Peter Parker was briefly introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War, and his story will continue in Spider-Man: Homecoming. However, we recently learned the character's been in the universe for quite a long time. In Iron Man 2, Tony saved a little boy from being killed by a Hammer drone and fans wondered whether that little kid could be Peter Parker.
Blowing everyone's minds away, #TomHolland casually dropped a bombshell and confirmed the theory. Turns out that awesome confirmation came courtesy of Homecoming director, Jon Watts. And what he shared reveals a lot about the sort of people directing movies today.
Watts sat down for an interview with Uproxx while promoting #SpiderManHomecoming, where he revealed the inspiration for that connection came from him rewatching the MCU films and coming up with ideas about how elements from those movies could be integrated into his own.
"I was watching all these other movies and being like, 'What if that little kid at the Stark Expo was Peter Parker? In the Iron Man mask.' Like, he'd be about the right age for that. And he loves Tony Stark. 'Oh, what about after the Avengers battle, who would clean that stuff up?' Because they mention damage control at one point in the movie."
Those those ideas came from him approaching the universe with a fan's perspective, creating his very own canon and imagining what that would look like... you know, only with the ability to make his fanfic happen in real life.
"It's this thing where, because it's not completely figured out, that you can just go back and basically write fan fiction for those movies, then the fan fiction becomes reality."
Watt's enthusiasm and love for the character shines in the brief things we've seen from Homecoming. In fact, that's probably why we got this scene in the movie:
Aside from the awesomeness of that #EasterEgg, Watt's comments help to remind us of something that we fans in the peanut gallery often forget.
Many Of Today's Directors Started Out As Fans Too
It's safe to say that plenty of us movie-lovers have sat down to brainstorm and imagine how we would craft our very own movies, superhero universes, and sci-fi franchises based on the nerdy material that inspires us. But the vast majority of up-and-coming and younger filmmakers were just like that, too: They're fans, first and foremost.
Most of them will tell you how much of an impact pop culture, whether it was movies, comic books or video games –– and therefore the people that worked on them –– had on their lives and their desire to pursue filmmaking as their career path.
Great examples of directors that approach their projects from the perspective of a fan are #PattyJenkins with Wonder Woman and #ScottDerrickson with... well, pretty much everything he does. Jenkins grew up idolizing Diana Prince. When she finally got to do a movie about her, she was a fan at the wheel. In an interview with CBS earlier this year, Jenkins revealed that if she couldn't grow up to be Wonder Woman, the next best thing was growing up to shape her:
"I was that kid on the schoolyard who saw Lynda Carter and went racing out to where all the other kids were playing in the playground and said 'I want to be Wonder Woman!'
When you were her in your head, you were like, 'that bully over there, I'm gonna go stop them' - and I look like Lynda Carter while I'm doing it," Jenkins said. "It was this wish fulfillment of being like the greatest version of yourself--of the woman you could fantasize."
On his Twitter bio, Derrickson has "film fan, film maker –– always in that order." He shapes his movies with the care of a fan, and his love for them shows in his work. Same with Guardians of the Galaxy director #JamesGunn who last month shared a personal, poignant Facebook message about how much joy and belonging he found in Marvel comic books and sci-fi and horror movies as a lonely, awkward kid.
Such a long-time commitment and enthusiasm for the movie-making experience is why it was so special to hear Derrickson was helming Doctor Strange, or similarly that people like J.J. Abrams or Gareth Edwards, who had grown up as huge fans of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, were in charge of something as beloved and treasured as the #StarWars universe. Because they're just like us, and it shows in the pieces of entertainment they create.
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7, 2017.
What do you think about Jon Watt's comments? Who's your favorite fanboy turned director? Let me know in the comments!