Although many people expected that he would continue as Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. surprised Marvel fans when he announced he was finished with playing the part. One of the biggest surprises, though, was when Marvel’s parent company bought back the film rights to Spider-Man from Sony Pictures in early 2015. Afterward, Marvel announced that Tom Holland had been cast as Peter Parker and would be joining the MCU. The casting and overall plan for the character were carefully considered to avoid having him feel like more of an outsider than Anthony Mackie’s Falcon or Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch did before their own big-screen debuts in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Spider-Man knew of Tony Stark long before they ever met face to face. Spider-Man was exposed to Iron Man’s genius a lot through his TV shows and from the newsreel, but their relationship didn’t begin until the web-slinger helped save Downey Jr.’s life (while also helping himself – he switched to Stark technology for most of his adventures afterward).
The truth about Peter Parker’s identity was also what inspired Tony Stark to help the Avengers solve time travel – he just really really wanted to be able to go back in time and bring him back! It wasn’t until 2018, more than 10 years after the duo first met each other, that Marvel finally decided that it was time they made another movie with them both together.
Iron Man has moved over to the dark side and Peter Parker has taken his place as the most popular character in the MCU. Both characters have starred in their own trilogies and Spiderman’s were certainly better received than Iron Man’s by both critics and fans alike. However, nobody expected Spiderman’s Homecoming film to single-handedly break a record previously held by Avengers: Endgame with a worldwide gross of $1 billion! It beats me how long this movie was in cinemas!
Over 2 whole months now! That’s something that I doubt any other team at Marvel Studios would’ve even anticipated for an MCU film, let alone one starring Spiderman which is of course their second-tier hero.
And yet another feather in Tom Holland’s cap who really has become the face of this franchise – so much so that Robert Downey Junior thinks it’s time he stepped back and let “Peter Parker… be the soul of the Marvel universe”.