Spider-Man: No Way Home is less than three weeks away from blowing the doors off the MCU story with a Multiversal ride that will pay tribute to the web-slinger's entire live-action movie history. With this upcoming release, fans have taken a golden opportunity to dive back into Spider-Man's movie history, which started off in the MCU with 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Tom Holland's first solo outing helped to set Peter Parker firmly in the MCU as Queens' resident superhero while he learned how to use his new Stark suit and find his place in the superhero ranks. This also came with some major changes to his life outside the suit as he does his best to hide his secret identity from everyone in his life who isn't an Avenger.
Of course, that didn't work out for too long in the early stages of Spider-Man: Homecoming with Jacob Batalon's Ned Leeds seeing Peter unmasked and crawling back into his bedroom. This moment turned out to be one that went through plenty of discussion in the writers' room while developing Homecoming's plot.
Justice League's Influence on Spider-Man
During a watch party for Spider-Man: Homecoming, via Twitter, writer Jonathan Goldstein touched on why the MCU decided to have Ned Leeds find out about Peter Parker's secret identity.
The team ended up looking at DC's Justice League for inspiration, although it was to emphasize just how important secret identities are in that universe. Letting Ned find out that Peter is Spider-Man helped to differentiate the two comic book universes from each other in regard to secret identities in their respective movie franchises.
"We had long conversations about this subject. Ultimately, we felt that one of the things that distinguishes Marvel from DC was the deemphasis on secret identities."
Goldstien also explained the details behind choosing the Death Star Lego set from the Star Wars franchise, which was picked simply, so it could shatter into pieces as soon as Ned drops it to the ground:
"The main reason we chose the Lego model was for this moment, so it could fall to the floor when Ned drops it."
On a more personal note, the Homecoming writer also answered the question of what made him want to be involved with the film, to which he responded that it was "a dream come true:"
"I grew up a serious comic book geek. This was a dream come true."
"You're The Spider-Man...from YouTube!"
Ned Leeds finding out that his best friend is Spider-Man was one of the turning point moments in Spider-Man: Homecoming, particularly with the fact that only Tony Stark knew this secret before that moment. While it set up the hilarious moment with the Lego Death Star falling and breaking, it gave Tom Holland's Peter a unique opportunity to confide in someone else about his superhero exploits.
In Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man franchise, Mary-Jane and Harry didn't find out about Peter's superhero life until the end of the second solo movie, and the list of people who knew ended there. Andrew Garfield's The Amazing Spider-Man movie duo took a similar route by only having Gwen Stacy find out about halfway into the first movie, and she was the only one other than her deceased father who ever knew the secret.
Looking at the comparisons to the Justice League is also an interesting point, particularly with their run in movies alongside the Avengers.
Throughout the DCEU's nearly nine-year run, none of its core heroes' secret identities are known to the public, whereas the MCU's public knows who every Avenger really is, especially after Spider-Man: Far From Home. Peter Parker is the only MCU hero who worked hard to keep his identity hidden, which truly does separate the Avengers and the Justice League from one another.
Of course, this is all set to change in a big way with Spider-Man: No Way Home as Peter goes to Doctor Strange to fix his Mysterio-induced identity crisis. While Homecoming set up this new version of Peter to deal with that kind of problem, it will be interesting to see how long Peter Parker remains hidden behind his Spider-Man alter-ego.
Spider-Man: No Way Home will debut in theaters on December 17, 2021.