If you look at the recent track record Marvel has for hiring directors, more often than not the directors they choose are not well known to the public. There have been exceptions such as the recently announced Ryan Coogler becoming the director of Black Panther, of course, but Marvel likes to take lesser known names and make them big. That is what Jon Watts is certainly hoping for when he is done directing Spider-Man: Homecoming. So far he has one little known, but praised, movie under his belt with Cop Car, but Watts was the obscure choice among the rumored names that were being considered.
Watts has little time to wait before cameras start rolling on his Marvel debut and as it gets closer to hitting theaters, we will hear more and more from the up and coming director. He has not had many chances to talk about what got him to this point or what we can expect from Homecoming, but in a recent interview with The Daily Beast he got a chance to do just that. His second movie to hit theaters, Clown, which oddly enough was his first movie, will be released later this year and even though he would love to say he knew doing smaller movies would give him this chance, he had no idea. Of course, while he may not have planned or thought this would happen, it has been a fun experience for him so far.
Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s like everything—when you look back, you can figure out a bit of continuity to how one thing led to another. But in the moment, I wish I could say that this was all some sort of master plan to lead to directing a big cool studio movie. But it was truly the product of just messing around with my friend [co-screenwriter Christopher Ford]. There was no brilliant plotting involved.
The cast has been filling out recently, with Donald Glover being one of the most recent additions. After his long campaign to play Miles Morales ended up not working for Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man films, his casting in Homecoming has only once again kept those wishes a possibility. When The Daily Beast asked if this was the case, Watts smartly declined to say much about that.
I can’t talk about anything like that! That would have been so amazing, if I’d just completely spilled some secret like that by accident.
Outside of Glover, the rest of the cast for Spider-Man: Homecoming has been getting plenty of praise for the diversity that is reflected. This has recently been a hot topic surrounding Hollywood films and the need for better representation, and that is something that they strived to accomplish throughout the casting process for this film.
Peter Parker goes to high school in Queens, and Queens is one of—if not the—most diverse places in the world. So I just wanted it to reflect what that actually looks like.
The big focus of the diversity so far has been among what appears to be Peter’s friends and classmates. This film, and possibly trilogy, will be set with Peter in high school, something we have seen only briefly in the previous five Spider-Man films. Now that this is the focus, Watts is looking forward to all the possibilities that it holds.
It’s been really fun to just look for things that none of the other Spider-Man movies have really explored before, and decide if that’s something we want to work into that. And really making it a high school movie, and committing to that, and not having that just be the beginning of the movie. The John Hughes sort of tone. When you’re looking at it through that prism, it really opens up the door to a lot of possibilities.
As for how long Watts has been on the project, Marvel made his hiring official in the same press release when they announced Tom Holland as being cast, signaling in the new era of Spider-Man. Since that point, he was able to be on set for Captain America: Civil War, which allowed him to see what he would be doing, while also giving him the ability to talk with the Russos and gather further ideas for his own film.
It was already a moving train when I got on board, but I came on right as they got Tom [Holland], and so I knew everything that was happening with Civil War. I was there when they were shooting it and sort of lurking in the back, looking over the Russos’ shoulders, and I had ideas about this and that. We were already on the same page, but it was great because I got to sort of meet everyone and see what they were doing with it, and that informed where we eventually took it.
I am very much looking forward to seeing what Watts does with Spider-Man: Homecoming after showing the ability to direct kids in a great way in Cop Car. Hopefully he can get great performances out of the younger and unproven actors and actresses. Let us know if you are excited that Watts is the director in the comments below!
Spider-Man: Homecoming is scheduled to hit theaters July 7th, 2017.
Source: The Daily Beast.