Instead of providing us with visuals or a plot summary, it seems like the minds behind Spider-Man: Homecoming are letting us slowly piece the puzzle together with a series of casting announcements. After announcing a myriad of actors — but only confirming a few roles — the latest addition to the team is none other than Jon Favreau, the director of the very first MCU movie, Iron Man.
And he's not on board as a producer, but as a character that'd been missing in the MCU for way too long: Happy Hogan, Tony Stark's babysitter who showed us that you don't need any special powers or technological gimmicks to be a hero. Ever patient, fearless and always taking his job seriously, Happy was driving Tony around before he went on to protect Pepper as the CEO of Stark Industries.
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I guess his friendship with Tony, who's mentoring our young Peter Parker in Homecoming, will bring him back into the action? Even if he's not at the forefront of all the high school drama, however, we know Happy will still steal the spotlight in any scene that he's in.
He's 'Happy' Because He's Got A Big Heart
In the comics, Happy used to be a professional boxer, which is why he's training Tony Stark in Iron Man 2. But because he wouldn't fight back, he earned himself the nickname "Happy" — although that didn't really apply anymore when Natalie Rushman smacked him to the floor in less time that it would take to say "Black Widow."
He's A Gentleman
Sure, he can't resist glancing at the mirror when Natalie is changing in the back seat, but he's always been a gentleman: In the comics, he has a huge crush on Pepper Potts, and although it never happened in the MCU, it did influence his character.
Favreau himself talked to Off The Screen Magazine about his take on Happy before Iron Man 3:
"Before Tony was Iron Man, he was just some rich kid who was smart but really relied upon Happy to organize his life, keep him safe and keep him out of trouble. By the time present day is happening, why does Iron Man need a bodyguard? He can build robots to do anything and he's got a suit to protect himself, so the job that Happy took so much pride in is no longer relevant, but Happy takes working for Stark Industries and protecting Pepper very seriously.In the comic books, he's got a big crush on Pepper, so I wanted that to inform the role I'm playing. Happy doesn't have anything to offer her and he's loyal to Tony, so he would never do anything. But I think it does make his heart ache, and that's a nice subtext to play as an actor."
He Will Always Do His Job, No Matter The Risk
Because he cares about the people he works for — whether it's a mild annoyance mixed with care for Tony or a genuine urge to protect Pepper — Happy Hogan is never one to avoid his duties. When he confronts Aldrich Killian's right-hand-man Eric Savin at the Chinese Theatre, he gets caught in a massive explosion that leaves him with more than a few bruises, but thankfully Tony was by his side when he woke up in the hospital.
Did you know Happy's favorite show is Downton Abbey? Because that's what Tony asked the nurse to put on.
He's The Balance To Tony Stark's Eccentricity
Knowing that he'll appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming is ultimately good news for two reasons: One, because it means that he's finally been acknowledged beyond the Iron Man-verse. Two, because if Tony's spilling all his crazy ideas on the young Peter Parker, we could very well use a voice of reason that's got both feet solidly on the ground. Someone to say "No, I will not drive you and Peter to a strip club."
Who knows, Happy and Peter could become buddies?
What do you imagine Happy Hogan doing in Spider-Man: Homecoming?