The Future of ‘Spider-Man’ Rests With Indie Director Jon Watts

It’s been a wild ride for director Jon Watts. Tasked with bringing everyone’s favorite web-slinger to the big screen in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Watts has entered the swirling $11.7-billion-grossing maelstrom of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And as every super hero knows, with great power …

“I tried to not think about it while I was making ‘Homecoming’ so I wouldn’t freak myself out,” said Watts, laughing into the phone from New York City in the middle of the most intensive media tour of his young career. “Once this is over, maybe then. It will be nice to have a moment to take stock and appreciate everything and how absurd it is.”

“Absurd” is one word for the surreal whirlwind leap Watts has taken from the independent film world to the studio blockbuster machine. Later this week, just a few days after his 36thbirthday, the writer and director will open “Spider-Man: Homecoming” in which the most popular comic book hero of all time officially becomes part of the highest-grossing film franchise in history.

It is Watts’ third feature film.

And with a budget of $175 million, it cost 35 times more than the indie that landed him on Kevin Feige’s radar two years ago.

That was “Cop Car,” a modest Sundance thriller about auto-stealing kids on the lam from an evil lawman, played by Kevin Bacon, that got him in the door at Marvel. Watts had no idea then that those first meetings would land him the biggest opportunity of his career.

“I was excited just to go to Marvel,” said Watts. “I kept my drive-on pass, it was such an exciting thing. Do you remember that ‘Simpsons’ episode where Bart goes to the Mad Magazine headquarters in New York? That’s what I felt like it was going to be like: You walk in, there’s Iron Man making coffee…”

The Colorado native had a background in music videos, commercials and comedy with episodes of the Onion News Network and “Clown,” a little-seen Eli Roth horror movie, under his belt. But he’d also been developing a coming-of-age script based on his own childhood, which he now says placed him in the right mindset to reimagine Peter Parker as a 16-year-old junior superhero, wrestling with his still-developing powers after getting a taste of the big time in “Captain America: Civil War.”

The first thing Watts did to find a new way into the iconic character? Re-read the Spider-Man comics, starting with his introduction in the August 1962 issue of Marvel Comics’ “Amazing Fantasy.”

More Details @ Los Angeles Times

The Future of ‘Spider-Man’ Rests With Indie Director Jon Watts

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