The money shot used in almost all of the marketing from Spider-Man: Homecoming isn’t in the movie. You know the one: Iron Man and Spider-Man, both suited up, flying through Queens. But in a new interview, the director of the film did his best to explain why it’s missing.
“I think what happened was in the very first trailer they wanted a shot of Spider-Man and Iron Man flying together,” Watts told ScreenCrush. “And they were going to use something from the Staten Island Ferry [scene], but it just didn’t look that great, the background plate, because the Staten Island terminal is a very simple building. It almost looks like an unrendered 3D object. So I think I was like ‘Let’s just put them in Queens. Let’s use that as a backdrop.’ Because we couldn’t just create a whole new shot, so let’s just use one of these shots of the subway; put them in there.”
So the shot was never in the movie. A fact that will make more sense once people have actually seen it. (No spoilers here). But that doesn’t change that the marketing team has a job to do, a job that doesn’t always match up with what a film’s production is doing. (This is similar to some of the shots from Rogue One that were in the trailer but not in the movie.)
In a way, it’s Robert Downey Jr.’s fault. He and Iron Man are so popular and famous that if you have them in your movie, you practially have to put them in the marketing. Now, if that means fabricating a shot because things from the final film aren’t ready yet, on a big film like this, it’s an option, albeit one Watts admits he doesn’t feel great about.
“I feel a little weird that there’s a shot in the trailer that’s not in the movie at all, but it’s a cool shot,” he said. “It’s funny, I forgot that we did that.”
That’s also not the only shot from the trailers not in the movie. A shot of Vulture dropping down almost into the camera in a hotel atrium was also derived from marketing. Here’s Watts:
The hotel atrium shot was originally created for Comic-Con, for like a sizzle reel before we had really shot anything; we had shot like two weeks of footage or something. That was never meant to be in the movie. But I did use that angle for Vulture’s reveal at the beginning of the movie; Vulture’s hovering, swooping towards the camera like that. I used that shot, it’s just no longer in an Atlanta hotel atrium.
Sometimes footage used in trailers and previews are edited out of the final film, but creating new shots specifically for marketing purposes seems to be a more recent phenomenon. What do you think? Do you feel this is misleading to audiences, or just the nature of the movie-making beast?
Spider-Man Homecoming opens July 7.