It's no secret or surprise that the events of Avengers: Endgame had a major impact on Spider-Man: Far From Home. The first follow-up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the game-changing ensemble film deals directly with the fallout of the battles against Thanos. For director Jon Watts, this all came as a surprise when he returned to a Spider-Man sequel after hitting a home run with Homecoming two years ago.
Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow. Major spoilers!
Watts was notified that Tony Stark would die in Endgame "pretty early," the director told ComicBook.com. "When they knew what they were doing, you know, I knew when my movie was coming out, so I got the talk, "Watts explained. "I was sat down and pitched all the things that are going to happen, and as things changed a little bit along the way on their end, I'd get updates." He refers to this inner circle of knowledge as making him "one of the chosen few who've known for a long time."
While Watts was nervous that he might slip and reveal the conclusion of Endgame "all the time" because it pertained heavily to his upcoming film, he did a much better job than Mark Ruffalo or Tom Holland when it came to preserving spoilers. "You feel weird, because you're just constantly nervous that you're going to say something and slip up, and have [Avengers: Endgame directors] Joe [Russo] and Anthony [Russo] murder you. Yeah, it was a tense life."
However, it was a good thing Watts learned of the Endgame narrative when he did. Originally, he had no idea Tony Stark would die after having a major impact on his Peter Parker character in the first standalone outing for Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "Coming out of Homecoming, I had no idea," Watts said. "When I found that out, you realize, 'Oh that's not something you can just address and then move on. That's what the movie is going to be about. There's no way around it.' If anything, it focuses you on the kind of story that you're going to be telling." As a result, Tony Stark and his Iron Man super hero persona are featured heavily in the marketing for Spider-Man: Far From Home and the movie itself, while no new appearances come from Robert Downey Jr. as the character is very much dead after saving the world from Thanos.
Such a sacrifice, putting responsibility first when the world needed him most, gives Tom Holland's Peter Parker an example to follow. Peter, of course, is no stranger to loss. As the story goes, he lost his Uncle Ben and learned a lesson in power and responsibility, but the moment was never shown on screen for Holland's version of the character. Does this mean Tony Stark is essentially Peter's Uncle Ben in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? "What I would say is that loss is such a big part of who Peter Parker is in the comics, whether it be Gwen Stacy or Uncle Ben, he has to deal with loss so often," Watts said. "It's part of the DNA of what makes Spider-Man, Spider-Man. In a way, I felt like this fit in very naturally and allowed me to tell the kind of Spiderman stories that I think people want to see. I think even if it's not a direct comp for Uncle Ben, it definitely allows me to explore some of the similar themes."
Of course, no one is replacing the iconic Uncle Ben, nor should they. The character has already been portrayed in films for his meaningful death sequence twice over, making Watts reluctant to include the moment in any of his films. "I didn't feel like I needed to in this movie, because we already have a lot to deal with with the loss of Tony," Watts said, having previously passed on the moment in Homecoming, as well. "We have Uncle Ben's suitcase though. 'BFP.' So Peter's literally carrying the baggage of whatever happened to Uncle Ben with him everywhere he goes."
What are you hoping to see from Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram or Twitter! Following the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the official ComicBook Nation podcast will have a spoiler-filled deep dive episode with Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal.