Initially earmarked for a pre-Christmas release, the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home has finally arrived and netted an explosive mix of character development and elaborate action set-pieces. We've also got a brand new poster.
Tom Holland's Spidey returns following 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming in this latest franchise instalment in Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters. (Remember, although the wall-crawler is a Marvel character, his standalone Sony movies are an adjunct to his appearances in Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU for short.)
So we thought we'd spin a web of intrigue and break down the seven trailer highlights ahead of the film's release this July...
1. Aunt May is involved
Spider-Man: Homecoming was Tom Holland's first fully-fledged comic book adventure, following on the heels of his debut MCU appearance in Captain America: Civil War. Breezy and entertaining though it was, with Holland nailing the infectious naïveté of the Peter Parker character, there were some underdeveloped characters.
One of those was Peter's Aunt May, played by Oscar winner Marisa Tomei. She didn't get an awful lot to do, although the closing shot of the film, cutting away just as she realises Peter's superhero identity, provided one of its biggest laughs.
In a neat and humorous twist, at the onset of Far From Home it looks like she's not only reconciled to Peter being Spider-Man, but fully embraces it, assisting him in a PR capacity as he supports New York's homeless.
Plus, she may well have a thing for Tony Stark's bodyguard Happy Hogan (played by Iron Man director Jon Favreau). Talking of which, where is Tony in this trailer? Is he even in the film? If he is, they're not telling.
2. Peter heads to Europe
Much has been made of Far From Home's storyline, which sends Peter beyond the confines of New York for the first time on a European school trip. This allows returning director Jon Watts to unleash the opulence of international locations like Venice and London, but he sticks true to the character's identity crisis that has underpinned all the comic book mythology and ensuing movie adaptations.
This is best personified in the little moment where Peter decides to leave the Spidey suit behind in New York, claiming Europe has no need for a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. Previous movies in the series have flirted with the idea of him abandoning the suit (Spider-Man 2 starring Tobey Maguire made it a key aspect of the plot), but this time Aunt May steps in and stashes it in his suitcase, to the bemusement of a customs official.
3. Peter and Mary Jane
Talking of underdeveloped storylines in Spider-Man: Homecoming, we wish there had been more from the acerbic Mary Jane (played by a pre-Greatest Showman Zendaya). It looks as if Far From Home will sensibly expand her role, as she flirts with Peter during their European trip.
The earlier Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy made the Peter/Mary Jane romance front and centre but it looks as if the new Sony franchise is positioning it as more of a slow burn thing. Peter reveals as much to best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), which leads us neatly onto the next point...
4. Nick Fury meets Peter Parker
Last year we reported on the blog that Samuel L. Jackson's eyepatch-sporting agent Nick Fury, one of the cornerstones of the Avengers initiative, was due to make his Spider-Man movie debut.
The Far From Home trailer allows us to see the end result, as he tranquilises Ned and embroils Peter in a dangerous new mission. This involves a brand new red and black suit replete with flying abilities – handy when the likes of London's Tower Bridge explode and there are people who need rescuing. In Tony Stark's absence, will Nick Fury become Peter's new mentor figure?
Of course, this also raises the issue about where Far From Home is located in the superhero timeline. Given both Peter and Nick suffered the effects of Thanos' (Josh Brolin) finger snap in Avengers: Infinity War, are we to assume this movie takes place beforehand? On the other hand, if it takes place after, this might explain Tony Stark's absence...
Well, the official word comes from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige who confirmed (via IGN) that the movie does indeed take place after the events of Infinity War and Endgame. He says the movie will ask: "What is it like to try to go back to a normal life after what happens in this movie [Infinity War]? Not to mention what happens in the next [Avengers] movie."
5. Spidey's stealth suit
The scale of the threats facing Peter and his friends steps up a notch in Far From Home. We've got broiling electrical storms above Tower Bridge, figures materialising from the rubble of burning buildings and elemental beings emerging from water.
Interspersed with all this is the briefest shot of Peter in his brand new, all-black stealth suit, the first images of which were leaked from Brazil Comic Con last year. The exact nature of this suit and the abilities it grants Peter remains to be seen, but we imagine it'll come in handy when sneaking up on villains much bigger than him.
6. Mysterio emerges
The biggest talking point of the trailer will be Jake Gyllenhaal's appearance as Mysterio, who first turns up in Venice and looks like he's stepped off the set of Clash of the Titans. In the comics he's one of Spider-Man's most feared enemies, capable of magic and manipulation, but in the trailer he appears to ward off Peter's involvement in tackling a massive rampaging figure formed of water.
Comic book fans will be pleased to note the signature fish bowl helmet adorning the costume, one of the ways the movie has stayed true to the character's origins. Whether the Mysterio seen in the movie will start off as a good guy who turns bad, or whether there's some kind of evil motivation we're not yet seeing, Gyllenhaal's involvement is very exciting. He's terrific at playing sinister characters (just look at his insect-like performance in media satire Nightcrawler for that), so we can't wait for him to tap into his super-villain side.
7. Does whatever a Spider can
The classic 1960s Spider-Man TV theme gets a beefy orchestral re-working as the trailer draws to a close – will returning composer Michael Giacchino incorporate that into his score? It acted as a sly musical in-joke during the opening logos of Spider-Man: Homecoming, but we imagine there's more he can do with the idea in Far From Home.
The trailer concludes with a reminder of the rivalry between Peter and high school jock Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori). Only this time, Flash confesses to a grudging kind of respect for the web-slinger – will he discover the truth about Spidey's true identity in Far From Home?
What did we miss from the trailer? Let us know @Cineworld and prepare for Spider-Man: Far From Home when it's released on 5th July.