Marvel boss Kevin Feige on Spider-Man: Homecoming's climactic surprises

Ben Bussey
UK Movies Writer
Tom Holland suited up in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (credit: Sony/Marvel Studios)

As you’ll know if you’ve been out to see ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (or read our spoiler-heavy look at its juiciest secrets), the final scenes contain a couple of fairly major revelations which point towards big changes for Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in future films.

Producer and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has commented on these big plot points – and of course, his comments are HUGE SPOILERS for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming,’ so we’d advise against reading any further if you haven’t seen the movie, or don’t mind getting it spoiled.

First off, there’s the small matter of the character of Michelle, as portrayed by Zendaya…

Zendaya as Michelle AKA MJ in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (credit: Sony/Marvel Studios)

The last few minutes of the film see Zendaya’s Michelle remark, “my friends call me MJ,” seemingly signposting her to be an all-new Marvel Cinematic Universe take on Mary-Jane Watson, Spider-Man’s most famous love interest as played by Kirsten Dunst in the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy.

Unsurprisingly, this revelation has sparked a mixed response among critics and fans, particularly after rumours spread early in production that Zendaya was indeed Mary-Jane, which the filmmakers strenuously denied. The question remains, is Michelle the new Mary-Jane or not?

Here’s what Feige had to say on the matter to IGN: “We never even looked at it as a big reveal necessarily but more of just a fun homage to his past adventures and his past love.

“She’s not Mary Jane Watson. She never was Mary Jane Watson. She was always this new high school character, Michelle, who we know there’s an “M” in Michelle and an “M” in Mary. [laughs]

Tom Holland and Zendaya at the London premiere of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (credit: Lexi Jones/WENN.com)

“So we’re so clever and we thought, “Wouldn’t it be neat if her initials were MJ?” And then I think it leaked that she would be playing MJ and then it became a whole headache for Zendaya to have to navigate. It was never a big, “Oh my God, it’s a big reveal!” There are big reveals in the movie. That’s not one of them…

“She’s not Mary-Jane Watson. Is she going to date Peter? Are they going to fall in love? She seems to be intrigued with him. There’s a nice chemistry there. Who knows what will happen in the future films?”

Obviously the Marvel boss is playing a bit coy there – if anyone knows what will happen in future MCU films, it’s him.

However, this isn’t the only climactic revelation in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ relating to the women in Peter Parker’s life, as the film’s final scene sees Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May discovering her nephew’s big secret.

Marisa Tomei and Tom Holland as Aunt May and Peter Parker (credit: Sony/Marvel Studios)

While this has occurred in the comics, it’s a first for the movies (in which the character was previously portrayed by the much older Rosemary Harris and Sally Field) – and in another interview with Cinema Blend, Feige explained the thinking behind it.

“J. Michael Straczynski did an issue when he was doing his run of Spidey many years ago where she discovered the secret. I think [Peter’s Spider-suit] was in the laundry or something, and they had a sit-down scene.

“And probably going back to ‘Spider-Man 2’ [the 2004 film on which Feige was an executive producer], I would sort of carry that issue around and go, ‘We should do this someday, we should do this someday.’

“And it was great luck that it hadn’t been done yet. That was always part of the plan. And very much like our instinct to say, ‘Let’s have Tony Stark say “I’m Iron Man” at the end. Well, what does that mean for the next movie? I don’t know, but it will force us to do something unique.

“We did not want to do the secret identity thing at that point in the MCU. And now, same thing. The dynamic now is forced to be something fresh and something unique going forward.”

Marisa Tomei at the LA premiere of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (credit: WENN)

Tomei also discussed this scene with Cinema Blend, explaining, “By the time [the script] got to me, that scene was already in place. And it was a set up for whatever is to come.

“It takes a big burden off of the character, too. You don’t have to do the same thing over and over again, so he and I can have a different kind of relationship going forward, also… I think that will free up having the same kind of, ‘I wonder what he’s doing? He looks suspicious!’ [Laughs] There are only so many ways I can skin that cat.”

We look forward to seeing how this will change things in future ‘Spider-Man’ movies – but for right now, let’s take the time to appreciate the one that’s in cinemas now, as it’s easily the best Spidey film in 13 years.

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is in cinemas now.

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