The Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown significantly over the last eight years, but figuratively speaking, it's still a small world. In Spider-Man: Homecoming's case, even though it's Peter Parker's first solo movie in the MCU, he'll reunite with his Captain America: Civil War mentor, Tony Stark. However, he won't be the only big character from the Iron Man world to appear, as the industrials billionaire will be joined by his former bodyguard, Happy Hogan.
Variety just broke the news that Jon Favreau will reprise Happy Hogan in Spider-Man: Homecoming. This makes him the second Iron Man actor to appear in the Web-Slinger's feature, following behind Robert Downey Jr. However, no details were revealed about how specifically Happy will fit into the story, though it's extremely unlikely he won't be by Tony Stark's side. Happy was last seen three years ago in Iron Man 3, while Favreau himself most recently contributed to the MCU by being an executive producer on Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Happy Hogan has been an important character in the Iron Man mythos for over five decades, so it was a no-brainer to introduce him in 2008's Iron Man, which Jon Favreau also directed. Favreau's Happy was essentially a cameo in that first movie, with him mainly driving Tony Stark around, but as the series continued, his role expanded. His notable moments in Iron Man 2 included delivering Tony his suitcase armor when Ivan Vanko, a.k.a. Whiplash, attacked in Monaco, and he later helped Black Widow infiltrate Justin Hammer's compound. Okay, so he only took out one guard, but it's the thought that counts.
Although he passed directing duties to Shane Black for Iron Man 3, Favreau reprised Happy again, who by this point had been made Stark Industries' Chief of Security, meaning he now worked for Pepper Potts instead of Tony. While trying to figure out what main baddie Aldrich Killian was up ton, Happy was badly injured in an Extremis-powered attack, which, of course, deeply upset set Tony and led to him declaring war on the Mandarin. Fortunately by the end of the movie, Happy was on his first step towards recovery, making Spider-Man: Homecoming the first we've seen of him fully recovered since then. Now we're left wondering how he'll be involved in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but it's a safe bet that he'll be back in Tony's employ.
Despite not being as involved in the MCU as he used to, Jon Favreau has been keeping himself busy. In 2014, he wrote, directed and starred in the indie hit Chef, and earlier this year, his latest directorial project, The Jungle Book, was well-received critically and commercially. While it remains to be seen if he'll ever direct another Marvel movie, it's great to hear he's willing to reprise his character. Favreau will also be an executive producer on Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, so perhaps Happy will return in those movies as well.
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7, 2017.