There were several big moments during Wednesday’s world premiere of “Spider-Man Homecoming,” the much-anticipated reboot from Sony and Marvel.
Robert Downey, Jr., who in the film reprises his role as the larger-than-life Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man, cruised into the premiere on Hollywood Boulevard in an Audi sports car, delighting the thousands of fans lining the block hoping to get a glimpse of the Marvel star.
Meanwhile, newly-minted Spider-Man, Tom Holland, arrived in costume, mingling with fans who took selfies with the masked superhero. Holland later disappeared into a different Audi, ditching the red tights and emerging in a fitted suit to walk the red carpet.
The release of the film is the culmination of a partnership where Sony ceded much control of their “Spider-Man” franchise to Marvel, whose more than a dozen films have grossed nearly $12 billion worldwide.
“Their success is not an accident,” Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman said. “Marvel, there’s a true, true level of expertise involved in making films with their characters. We benefited tremendously from that partnership.”
Rothman added, “What we learned from Marvel is they have deep in their DNA an understanding of how their many characters fit together. And, at the same time, I think they learned from us a lot about the legacy of Spider-Man. It was a great collaboration.”
The reboot, Rothman said, “is a fresh, new take” on the franchise.
An all-new cast, including a cadre of young actors, lent the premiere a different feel in the superhero movie world. The film tells the tale of young Peter Parker, who after returning home from his experience with the Avengers (in “Captain America: Civil War”), finds himself trying to balance his role as superhero with his daily high school life. Parker lives with his Aunt May, played by Marisa Tomei.
Downey’s Stark becomes mentor to Parker who later faces off with a new villain, Vulture, played by Michael Keaton.
Holland seemed to be processing the sudden impact of becoming a star to Spider-Man fans who have previously grown up with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in previous iterations of Peter Parker.
“Everything has changed,” Holland said. “My private life is still the same, my family treats me the same. But I mean, we’re on Hollywood Boulevard and all of these people are here to see Spider-Man — and I’m Spider-Man!”
Marvel Studios president and “Homecoming” producer, Kevin Feige, said that the deal struck between Marvel and Sony to collaborate for this film and other future ones fulfills the original intention of Spider-Man creators, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
“We’ve always believed that there was a Spider-Man in our cinematic universe – you just haven’t met him yet,” Feige said. “So we get to bring him home—the dual meaning of our “Homecoming” title — into the MCU where he gets to interact with all of our other characters exactly like he was created to do.”
Director Jon Watts agreed. “Spider-Man was always meant to be the kid in a world of superheroes.”
Amy Pascal, the former Sony Pictures chair who brokered the deal with Marvel, also attended the premiere. Pascal, who has transitioned from studio chief to producing, said, “I feel really lucky. I’ve got to make movies with some really wonderful people. It’s a great partnership with Kevin.”
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” bows July 7.