Leave a Comment
When Spider-Man: Homecoming hit theaters last month, there were a lot of questions related to what happened to Uncle Ben and why he wasn't directly mentioned in the movie. Amy Pascal has already explained that Sony and Marvel wanted to pick up at a different place in Peter Parker's life and thought the audience would capably be able to fill in the gaps. Apparently, though, there was one scene where Spider-Man: Homecoming actually planned to address Uncle Ben's death. Writer John Francis Daley revealed which scene almost revealed more about Uncle Ben. He said:
We did talk about there being a scene where [May] references him directly. It was when [Peter] was getting ready for homecoming and the wardrobe she was giving Peter was all Uncle Ben's clothes. It was a nice moment, but we also knew that it veered away from his arc. If you're going to talk about someone's death, you don't want it to be a throwaway.
If you've seen Spider-Man: Homecoming in theaters, you should already know the movie nodded at Uncle Ben existing in a couple of ways. First, there is the way John Francis Daley mentions, above, when Peter Parker wears his uncle's clothing to the homecoming dance. There's also a scene where Aunt May and Peter are having a heart-to-heart and the movie references what she's "gone through," presumably meaning the death of Uncle Ben.
For some fans, a more direct conversation would have likely been satisfying, while for others, just knowing the film franchise hadn't forgotten about Uncle Ben entirely was likely enough. As John Francis Daley pointed out in his sitdown with EW, there were some changes made for Spider-Man: Homecoming, both with Aunt May's look and age and also with the choice to exclude Uncle Ben's death from the narrative. Those decisions seem to be part of a larger overarching goal to give us a different version of Peter Parker on the big screen, one with a slightly different story, a posse of people willing to help him out, and who is working to control his abilities and learn what it means to become Spider-Man.
This echoes the sentiment we've gotten from Pascal but also co-producer Eric Hauserman Carroll, who said the movie wanted to keep the tone light and talking about Uncle Ben would have put a little more gravity into the plot that Spider-Man: Homecoming wasn't really looking for. When we interviewed him, he noted,
We thought that, to keep this fun, light tone, as soon as they have to have their, like, 'Let's remember our dearly departed father figure' -- it derails that a little. And again, what we're trying to tell is this sort of fun story of the kid who is doing all the wrong things for the right reasons. And once you do that, it stops becoming a fun movie about a kid trying to be a kid. He's mourning the loss of a parent.
While the tone stuff isn't new, the fact that the writers did consider a scene that would have paid homage to Uncle Ben is really fascinating. Maybe we'll get that homage down the line, when Peter Parker gets into some more serious stuff. It may not take too long, either. Thanos is coming, and while Aunt May isn't likely to be in Avengers: Infinity War, Peter Parker is going to have even bigger villains than the Vulture to deal with in the years to come. To take a look at what is coming up with Marvel, check out our list of upcoming projects.