Warning: Major spoilers from Spider-Man: Far From Home are discussed during this interview.
Shortly before Spider-Man: Far From Home was released around the world, I got to sit down with director Jon Watts for a wide-ranging interview. Since I knew I was going to post the conversation after release, I made sure to ask him about specific things that happened during the film and after-the-credits. So if you’re curious about how they got J.K. Simmons to come back as J. Jonah Jameson, the decision to end the film with the world learning Spider-Man’s secret identity, or having Nick Fury and Maria Hill as Skrulls during the entire film, you’re in the right place. In addition, we talked about whether he’ll return to helm the next Spider-Man sequel, if he ever wasn’t going to do Far From Home, casting Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio, deleted scenes, what will be on the Blu-ray, and a lot more.
Check out what he had to say below. And if you missed my video of Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon playing with therapy dogs while answering some fun questions, you can check it out here.
As all of you know, Spider-Man: Far From Home sees Peter Parker (Holland) looking to get away from his Spider-Man responsibilities by going on a European vacation with his classmates, but his trip gets hijacked when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) recruits him to fight against elemental monsters surfacing across the continent. The film also stars Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Martin Starr, and Marisa Tomei.
Collider: So the first one comes out, and it’s a huge hit. And I know when the first one was getting ready to come out, I asked Kevin Feige and he was like, “We’re hoping to bring John back.” Did you ever almost not come back, or was it always, “I’m doing the second one.”
JON WATTS: Yeah. It was always. I mean, I think just not screwing up the first one was enough for them to be “Yeah, do it again.”
Well there’s a few filmmakers that have handled doing a few. Also, if I’m not misunderstanding this, it was always planned as a trilogy. Sophomore, Junior, Senior Year. Have you guys already talked about doing a third? Are you?
WATTS: No. I mean, the MO is just do one film at a time. Finish it. Get it out. And then start talking about what to do next.
At the genesis of this project, was it always this story? Talk a little bit about how this all came together, in terms of Mysterio, and making this the story you guys wanted to tell.
WATTS: Yeah. We started with two ideas, which were Mysterio, somehow, and a European vacation. And then, just using that as the jumping off point, trying to figure out a story within that was the challenge. Just locked ourselves in the writers room until we figured it out.
How early on did you know it would be Jake Gyllenhaal?
WATTS: Pretty early. But it was a similar thing with Michael Keaton where you’re “That would be perfect, but is he going to do it?” Because Jake has never done a movie like this before. And, once we knew what we wanted to do with the character, Jake just seemed perfect because you can get the Nightcrawler Jake and you can get the leading man Prince of Persia Jake. And you get to have all the versions of Jake Gyllenhaal in one role.
You’re making this before Endgame’s come out, before the world knows what happens to Tony Stark. So, what is it like on set? How many people know what’s going to happen in Endgame, and how many people are “There’s just murals of Tony Stark everywhere.”
WATTS: Well, we had to do all of the murals in post, because we couldn’t risk someone taking a photo of this memorial mural for Tony Stark in Venice or in New York or anywhere. So we just had to do all of that stuff later, because it was on an absolute need-to-know basis. No one knew unless they absolutely had to, to understand a scene. We kept it very, very secret.
I was going to say, watching the film though, there’s not many scenes of people talking about what happened. There’s only Peter and Happy. There’s not many.
WATTS: No, no. I mean, we wanted to let it be something that… You want to feel Tony’s ghost without being so explicit about it. That wasn’t a spoiler reason, that was just part of the story. I wanted it to feel like it was there and it’s this thing looming over Peter and he’s running away from it. But, no matter where he goes, it’s there.