Spider-Man’s Shocking Final Scene: Why Marvel Did What They Did


The following story contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming. For real, we discuss the final scene, at length. Stop reading now if you clicked in here by accident and haven't yet seen the film. This is your final warning.

The last scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming is the best ending of a Marvel movie since the final shot in the original Iron Man. And it's every bit the game changer as Tony Stark revealing his true identity to a flock of gathered media. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) returns to his Queens apartment, having turned down Tony's offer to join the Avengers. His Stark suit is in a bag on his bed, so he tries it on. And when he peels off his mask, his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) is standing in the bedroom doorway, and exclaims, "What the f..." as the end credits kick in.

It might be the movie's biggest laugh. But when I asked Marvel President Kevin Feige why they decided to change up the May-Peter dynamic going forward, making May aware of her nephew's super powers, he explained to me:

J. Michael Straczynski did an issue when he was doing his run of Spidey many years ago where she discovered the secret. I think it was in the laundry or something, and they had a sit-down scene. And probably going back to Spider-Man 2, I would sort of carry that issue around and go, 'We should do this someday, we should do this someday.' And it was great luck that it hadn't been done yet. That was always part of the plan.And very much like our instinct to say, 'Let's have Tony Stark say "I'm Iron Man" at the end. Well, what does that mean for the next movie? I don't know, but it will force us to do something unique. We did not want to do the secret identity thing at that point in the MCU. And now, same thing. The dynamic now is forced to be something fresh and something unique going forward.

This is exactly what Marisa Tomei expressed to me when we spoke at the Spider-Man: Homecoming junket in New York City. I started or conversation with the final scene in the movie, because of the way it would change the dynamic with Tom Holland moving forward. She told me:

By the time [the script] got to me, that scene was already in place. And it was a set up for whatever is to come. It takes a big burden off of the character, too. You don't have to do the same thing over and over again, so he and I can have a different kind of relationship going forward, also. ... That will come in the next installation, if I'm lucky and it happens. But I think it will. I hope. I think that will free up having the same kind of, 'I wonder what he's doing? He looks suspicious!' [Laughs] There are only so many ways I can skin that cat.

The beautiful thing about Spider-Man: Homecoming is that it's not afraid to change what came before it, making it feel fresh and relevant in today's MCU. Spidey plays with a souped up Stark-created Spider-Suit, but returns to his roots when he really needs to stop Vulture (Michael Keaton). And in the sequel, we'll start with Aunt May being in on Peter's secret identity. It's a thrill. Listen to Marisa Tomei talk about the relief that creative decision creates:

But did Jon Watts have to fight for that scene? He explains his rationale for including this massive change on the next page.

Marisa Tomei in Spider-Man: Homecoming

Having Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) know Peter Parker's (Tom Holland) secret identity is such a game changer in the MCU, I wondered if director Jon Watts, who also co-wrote the script, had to fight with Marvel to allow him to do it. As it turns out, this was a goal of Marvel's for some time, and the reasoning behind it -- according to Watts -- went like this:

The goal behind this movie is to just come up with moments and things that people have never seen before, and people can't believe that just happened. And that was one where, as soon as the idea came up, it was like, 'Oh yeah, we gotta do that.' ... It's definitely a thing where, well, now we have to figure that out! [Laughs]

Jon Watts likens this moment to the final shot in Iron Man, and he recalls being an audience member for that movie and turning to people in the theater when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) reveals his identity, and saying to his fellow patrons. "Did they just do that? How are they going to move on from that?" And he hopes to have that same problem for Spider-Man 2, if he's able to come back for it. He tells me that he wants to come back, stating, "I feel like we're just getting started."

What did you think about that final scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Let us know in the comments section below!

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.