‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Director Jon Watts On The Film’s Diversity

Jon Watts, director of Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios' upcoming superhero movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, talks about the film's diversity aspect.

One of the biggest aspects of the upcoming Sony and Marvel film Spider-Man: Homecoming, that sets itself apart from the previous Spider-Man films, is the diversity. We know that characters like Liz Allen, Flash Thompson and Ned Leeds, who are all originally Caucasian in the comic books, will be portrayed by actors of color and ethnicity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In a new interview with Screen Rant, Jon Watts, who directed Homecoming, was asked the diversity aspect of the film and the importance of having a movie that actually resembles the world that we live in today. According to Watts, when he went into Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, it was a major factor in his pitch to have a diverse cast for the latest Spider-Man film franchise.

“That was a big part of my pitch. The very first thing I made was a look book of what I wanted the world to look like and what the kids should look like and the high school should look like. I lived in New York for thirteen years and it should look like a school in New York, it shouldn’t look like a school in the Midwest in the 50s. So I pulled a bunch of pictures of kids and documentary photos of kids in schools, and that was part of my pitch and everyone was really into that and followed through with the casting, which is so, so cool, I love the kids.”

Watts also discussed how the casting process for the movie was dealt with and brought up the fact that initially, he was going with a colorblind approach. But he ended being inspired by how Judd Apatow approached Freaks and Geeks, which is to look for the best talent and create the characters around the actors.

“It was colorblind initially because it was everyone, like any kid ever. We just put them on tape and sometimes it was, there were some situations were a kid was just great and there wasn’t a specific role for them but because it’s a high school we can have so many kids, and it was an opportunity to be like ‘Well this kid is great, we don’t have a specific role for them but maybe we should create a small role for them or think of a way to incorporate them in some other capacity.’

When you’re developing the story and the script while you’re casting, you can keep an open mind to look for the best kids. That’s what they did, I think I remember reading that’s how Judd Apatow did Freaks and Geeks, where they just sort of looked for kids that were interesting and then shaped the roles around them. A great thing about kids is they’re just themselves and can’t help it a lot of the times. So to be able to craft roles around these kids is better than trying to force someone into a preconceived role.

“A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.”

The cast includes Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly and Bokeem Woodbine, as well as Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Michael Chernus, Kenneth Choi, Hannibal Buress, Martin Starr, Michael Barbieri, Angourie Rice and Abraham Attah.

Spider-Man: Homecoming opens on Friday, July 7.

Source: Screen Rant

Spider-Man Villains Ready For The Big Screen

Spider-Man: Homecoming hasn’t even hit the big screen yet and fans are already clamoring for more Spider-Man. Second only to Batman, Spider-Man has the most threatening and entertaining rogues gallery in all comics. With countless TV shows and 5 movies already under his belt, it’s up to the creative folks over at Sony and Marvel to ensure his future on-screen adventures feel different from everything that’s come before.

Part of making sure any sequels to Homecoming feel fresh is featuring villains who haven’t already been used on the big screen. Sorry Green Goblin fans, but I never want to see Spider-Man fight an Osborne in theaters again. I’m already annoyed that I’ve seen Peter’s origin two times in the movies, so I really don’t want to see him take down the same villains again and again.

Is your favorite villain not on the list? Well head to the comments and tell me who I forgot to include!

Hit the Next button for a crash course on some of  the villains who should fight Spider-Man on the big screen in the future.

Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht is an online entertainment journalist who has been covering television and movies since 2010. In addition, he is also a podcast producer.