With over a dozen different films spanning various timelines, planets, and planes of existence, keeping track of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's timeline can be quite tricky. Director of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Jon Watts, recently revealed there's a historic and lo-fi way that Marvel Studios keeps track of the events in the MCU's history, and it involves a massive scroll.
"There's an actual scroll that they unrolled for me," Watts revealed to Entertainment Weekly. "One of my producers, Eric Carroll, it was his first job at Marvel to work on a timeline and see where things line up and see where things didn't quite line up. Like, 'Oh, that's when Captain America is born.'"
With the amount of lore that's been displayed in the variety of films, when Watts says "scroll," he doesn't merely mean a piece of paper rolled up. In fact, the director revealed the scroll ends up being longer than a conference table.
"Uh yes, it's very long. It's the most amazing thing because it starts, honestly, at the beginning of time — I don't remember specifically, but I think it has something to do with Thor." He adds, "It is truly an amazing document."
Marvel's initial three films, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, might have seemed like they were picked as they were some of Marvel's most popular characters, but clearly there was more method to Kevin Feige's madness.
With Iron Man, a "present" timeline was established, with Thor, alternate dimensions were established, and with Captain America, the past and its ties to super heroeswas established. With these standards set, all future films could manipulate any one of those things to expand the universe's tapestry.
The interconnected nature of the MCU is what makes all of the films so entertaining, as even Spider-Man: Homecoming can reveal its ties to the well-known past.
The film's villain, Vulture, was contracted to salvage scrap metal after the events of Marvel's The Avengers, but lost the gig to Tony Stark's company. This is the instigating event that kicks off Vulture's string of villainy.
"Vulture is the first supervillain that Peter encounters in the comics," Watts points out. "The idea of Vulture literally scavenging from the battle scenes from those other movies to build his own arsenal felt very cool."
Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters July 7.
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
The cast includes Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, JacobBatalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, with Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. It also includes Jon Favreau, Martin Starr, Kenneth Choi, Michael Mando, Selenis Leyva, Isabella Amara, Jorge Lendeborg, Jr., JJ Totah, and Hannibal Buress.