After years of waiting, the time has finally come. This weekend brings the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, establishing Peter Parker as a major player in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. The anticipation for the film's release has only been made stronger due to the inclusion of MCU mainstays like Happy Hogan and Tony Stark. The latter is particular exciting, as Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man is basically the mascot for the shared universe. And now RDJ has revealed how his onscreen tutelage of Spider-Man made him feel like the parent of a teenage child.
Ahead of Spider-Man: Homecoming's release, the cast and crew have been making the rounds in order to promote the highly anticipated film. When speaking with ABC, Robert Downey Jr. explained his parental onscreen motivation, saying:
Well, that's a refreshingly simple way to approach Tony Stark's relationship with Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming. And in a movie with big concepts and out of this world action, Tony's motivation may help to ground the film and keep it relatable for the audience.
Tony Stark truly seems to be taking on a fatherly/mentor role with Peter Parker, which is really the least he could do for the burgeoning hero. Peter was just minding his own business in Queens when Tony showed up at his door in Captain America: Civil War. He plucked the teenager out of obscurity because he was desperate for backup against Captain America's team, and now Tony has to deal with the consequences of that action.
This sense of responsibility is why Tony is such a major character in Spider-Man: Homecoming. And while he gave Peter the Spider-Man suit to keep, he didn't give the teenage vigilante free range over its capabilities. Early clips and trailers reveal that Tony actually has some functions of the suit locked, as Peter is still in the training wheels mode of his development into a full fledged Avenger. And when Peter steps in for some superheroics and needs to be rescued by Iron Man and his army of mechanized soldiers, his suit ends up being revoked.
It should be interesting to see how Spider-Man and Iron Man's relationship changes as the MCU continues on after Spider-Man: Homecoming. The two will once again team up during the events of the next Avengers film, and I'd love to see Spidey pleasantly surprise Tony with his abilities and maturity during the titular Infinity War. The Earth is going to need all the help it can get.