Kevin Feige Says Diversity Will Set ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Apart From Other ‘Spider-Man’ Movies
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has already made some major strides in bringing diversity to the big screen. With Black Panther on the way and Spider-Man: Homecoming casting an actress of color in the (rumored) role of Mary Jane, we’re looking at a much less white future for superhero movies. But the latest Spider-Man movie will also look much different from the previous iterations thanks to one small, but significant detail: realistic high schools.
The new film will find Tom Holland’s young Peter Parker in his high school days and Marvel wants to make sure that environment looks true to life. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently spoke with Vulture about his efforts to increase racial diversity in the MCU and how the depiction of Spidey’s school was a major part of that. “Our filmmaker came in and had pictures of real high schools, and they are as diverse as you could imagine,” Feige said of director Jon Watts. “That was something that was important to us, to set it apart from other Spidey films that have been made — to carve that niche — and to have it represent the world today,” he continued.
Spider-Man: Homecoming may have another white male lead, but his co-stars will bring more diversity to the film, including Donald Glover, Tony Revelori, Jacob Batalon, plus Zendaya as maybe Mary Jane and Laura Harrier as Liz Allan. That the new movie will have a high school featuring multiple kids of color may not sound like a big deal, but in light of the overwhelming whiteness of the cast of previous Marvel movies, it’s something worth recognizing.
And despite the whitewashing controversy surrounding Tilda Swinton‘s casting in Doctor Strange, that film still made some noteworthy improvements. The films features Chiwetel Ejoifor as Karl Mordo, who is a white sorcerer in the comics, and gave Benedict Wong’s character Wong more of a prominent role. There’s still a long way to go, like giving us a female superhero of color solo movie or a queer superhero. But baby steps, I guess. Spider-Man: Homecoming opens July 7, 2017.