‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Writers Say Uncle Ben Was in the Movie, Kinda-Sorta
Spider-Man: Homecoming is an unconventional Spider-Man movie in a lot of ways. For one thing, it’s not really an origin story, inasmuch as the spider bite incident has already happened and Peter Parker is well on his way to getting used to his new superpowers. There’s also another iconic Spidey moment cut from the movie: the death of Peter’s Uncle Ben. He’s not in the movie at all — well, almost not at all. Screenwriters Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley say they did put in a subtle Uncle Ben nod.
While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the two writers revealed that, while Uncle Ben never actually makes an appearance in the movie at all (director Jon Watts said no one really gave much thought to him during production), they did throw a small reference to him into the script: the line referencing Aunt May and “all that she’s gone through.” Apparently, part of that stuff was the death of her husband. Daley also said that they did think about adding in a more overt reference.
We did talk about there being a scene where [May] references him directly. It was when [Peter] was getting ready for homecoming and the wardrobe she was giving Peter was all Uncle Ben’s clothes. It was a nice moment, but we also knew that it veered away from his arc. If you’re going to talk about someone’s death, you don’t want it to be a throwaway.
Probably a good call on their part, but it’s still cool to know that that bit of Spidey lore was still in the back of everyone’s minds. The writers also revealed some more trivia to EW, such as the movie’s code name — “Summer of George,” a reference to the classic Seinfeld episode — and what Aunt May’s younger age means for her character in the future. The two actually came up with the idea of a young Aunt May played by Marisa Tomei independently of Marvel. As Goldstein put it:
We loved the idea of a cool aunt. In an early draft we actually even had her dating a guy, and part of her relationship with Peter was this inappropriate frankness. It didn’t make the cut, but I could see in the sequel she could get a boyfriend. She doesn’t have to be a mourning widow.
Hopefully that possible boyfriend doesn’t turn out to be one of the Avengers. That could get really awkward.