When director Jon Watts pitched his version of the latest Spider-Man movie to Sony and Marvel Studios, he made sure diversity was a large part of what he wanted to bring to the table. The two studios agreed. Characters who have traditionally been Caucasian in the comics — characters like Flash Thompson, Ned Leeds, and Liz Allen — will be played by cast members of various ethnicities when Spider-Man: Homecoming hits the silver screen this July.
Up Next: First-Look At Flash Thompson
“That was a big part of my pitch. The very first thing I made was a look book of what I wanted the world to look like and what the kids should look like and the high school should look like,” Watts told Screen Rant in a recent interview. “I lived in New York for thirteen years and it should look like a school in New York, it shouldn’t look like a school in the Midwest in the 50s. So I pulled a bunch of pictures of kids and documentary photos of kids in schools, and that was part of my pitch and everyone was really into that and followed through with the casting, which is so, so cool, I love the kids.”
When he was helping cast actors for roles throughout the movie, Watts said he was “colorblind” and wanted the best actors for the roles in question.
“We just put them on tape and sometimes it was, there were some situations were a kid was just great and there wasn’t a specific role for them but because it’s a high school we can have so many kids,” said Watts. “It was an opportunity to be like ‘Well this kid is great, we don’t have a specific role for them but maybe we should create a small role for them or think of a way to incorporate them in some other capacity.’”
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Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) 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 evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is directed by Jon Watts, from a screenplay by Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, and stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters July 7, 2017.