It's almost that time so many of us have been waiting for! Not too long ago, Spider-Man in the MCU seemed like purely wishful thinking. Now we find ourselves having already enjoyed his debut in Captain America: Civil War (click for review) and are awaiting filming on next year's Spider-Man: Homecoming. So I thought I'd compile what we know so far. Also, if you haven't yet, check out my thoughts on how he has been handled so far in Does Whatever a Spider Can. Here we go....
Spider-Man: Homecoming is being written by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein. The tandem is best known for their work on Horrible Bosses and the more recent Vacation. The film is being directed by Jon Watts, whose latest entry was the well-received thriller, Cop Car. The film is being released July 7th, 2017.
The diverse and talented cast of the film is coming together quite well. It's refreshing to see a film containing high school characters cast actors roughly about high school age. Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei are obviously returning after debuting in CA:CW. If you haven't read either of the articles linked above, let me just say that I wanted Holland for Spider-Man for a very long time and think his portrayal of our favorite web-head is phenomenal. So what about everyone else?
(Update) Most of you reading this are probably at least vaguely familiar with Harrison "Haz" Osterfield. Haz is close friends with Tom Holland and even joined Holland on his trip to Atlanta for production on Spider-Man: Homecoming. Haz has been spotted in several photos so far. Many have wondered if Haz was here for support and the experience or if he may actually be in the film. So which is it? Information provided to me late last night indicates that Haz is indeed playing a character in the film. The information detailed his characters name but I need further confirmation before I can share that. I'll provide more info as soon as I'm able. (Update) I apologize. Some mistakes were made. At this time it appears that Harrison Osterfield is helping as a PA (Production Assistant) and it does not currently appear that he has a role in the film. I'll let you know if anything changes. Again, I'm sorry for the mix up.
(Update) According to Deadline, Abraham Attah has been cast in the film in an undisclosed role! The cast they're assembling is just magnificent.
(Update) Very late this evening I received some information that give me reason to believe that Selenis Leyva has been cast in the film and will play Peter Parker's physics teacher at Midtown High/School of Science & Technoology. Leyva has a lot of acting experience and is most recently know for her work in the show Orange Is The New Black.
(Update) According to Variety, Hannibal Buress is also joining the cast. Buress is an actor and comedian who adds another intriguing facet to the diverse and talented group who will appear on-screen in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
(Update) THR is reporting that Isabella Amara, Jorge Lendenborg Jr., and J.J. Torah have joined the cast!
(Update) Deadline is reporting that Martin Starr will be joining the cast as well. Starr joins the growing list of actors who have portrayed two separate characters in the MCU. Starr first appeared in 2008's The Incredible Hulk. He's credited in that film as a computer nerd. In the novelization of the film it was revealed that Starr was playing Amadeus Cho. I don't believe that's canon and either way I highly doubt he'd be playing Cho in Homecoming for various reasons. This one is interesting.
(Update) This morning, June 16th, it was reported that Logan Marshall-Green is in talks to join the film. THR's report also mentions that Green would play the role of a villain alongside Michael Keaton. If this is the case, it sounds like Green will play the Tinkerer if the Joblo report about him (linked further down) proves to be accurate. Green is much younger than the Tinkerer I remember but changing the character's age in tech-savvy 2016 could work. If true, it also means one less character than Donald Glover could be playing. Stay tuned!
In early March, it was reported that singer, dancer, and actress Zendaya had been cast and will have a growing role in the franchise. Her character's name is reported to be Michelle. Could she be related to Michele Gonzales from the comics? As always, Marvel is keeping a tight grip on information.
Tony Revolori (Deadline) and Laura Harrier (The Wrap) are two young and talented up and comers also recently added to the cast. Little is known about their respective characters with the exception of Revolori playing "Manuel" who is possibly playing Peter Parker's high school enemy. Eugene "Flash" Thompson comes to mind with that description but it's all speculation at this point. I hope Sony abandons their reported decision to move forward with a separate Venom franchise. Whether Eddie Brock, Flash Thompson, or both, there's so much more potential for the character when placed within the MCU. I plan to expand upon this is another article.
Just last week, it was reported by Heroic Hollywood that Michael Barbieri had been added to the cast. An additional report explained that Barbieri's character would be based off of Ganke Lee. Lee, who is Korean American, is the supportive and optimistic best friend of of Miles Morales. This has caused some concern that another Asian character was being "whitewashed" and justifiably so. If the character is Lee, or at least based off of Lee, it would be disappointing to not take the opportunity to cast an Asian actor in the role. We'll just have to wait and see. (Update) - Director Jon Watts took to Twitter tonight tonight to address the rumors regarding Barbieri's character. Watts made it clear that not only is Barbieri not playing Ganke Lee but his character is not inspired or based on Lee either. This is good news all the way around. Most importantly, potential for Ganke Lee to still appear and be played by an Asian actor is preserved. Also, that still means we have no idea who Barbieri is playing so let the speculation begin!
