Spider-Man: Homecoming cut a scene directly mentioning Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, and it was a good move for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Spider-Man: Homecoming cut a scene directly mentioning Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, and there’s a reason it was a good decision for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Uncle Ben has always been integral to Peter Parker’s journey as Spider-Man in Marvel’s comics and films. However, Homecoming did a new take on the character. Since both Tobey Maguire’s and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man films showed the superhero’s usual origin story involving Uncle Ben, the MCU chooses to skip it and let fans infer a lot about Parker’s backstory. Of course, Uncle Ben is still important to Peter Parker and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), but he’s more on the periphery of the MCU’s Spider-Man stories. And thus far, Marvel hasn’t directly mentioned him in detail in the MCU.
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Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has to stand apart from Maguire and Garfield, which is why it makes some key changes and has some big omissions. Similarly, the MCU makes this version of Spider-Man different, with a greater emphasis on his relationship with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), who is the defining presence in Peter’s life (even after Tony’s death) throughout the MCU’s first Spider-Man trilogy. Uncle Ben has been referenced in the MCU – Spider-Man: Far From Home had Peter use Ben’s briefcase, for instance, and Spider-Man: No Way Home used the “great power…great responsibility” line – but it has nonetheless largely avoided him.
Related: No Way Home Finally Confirmed Uncle Ben Never Mattered In The MCU
Though Homecoming does a different take on Spider-Man’s origins, the film cut a scene referencing Uncle Ben. During a Quarantine Watch Party for Spider-Man: Homecoming in December, Jonathan Goldstein, one of the film’s writers, confirmed an Uncle Ben scene didn’t make the movie. “We wrote a scene where May takes Peter to the closet and they choose one of Ben’s old suits which she still hadn’t thrown away,” Goldstein wrote. The scene could’ve been an emotional take on Uncle Ben, but the film was right to cut it.
Uncle Ben didn’t deserve to get shoehorned into Homecoming. With Ben Parker’s impact on Peter Parker’s life, a throwaway moment wouldn’t do the character justice. Homecoming made a deliberate decision to stay clear of Spider-Man’s origin story, and shoving in an Uncle Ben reference that doesn’t need to be there likely wouldn’t age well with fans. It also wouldn’t impact the movie. If the character does get more directly mentioned in future MCU Spider-Man films, he deserves more reverence than a brief moment that doesn’t truly affect the story.
There are ways to make an Uncle Ben scene work and honor the character, given the MCU has indirectly referenced him enough that the character is clearly part of Peter Parker’s history. At the same time, with No Way Home giving the “great power” line to Aunt May and killing her off, it suggests that it’ll be her legacy Peter works to honor in the future and that she’ll matter much more than Uncle Ben. Of course, future Spider-Man movies could draw on both and there’s still plenty of room to discuss Uncle Ben even after Spider-Man: Homecoming avoided it, but it has to be used carefully: with a great character comes great responsibility.
More: All 9 Spider-Man Movies Ranked (Including No Way Home)
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Bill is an experienced reporter who’s covered entertainment and fandom since 2014. He’s done everything from unearthing the discarded Game of Thrones pilot script in a library in Texas to finding out why Steve left Blue’s Clues. He also enjoys eating Taco Bell and drinking chocolate milk.
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