Spider-Man: Homecoming is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is the second reboot of the Spider-Man film franchise and the sixteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Jon Watts, with a screenplay by the writing teams of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Watts and Christopher Ford, and Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. The film stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker tries to balance his life in high school while being the hero Spider-Man as he faces the Vulture.
In February 2015, Marvel Studios and Sony reached a deal to share the character rights of Spider-Man, integrating the character into the established MCU. The following June, Holland was cast as the title character, while Watts was hired to direct, followed shortly after by the casting of Tomei, and the hiring of Daley and Goldstein to write the script. In April 2016, the film’s full title was revealed, along with additional cast, including Downey. Principal photography began in June 2016 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, and continued in New York City, before concluding in Berlin the following October. During filming, Watts, Ford, McKenna and Sommers were revealed as additional screenwriters, and more cast members were confirmed.
Spider-Man: Homecoming premiered in Hollywood on June 28, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 7, 2017, in 3D, IMAX and IMAX 3D. Homecoming has grossed over $40 million worldwide, and received positive reviews, with critics praising Holland and the other cast’s performances, the musical score, the light tone, and the action sequences. A sequel is scheduled to be released on July 5, 2019.
Watts and his five(!) co-writers establish the movie’s free-swinging vibe early on, as 15-year-old Parker enthusiastically keeps the peace in his native Queens, where he recovers stolen bicycles and helps his neighbors, while also trying to convince Stark that he’s Avengers material. Holland is swell here—not quite as emo as Tobey Maguire, nor as smart-alecky as Andrew Garfield. That’s not a knock on either, but Holland’s smart-kid goofiness makes him the most realistically awkward Peter Parker by far.
We’ve seen Spidey’s origin story twice now in the movies, and Homecoming wisely skips it, as well as the ponderous “With great power…” speechifying that’s so embedded in the hero’s DNA. Instead, Peter and his buddy Ned (Jacob Batalan) start out having a blast with his new powers: At one point, Ned begs to be “the guy in the chair,” the computer-jockeying assistant every superhero needs. In these early moments, Homecoming feels less like a costumed-crusader tale than an ‘80s high-school comedy, the kind of movie where a character intones, “This is going to change our lives”—but instead of talking about some powerful new gadget, he’s just trying to get himself psyched for a party at the cool kid’s house.
That easygoing feeling changes, though, when Keaton shows up. His Vulture character starts out as Adrian Toomes, a working-class industrial cleaner-upper who’s tasked with picking up after the Avengers’ mess, and steals some high-tech weaponry along the way. He then turns plunderer-profiteer, dressing up in a cool, Condorman-indebted flying-bird outfit in order to steal more toys and build his empire. As fun as his Vulture get-up is—and as dazzling it is to watch him tangle with Spider-Man mid-air—Keaton’s best moments come when he’s unmasked. Now in his mid-60s, Keaton has the same middle-aged irritability of his old Batman foe Jack Nicholson, and his creased face and bomber-jacket attire give him a look of dad-gone-bad coolness. He’s one of the more memorable summer-movie villains in recent years, and proof that with great glower, comes great possibilities.
Like pretty much every other Marvel movie in recent years, Homecoming culminates with a clankering, overly noisy third-act showdown that overstays its welcome. But by then, we’ve also witnessed a sleek rescue operation at the Washington Monument; a series of wonderfully withering putdowns courtesy of classmate Michelle (a spot-on sardonic Zendaya) and a third-act reveal that’s so deftly delivered, you barely have time to gasp. In fact, there are pleasant surprises scattered throughout; if you want in on the fun, you may want to stay off the film’s IMDb page. As Hollywood doubles down on the reboot biz, Homecoming is proof that even a story that’s been told countless times before can be spun into something at once intimate and universal. For two hours, you’ll have a great time being the gal (or the guy) in the chair.