On that note, the film did just recently add an Asian American actor in Kenneth Choi. Choi is reportedly playing Peter's high school principal. This is Choi's second role in the MCU. He first appeared as Jim Morita, a member of the Howling Commandos in Captain America: The First Avenger. I'd be thrilled if Choi's character reveals that his grandfather, Morita, fought alongside Captain America during WWII. Maybe even Choi's character once served in the military and/or dabbled in intelligence. You could have a lot of fun with the options.
First he was in, then he was out. Now, it appears Michael Keaton is definitely on board to play the villain. What villain? Nothing is confirmed but we'll discuss those rumors further down. Keaton is a great talent and always has a commanding screen presence. Regardless of the character, he is a great addition to the cast.
Just today, it was reported that Donald Glover will be joining the cast. What is his role? Not sure yet but more to come! Glover petitioned strongly for the role of Spider-Man/Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012' that eventually went to Andrew Garfield. Glover is wonderful talent and his addition is exciting. This is probably the most interesting and mysterious character so far.
Lastly (kind of), is none other than Robert Downey, Jr. His participation in the film has long been rumored. In April, it was confirmed. It's not a surprise either, as far back as February of last year, we knew there would be opportunities for MCU characters to show up in Spidey's films. He and Holland had great chemistry in CA:CW. It'll be interesting to see where their relationship goes, especially after the events of CA:CW. The big question of course, is will we see Tony Stark only, or will he make an appearance as Iron Man as well. Stark has been fighting himself since Iron Man 3 to let go of his need to wear the suit. This could be opportunity.
So when does production commence? We've known for quite some time that filming would begin at some point in June. Now that June is here, fans are hungry for news and set pics. So, has it started filming yet or not? It depends on what you mean and who you ask. I recently learned the official production start date, which has yet to occur. That being said there has been plenty of movement. Cast and crew have already been engaging in walk-throughs, read-throughs, screen tests, and more. It's a normal part of the process to film some of these activities as well. So has filming begun? Kind of. However, as I mentioned earlier, the official production start date is very soon, but as of June 14th, we're not there, yet.
Also, I received some information that some filming is going to take place in New York City on June 16th. This is most likely to do with aerial shots of the city. Most of the cast and crew are present in Atlanta so I'd guess it's a 2nd unit of sorts grabbing some shots of NYC to use in the film here and there. Most of the filming will be in Atlanta, but any Spidey fan knows how important NYC is to the character so getting some NYC on film to help with the location illusion is important.
A few weeks ago an advertisement detailed the need for extras for "Summer of George" (the shooting title for Spider-Man: Homecoming). The information revealed that the extras needed to be available for filming from June 20th until July 1st. So, at minimum, we know that filming will start no later than the 20th and possibly earlier. The filming may simply be large crowd shots and won't necessarily involve the primary cast.
Update: It's June 20th (see above paragraph) and the cameras are rolling on Spider-Man: Homecoming. Smiles all around.
Heroes and Villains (Possible Spoilers)
We know Tony Stark will appear alongside of Spider-Man but anybody else? Recently, both Tom Holland and Chris Evans have expressed their desire to have Captain America make an appearance in the film. There's no confirmation as of yet that this will happen but there are a few crumbs of information out there that point to this as a possibility.
Various Twitter users posted last week that Chris Evans had been seen in various establishments in Atlanta. One even grabbed a photo of him at a local upscale chophouse. It seems Evans was definitely in Atlanta for several days last week. He could have been there for any reason, although it seems unlikely that is wasn't at least to visit those on set (a common practice among the Marvel talent). There's nothing else listed that he is currently working on. Additionally, and most importantly, a source details that Evan's actually participated in read-throughs. Technically, he could have been visiting the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 set, but Spider-Man: Homecoming seems much more likely. What does all this mean? Nothing is for certain at this point but small pieces of evidence indicate that a Captain America appearance is a possibility.
As far as villains go, it seems most likely that Michael Keaton is portraying the Vulture. This has been rumored for some time, but was reported as a certainty back in April. Keaton's casting and the Vulture's appearance are a lock. While there's a chance the former isn't playing the latter, it does seem like the most likely match at his time.
Anyone else? Well, just a couple weeks ago, this scoop was dropped. It sounds as if the Vulture will be joined by the Tinkerer who, plays a role in helping the Vulture by using Chitauri tech to create the Vulture's wings. The Vulture is a great villain choice. I don't know what angle they'll take with him but having an aerial villain is the way to go. This will provide plenty of opportunities for aerial battles filled with web-slinging through NYC's skyline. I like that they are utilizing old school villains. Speaking of old school, the scoop article linked above also states that Spidey will be getting the classic web-pits this time around. It all sounds great to me.
Phase 3 is off to an incredible start, and each bit of news indicates that every film is going to be loaded with talent and push the boundaries of the MCU. The cast looks great and already seems to be developing chemistry. I'm certain Spider-Man is in the best hands, living in the MCU with Marvel Studios. I'm thankful Sony is making it happen. Spidey belongs in the MCU. The trailer won't be released until January or so, but I'm confident we'll get additional info, set pics, and more between now and then.
More information should be revealed soon so stay tuned!