Exclusive: Jon Watts Talks Far From Home Cameos & Spoilers!
Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment provided ComingSoon.net with the chance to speak 1:1 with Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts about this past weekend’s #1 movie. We chatted a bit about certain big Far From Home cameos and other spoilers. Check out the super spoilery interview below!
Spider-Man: Far From Home is in theaters now! Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has been forever changed.
Spider-Man: Far From Home stars Tom Holland as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, plus Zendaya as “MJ,” Jacob Batalon as Ned, with Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. Jake Gyllenhaal will play Mysterio. New additions include comedian J.B. Smoove, as well as Numan Acar (Aladdin) as Dimitri. MCU veterans Samuel L. Jackson (Captain Marvel) and Cobie Smulders will also appear as Nick Fury and Maria Hill respectively. See what the fuss is about by purchasing Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is directed by Jon Watts and written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, all returning from first film Spider-Man: Homecoming.
CS: Let’s into a little spoiler territory. You brought back a few great people. The first one for me was Peter Billingsley as William Ginter Riva from the first “Iron Man.” Was that a suggestion from Favreau? Were you just trying to find any antagonist of “Iron Man” that was still alive?
Watts: I mean, it all started with the B.A.R.F. technology because we knew we wanted to incorporate the B.A.R.F. hologram/illusion technology as being a key component of Beck’s plan. But as we were talking about it, “oh, but like, how do you actually do damage? How do you weaponize these drones?” We thought there’s got to be other people in Tony’s past that we can use as inspiration, and then I just was watching “Iron Man” again and I was like, “let’s just get Billingsley. Why not?” We never really said what happened to him, and I’m sure he would have a lot of beef with Tony as well. So why not?
CS: Absolutely. And also, of course, you bring back J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, but like everything else in these movies it’s about the now. And so, instead of doing print tabloid journalism he’s this Alex Jones-type character, very in keeping with the theme that people will believe anything. How did you land on that?
Watts: I mean, we knew that we wanted Peter’s identity to be revealed at the end of the movie. And to talk about how you would do that you just keep coming back to if it’s the news, who’s going to do it? And is it going to be the Daily Bugle? And if it’s the Daily Bugle, it’s got to be J.K. Simmons. There was never a question about who it would be. And what’s funny to me is that he’s still doing the role in a similar way as he did in the Raimi films, but what’s strange is that the world now has a person who is more similar to J. Jonah Jameson than J. Jonah Jameson being similar to the other person, if you know what I mean.
CS: Oh I know what you mean.
Watts: It’s the world that’s changed around him. He’s still doing the same thing.
CS: Exactly, and that is probably exactly who he would be right now. Were you a little worried that people might get confused and be like, “Oh, does this mean that the Toby Maguire movies are canon?” How do you hope people will receive it?
Watts: I’m definitely intrigued. I’ve been getting that question a lot today. Is he actually the same person? Does that mean that those worlds exist in the same some sort of alternate reality? I’m happy with there just being a lot of questions. We’ll see if they’re worth tackling in the future.
CS: In a lot of ways the structure of this movie mirrors “Iron Man 3” in the sense that there’s a hero who’s traumatized directly following an “Avengers” movie, and he winds up going after bad guys that are an illusion meant to manipulate the masses. But unlike that movie, you very much stick to the true nature of Mysterio and his skillset. Was that a lesson that you guys took from the fan reaction to “Iron Man 3”?
Watts: It was a much trickier thing with them because they’re taking their character and really reinventing them. But with Mysterio, you know that there’s going to be something sneaky. That’s what he is. And I feel like maybe some people will buy into the con for the first half of the movie, but other people are going to know that he’s up to something, even if they don’t specifically know what he’s up to. It wouldn’t be Mysterio if there wasn’t many layers to his scheme.
CS: Right. Even from Jake’s performance, there is something kind of disingenuous about him from the start.
Watts: Yeah, he’s too good to be true.
CS: He’s telling Peter exactly what he wants to hear, and that’s never a good thing. It does bring up a good point because I debate people a lot now about if it’s better to surprise an audience or to just give them what they want? This movie has a lot of curveballs. So where do you fall on that?
Watts: I think it’s an old Buster Keaton quote, where he says—I’m going to screw this up. I‘m going to mangle this.- “I want the audience to think they’ve outsmarted me and then I’ll double cross them.” I would just approach it as a fan and there are certain things that you feel like you need to see, otherwise you won’t be satisfied. But then, beyond that, you want to hope that you can at least surprise people without creating some sort of “Sixth Sense” level of expectation where every moment is going to be a complete reversal.