Homecoming Didn’t Mention Uncle Ben

Although Spider-Man: Homecoming was the wall-crawler’s third cinematic adaptation of the last fifteen years, the film separated itself from its predecessors by portraying the character in a refreshingly bright new light. The angst the character encountered in prior films was gone, replaced by the vibrant tone of a John Hughes coming-of-age film focused on the exciting yet sometimes terrifying prospects of a teen learning what it means to be a superhero.

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One specific way that the filmmakers went about creating the new tone was essentially setting Peter Parker’s young life after the tragedies that made him who he is. Uncle Ben and his famous message of “With great power comes great responsibility” aren’t mentioned once, and Spider-Man: Homecoming screenwriter John Francis Daley has now explained the decision to exclude the character that historically was so intertwined with Peter Parker’s origin story.

“We did talk about there being a scene where [Aunt May] references him directly,” Daley told Entertainment Weekly. “It was when [Peter] was getting ready for homecoming and the wardrobe she was giving Peter was all Uncle Ben’s clothes. It was a nice moment, but we also knew that it veered away from his arc. If you’re going to talk about someone’s death, you don’t want it to be a throwaway.”

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The choices made by the writers and director Jon Watts appear to have resonated with both critics and audiences since the film’s debut last month. Homecoming sits at an impressive 92% Certified Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, and just recently crossed the $600 million mark at the worldwide box office. Eschewing the concerns that some fans had regarding franchise fatigue, the movie also just overtook both of Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man films domestically.

In theaters now, director Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland as Spider-Man and Michael Keaton as Vulture, in addition to Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.

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