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The following story discusses spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming, the latest chapter in the ongoing MCU saga. If you clicked in here but haven't yet seen the movie, turn around now! You have been warned.
By the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming, our friendly neighborhood wall crawler (Tom Holland) has been offered a spot on the Avengers by none other than his mentor and hero, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Following a very funny delay in a high school bathroom, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) shuttles Peter Parker to the Avengers' facility in Upstate New York, as Tony has sold Stark Tower. Peter is offered a room next to Vision (Paul Bettany), and promised a new suit -- which looks like the MCU version of the Iron Spider. What a thrill it must have been to be able to be the first director to shoot scenes of Spider-Man in this iconic location! As Jon Watts tells me, though, one component made it very nerve-wracking. He explained:
That big moment in the movie was always there. But there was a question of how much will be designed, and how much will we be able to shoot, and how much will we be able to show. If anything, that was like, 'Really? You're going to show this? You're sure? OK, fine. Thank you! Yes, I will take that!' ... That was really fun to shoot. And just such a nice moment to see this kid, with this really goofy t-shirt on, smiling and staring out at Avengers compound with that big A behind him. It feels like, 'Wow, Spider-Man is really in the Marvel universe!'
When I combed back through Spider-Man: Homecoming marketing material, I was shocked to find out that the image of Peter Parker (Tom Holland) grinning because he'd finally made it to Avengers Headquarters was part of the marketing push for this movie. Considering this is such a late reveal in the film, I'm still surprised it was featured in ANY trailers for the film. And yet, here it is:
Peter's decision to walk away from Tony's offer is one of many significant character detours that happen in the final minutes of Spider-Man: Homecoming that effectively set up the hero's journey for upcoming MCU movies. We know that Spider-Man will appear in next summer's Avengers: Infinity War, but maybe he won't be fighting alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes just yet, having declined their invitation. And we know that the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4 movie will lead into the as-yet-untitled Spider-Man sequel, but we don't know yet what pieces Peter will have to pick up in the MCU.