Spider-Man: Far From Home nearly included a voice-only cameo from Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) late mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Spoilers follow.
Some time after Stark’s heroic death in Avengers: Endgame, Peter inherits a pair of Stark’s glasses housing powerful artificial intelligence EDITH — Even Dead I’m the Hero — voiced by Marvel Studios veteran Dawn Michelle King. But according to screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, the creative team once considered having EDITH transmit a message from Stark:
“I think if anything, it was always going to be re-used footage. We had talked about possibly hearing Tony’s voice through EDITH at one point, but I think a little goes a long way and we didn’t want to lean too hard,” McKenna told The Hollywood Reporter.
Added Sommers, “He is so beloved and we definitely talked about so many things, but at at some point it’s about the absence of a person and about the loss of that person. If you show that person and that person has such a presence, does it fight trying to portray the loss?”
Stark instead appears through recycled footage when purported superhero Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) reveals his true identity: that of Quentin Beck, a scorned ex-Stark Industries employee left with a grudge against Stark after he failed to realize the true potential of Beck’s life work.
Beck designed the “revolutionary” holographic technology exhibited by Stark in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, nicknamed Binarily Augmented Retro-Framing — or B.A.R.F. — and took issue with Stark using the tech as a “self-therapy machine.”
For McKenna and Sommers, this flashback was a sufficient appearance for Stark; his armored alter-ego Iron Man makes his own cameo when Mysterio uses his mastery of lifelike illusions to terrorize Spider-Man with a taunting Iron Man corpse that breaks free from its grave.
“Doing the flashback like we did with Civil War is probably the most you’d want to see and hear Tony in this movie,” McKenna said.
“Like Erik says, if you are doing a movie about loss, you don’t want to keep going to the well. ‘He’s still alive and now he’s a hologram, showing you around Avengers compound.’”
Spider-Man: Far From Home is now playing.
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