: Civil War last year. But a lot of him goes almost nowhere in this slack and spiritless solo escapade.” Collin criticized Watts’ direction, but was positive of the cast, including Holland, Keaton, Tomei, and Zendaya.