In Spider-Man comics, Flash Thompson is very much your stereotypical bully (your basic athlete who picks on nerds), and thus far both Spidey franchises have featured rather straight forward interpretations of the character. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, however, he is played much differently by actor Tony Revolori, and according to the young star, there is a very straight-forward reason why: he's more a representative of the modern bully instead of the classic bully. Revolori recently said,
I don't want to be a physical bully or anything like that because that's not really what happens now. It's all about the social comments on social media and everything. And so how do you bring that online bully to real life?
In advance of Spider-Man: Homecoming's release, Tony Revolori sat down with HelloGiggles for an interview, and it was during their conversation that he revealed the new approach to his classic bully character. It was decided that it would be better to not have him be the football player who beats up nerds, but instead be more about psychological torture - which is more in tune with the cyber bullying problem that currently exists among today's youth.
Certainly one thing that must have helped push this direction for the character is just the educational institution that both Tom Holland's Peter Parker and Flash Thompson attend. Rather than being a typical public school, they both go to Midtown School of Science and Technology, a private institution for gifted kids. Unlike some past versions of Flash, Tony Revolori's version is actually quite intelligent, and his hatred of Peter apparently comes from a place of jealously regarding perceptions of effort (though he definitely has a lot more money than the famously poor Peter). Revolori told the interviewer,
We made it so that way, Flash is Peter's equal. He's just as smart. They all go to this school and sure maybe Flash's dad pays for him to go there, but regardless, he is a smart kid. And I think by that fact we didn't want to make it...you can't be smart and a jock and be this physical a-hole.
This new version of Flash Thompson promises to be much different than the incarnations played by Joe Manganiello in the original Spider-Man films and Chris Zylka in the Amazing Spider-Man reboot - and it won't be too long until fans get to see what he's all about. Spider-Man: Homecoming, which also features Peter Parker classmates played by Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Zendaya, Angourie Rice, and Abraham Attah, arrives in theaters this Friday, July 7th. We'll have a lot more about Spidey's first solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe between now and then, so be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend in the coming days!