Jon Watts Talks Influences & Creative Process Behind Marvel's SPIDER-MAN

Jon Watts Talks Influences & Creative Process Behind Marvel's SPIDER-MAN

Spider-Man director Jon Watts shared more than a few details about a variety of topics from his own personal history with the wall-crawler to what landed him the highly-sought after job.

"Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can, spins a web, any size, catches thieves just like flies... look out! Here comes the Spider-Man!"

Early last week, in an interview conducted by IGN, director Jon Watts (Cop Car) was more than a little candid as he shared quite a bit about his upcoming job with Marvel/Sony, which is of course, directing Tom Holland (In The Heart Of The Sea) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's take on Spider-Man.

Marvel Studios perplexed many, when they selected the relatively unknown Watts, whose biggest credits to date were Clown and the well-received Cop Car, for the Spider-Man job, but considering Marvel's history with selecting less-established directors to helm their biggest projects, it probably shouldn't have been all too surprising. When asked about how he managed to land the job, Watts described the process: "You know, still, I’m not exactly sure! [laughs] It’s still hard to believe it’s happening, even though I’m working on it every day. And at weekends. I went in and first it was just a general meeting. Then I just kept going back and talking more and more about why I liked the character so much…" Seems like an adequate response from someone that just landed the biggest job of his career.

Now, moving on to what it was that appealed to him about Spider-Man, Watts revealed that even though he wasn't necessarily the biggest comic-book fan growing up, he still found something, like many fans before him, to relate to with Spidey. Check out the exchange, where he also briefly touches on what differentiates Spidey from the more-established Avengers, below:


IGN: So what does appeal about the character to you? Were you a longtime Spider-Man fan?

Watts: Yeah, I wasn’t, like, a crazy comic-book fan, but absolutely. I mean, I think every kid is a Spider-Man fan at some point. It’s a phase you go through because he’s just the most relatable of all the [superhero] characters.

IGN: Peter Parker is a very different character to someone like Tony Stark, Bruce Banner - or Thor.

Watts: Yeah, and I think that’s what will set him apart. I mean, I can’t go into any plot details, but he’s the ground-level superhero. It’s really exciting, because we’re doing it as a High School movie. And I think it being a coming-of-age movie, to see that growth, will also be really fun.


With that, the conversation shifted to which Marvel movies Watts liked best, and not wanting to reveal too much about what he may be picking up to use in his film, he did say he enjoyed seeing how all of the movies connect and specifically mentioned that he liked watching "the Stark family continuity throughout the movies, seeing Tony’s dad in the first Captain America, things like that." It's not too revealing, but considering there's been rumblings that Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man may show up in Spidey's solo feature, it should be worth noting that Watts mentioned the Stark family by name.

He never did share what his superhero movie was, instead opting to once again reiterate that he's looking at this latest big-screen interpretation of Spider-Man as more of a coming-of-age tale more so than anything else. As for his inspiration, he says "I have a lot! I love Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything and Almost Famous, I think those are really great coming-of-age movies. Can’t Buy Me Love is a really great one… It's been really fun to go back and revisit all those too and see what makes those movies really special. I also re-watched Breaking Away and Dead Poets' Society, which is such a moving one." More than a few winners on Watts' list, so let's hope he can cook up something special.

To cap off the extensive interview, Watts touched on what it means to him to tackle such a big franchise film after watching other young directors experience either immense success or near-catastrophic failure, with seemingly little-to-no middle ground between the two. Check him out below as he also touches on how he plans on inserting Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe:


IGN: What’s your take on so many relatively young and inexperienced directors - Colin Trevorrow, Josh Trank and now you - getting major franchise gigs? Did you ever think, ‘thanks, but no thanks. It’s too big a step up?’

Watts: Well, working with Marvel and Sony, I feel like there’s a lot of support in place. It doesn’t feel like I’m alone in a room with the burden of making this movie all on my shoulders. It’s a really sort of nurturing and collaborative environment that they’ve created. So right now, it feels good and very positive and very creative. It’s fun! I’m having a blast.

IGN: Have you thought how to work your Spider-Man into the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Watts: Well yeah, he’s in a world where the Avengers exist. So that already puts lots of possibilities at play. It’s all the same universe, so definitely. It has to make sense logically.


Lots of exciting stuff to digest here. So, what do you guys think? Are you ready to see Spider-Man make his debut in Captain America: Civil War next year? Sound off with your thoughts below!

Marvel's Spider-Man hits theaters July 28, 2017

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