Spider-Man: Far From Home Shaping Up As Expansive, Heart-Driven Follow-Up

Spider-Man: Far From Home will arrive in theaters with an immense weight on its shoulders. Following the act that was Avengers: Endgame was one thing but now, having the narrative revealed, the film is also responsible for launching the next saga in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio is being honest in the film's latest trailer, it will do so by launching the Multiverse, a detail which was kept secret during ComicBook.com's visit to the movie's London set last year. While such elements were kept a secret, the film's cast, director, and producers were quite talkative about other aspects, leading us to believe Sony might have its second consecutive live-action hit with "Spider-Man" in the title, and one which will be vastly different from its predecessor.

In flying out to London to get a look at the production, we also made a pit stop in Venice. This Venice, however, was just a small piece of the real thing, built just a few hundred yards away from the set of Wonder Woman 84 (cast and crew make jokes about walking past both Spider-Man star Tom Holland and Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot on a regular basis). The canal-side buildings are lined with blue screens at the peaks and as the crew waits for clouds to pass by for proper lighting, a bridge is about to get blown away. It looks like the team only has one shot at this stunt, prompting extra patience for just the right lighting.

As the scene appears to be playing out, an "Elemental," being which is the live-action equivalent to the Marvel Comics character of Hydro-Man is going off in Venice. Poor Peter Parker can't just take a vacation after the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. No, he has to find a way to be a hero again, instinctively helping those around him as this aquatic threat rises up. A couple of days prior to this shoot, Holland was hung up on wires jumping across spires for an action sequence, but today he's hiding from a splash of water which would shame the front row of Sea World's Splash Zone.

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(Photo: Sony Pictures)

"Action!" is called on set and a cannon of water blows a bridge away.

"I wanted to really raise the action stakes from the last movie," Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts explains. "With the Vulture it's a one-on-one fight," he added, referencing his first outing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Spider-Man: Homecoming. "A mechanized villain. But with Spider-Man, you have the ability to do so much more. We've seen him fight much larger villains and have spectacular set pieces...I've always loved Hydro-Man and Molten Man and his ability to have a giant, elemental kind of creature for Spider-Man to fight against. Anything that makes things more difficult for him and opens up visual opportunities for me, I'll run at bat."

However, the Elemental creatures which Spider-Man will face might not be the only threat. Jake Gyllenhaal steps into the role of Mysterio, a Marvel Comics villain who is being billed as hero both on set and in the recent promotional materials for the film (but dons a look ripped straight from the pages). Of course, fans of the comics know this character to be a sly villain, often using trickery to make people see and believe one thing, when he is actually leading them to something completely different.

"It's very much big brother, little brother," Holland says of Peter Parker and Mysterio's relationship. "And Nick Fury's the head teacher who is constantly telling me off because I don't want to really be there, I want to go on holiday. And Mysterio is always the one sticking up for me and patting me on the back and telling me I did a good job. Which is funny. There's really funny moments in the film, where I feel like I haven't done a good job, and Mysterio's like, 'Good job, kid!'" Knowing what Peter lost in Avengers: Endgame, it seems like Mysterio may be using his grieving state as an in of some sort, but we'll see how that plays out in June.

SpiderMan_Mysterio
(Photo: Sony Pictures)

This relationship is hardly the only new dynamic Far From Home will explore. In the wake of losing his best friend and boss, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) will see a relationship with Peter's Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) blossom -- a detail he blurts out to Peter's close friends when they are in trouble in a London museum somewhere in the film's third act: "I'm in love with Spider-Man's aunt!"

Meanwhile, Peter's relationship with Zendaya's MJ hasn't much changed as both characters were likely dusted in Infinity War's Snap, seeing as they're both still fulfilling their junior year of high school. Ultimately, Holland says "love" is the main driver of the film. "He's very much love driven in this film and taking a break," Holland says of his character. "This film is all about him trying to take a break but the responsibility of being Spider-Man always taking over, which is quite funny, because the first film we were really keen to show Peter Parker enjoying his powers and really wanting to be Spider-Man."

The globetrotting film will make several stops throughout Europe, including Venice and Prague, before culminating in London for what seems to be an epic fight sequence which calls of the Elemental creatures plus Spider-Man, his friends, Nick Fury, and Mysterio into the same place.

Not in the movie: Vulture, Prowler, and Scorpion. However, when asked if J. Jonah Jameson can be added to that list, executive producer Eric Carroll warns against such a move.

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Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters on July 2.