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Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame
Over the past decade of filmmaking, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a well-oiled machine, introducing serialized storytelling to the masses in the process. This type of interconnected narrative requires quite a bit of planning, with the most guarded secrets shared in order to keep the MCU in motion. And considering how Spider-Man: Far From Home is hitting theaters just a few months after Endgame arrived, production for Peter Parker's second solo flick was made extra complicated.
Jon Watts returned to the director's chair for Spider-Man: Far From Home, after the success of his first Marvel blockbuster, Homecoming. The fans were pleased to see the same filmmaker helming the sequel, although there was one question left: given Endgame's wild events, was Watts privy to the events of the latest Avengers movie? He he recently told the hosts of ReelBlend Podcast the answer to that question, saying:
Basically Kevin [Feige] pitched me everything that they were planning on doing in Infinity War and Endgame, and then swore me to secrecy. So I carried all of that with me for such a long time. You're just operating on like a need to know basis with everyone. And just so afraid that somehow you're going to screw up and say something wrong that's going to spoil everything. It’s very nerve-wracking.
It looks like Jon Watts was privy to the events of Avengers: Endgame, long before the general public was shown Thanos' second assault on the galaxy. While this information helped the filmmaker craft his upcoming blockbuster, he was also saddled with the responsibility of guarding Marvel Studios' biggest secrets. Not even the cast of Avengers: Endgame was given the film's secret, so Watts was given some special privilege. As such, there was a ton of pressure in making Spider-Man: Far From Home into a reality.
Jon Watts chatted Far From Home and all things Marvel with ReelBlend hosts Sean O'Connell, Jake Hamilton, and Kevin McCarthy ahead of the highly anticipated sequel's release. The spoiler-free discussion (check it!) eventually turned to Avengers: Endgame, and the pressure of following that massive blockbuster, as well as wrapping up Phase Three of the overall MCU.
Logistically, there was no way Jon Watts could possibly direct Spider-Man: Far From Home without being provided with Endgame's biggest plot points. Peter Parker turned to dust during Infinity War, so there wasn't even a protagonist for him to utilize. Endgame provided the reason for Peter's resurrection, and also included world-changing plot devices like a five year time jump and the death of Tony Stark.
As a result of knowing Avengers: Endgame's contents and crafting the story of Spider-Man: Far From Home, seeing the record-breaking Marvel blockbuster wasn't quite as exciting for Jon Watts as it was for the rest of us. But there was one particular moment that surprised Watts: when Tony picked up a framed photo of he and Peter in the kitchen of his remote cabin. As he told it on ReelBlend,
That's how the whole movie felt. There was one moment in Endgame that I didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't realize that the very last thing that Tony was going to look at before he decided to crack the time travel problem was that photo of him and Peter. It's like behind a picture of his dad, and you think he's looking at the picture of his dad, and then he reaches behind that and takes out the picture of him and Peter with the Stark scholarship certificate. And he's holding it upside down. So that really hit me. So I had one genuine surprise out of Endgame.
Marvel fans may lust after information regarding each upcoming blockbuster in the shared universe, but Jon Watts' comments show how much spoilers ruin the moviegoing experience. But even though Watts knew all the biggest revelations that came from Avengers: Endgame, The Russo Brothers and Kevin Feige were still able to surprise him with one emotional gut punch in the blockbuster's second act. In fact, it was the loss of Peter that motivated Tony to develop time travel tech and join the cause for the Time Heist.
Now the tables have turned, and its Spider-Man: Far From Home's contents that are being guarded by Marvel Studios. The movie will reveal how the MCU has moved on since the events of Avengers: Endgame. The time jump and resurrection of the dusted population is sure to be a seismic event, and it should be fascinating to see how the shared universe is coping.
Additionally, Spider-Man: Far From Home is introducing some high concepts to the MCU. The trailers for Jon Watts' second Marvel blockbuster tease that Thanos' snap actually created a tear in the multiverse, in addition to wiping out half of all life. The multiverse is a complicated idea to bring into the shared universe, especially in the Spider-Man franchise. While Homecoming was focused on Peter's local crimefighting, the sequel will bring him abroad, and put him contact with Marvel staples like Nick Fury and Maria Hill.
Far From Home will also feature the debut of Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio. The marketing has set up the new character to be another mentor and friend to Peter Parker, even working on the side of good. This is a far leap from the character's origin on the page, so it should fascinating to see how it all shakes out. We're post-Endgame now, and Jon Watts will wrap up Phase Three forever.