Avengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo says the "eight years later" title card early on in Spider-Man: Homecoming was incorrect.
Playing a Marvel Cinematic Universe trivia game with interviewer Ashish Chanchlani, Russo was asked: "What was the time gap between the events of Avengers and Spider-Man: Homecoming?"
"Oh, it was eight years, I believe," Russo answered.
"And it was quite controversial," Chanchlani said.
"Yes," Russo said, "it was a very incorrect eight years."
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens with Adrian Toomes amid the rubble of a devastated New York after the events of The Avengers, with a title card then placing the main events of the film "eight years later."
The Avengers released in May 2012, five years ahead of Spider-Man: Homecoming in July 2017, leaving fans confused as to when, exactly, both films took place.
Tony Stark first donned the Iron Man armor eight years before Captain America: Civil War, as told by Vision, lining up with Iron Man's 2008 theatrical debut and Civil War's 2016 release date.
Spider-Man: Homecoming then catches up with Peter Parker two months after first clashing with the Avengers in Civil War.
If Spidey's movie took place in 2016, taking the "eight years later" title card at face value would mean The Avengers took place in 2008 — meaning Earth's mightiest heroes have been a thing for a decade come Infinity War.
We know Infinity War takes place in 2018 because it catches up with the Guardians of the Galaxy four years after Vol. 2, and both of those films took place in 2014.
Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige has addressed the messy timeline, telling CinemaBlend:
"All of that debate has made us go, 'Okay, at some point, I'm not sure exactly when, we're going to publish a timeline and see what it all is,'" Feige said.
"It wasn't meant to flummox anybody exactly, and I'm not sure I'd do it again the same way, but it does all connect to where we placed it. Other than very particular instances where there's a newspaper, or verbal reference to years, we never date the films. And I think there's a presumption, 'Well if the movie came out in November 2017, it must take place in November 2017' — which is not the case."5comments
Whatever the exact specifics of the timeline, one-half of the directing team behind Infinity War calling the Homecoming title card incorrect might prove good enough for most fans.
Spider-Man returns in Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters April 27.