By Jack Rico
The newest reboot of the beloved Spider-Man tale is just around the corner! Spider-Man: Homecoming is already making quite a buzz worldwide, and for all the right reasons. Producers, Kevin Feige (Marvel) and Amy Pascal (Sony), and director Jon Watts, are making the right and overdue casting choices. Sony and Marvel Studio’s, Spider-Man: Homecoming, is the complete package, not only does it have a star-studded cast, but the cast is multiethnic! Representation is happening and not just as a scene stealer but as a whole, and cohesive narrative.
Tom Holland shares the spotlight with a remarkable set of actors who come from different ethnic backgrounds. Tony Revolori, Jacob Batalon, Zendaya and Laura Harrier are giving the Marvel Cinematic Universe the diverse representation it lacked. By far, this is the most diverse cast in a MCU film that does not feel forced, it feels natural and right.
The rising stars, alongside Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal, and director Jon Watts, attended the highly coveted press conference on Sunday morning in New York City. During the conference moderator, Scott Mantz, brought the attention to Latino actor, Tony Revolori, of Guatemalan descent, and asked him how working with Watts differed from working with director Wes Anderson in The Grand Budapest Hotel. “Working on a project like this is on a different level because we have so many fans and people who work so hard and put so much effort into it, you can’t help but want to do a good job, you know I’m very fortunate to be a part of it with a great cast. Thank you to Jon, Amy, and Kevin for casting a 5’8” brown guy to play a 6’2” blonde blue eyed guy,” he responded.
Tony Revolori, plays the character of Flash Thompson, Peter Parker’s high school rival—the typical brawny jock. But what makes Revolori stand out is that this time, Flash has a different ethnic background than in previous reboots; he’s no longer a Caucasian jock. This led me to raise my hand and as luck would have it, I was called on next to ask a question, I directed it to Revolori, “How does it feel to represent the Latino community in such a well-known comic book franchise?” “It’s wonderful,” Revolori began, “I think the fact that when you see the film, there’s not a single line of exposition as to explain why I look the way I look, and I think that’s wonderful. That I just am in the movie; it’s not about a certain race, it’s not about doing anything. I think that’s the kind of diversity we need in Hollywood now.”
Revolori could not have explained the importance of his character any better, he’s just being. There’s no need for an elaborate explanation for why Flash is now represented as a Latino since there was no elaborate trope when Flash was portrayed by Caucasian actors. This question and answer were trailblazers, and many online magazines sites such as The Huffington Post, The Vulture, Bustle, and Yahoo Movies, have voiced their excitement about our question and Revolori’s answer.
Representation is so important, and as a Latina, you can just imagine how delighted I was to see myself represented in a Marvel film! Spider-Man: Homecoming, takes place in Queens, the largest of the five boroughs of New York City. It is coined as the melting pot. The film is the diverse Spider-Man we deserved and needed that rightly represents the wonderful melting pot that our society is.
When the producers were asked what inspired them to make such casting choices, Amy Pascal gave a genuine and heartfelt answer, “I would say that the inspiration for this was reality.”
After the press conference, I was able to talk to Revolori for a bit and he thanked me for shedding light into the topic of representation with my question. The saying “representation matters,” will ring loud and clear in the MCU and fans will be more than happy with it. Also, the new CAA study clarifies how much diverse casts benefit the box office.
You can check you the full press conference here, and make sure to stay tune for our review of the movie later on this week, which I can safely say will make you want to go to the nearest midnight screening.