In recent years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has developed a habit for plucking young filmmakers from relative obscurity and handing them the reins of a mega budget comic book blockbuster, an approach that’s worked out very well for both the franchise and the talent.
Prior to boarding the Spider-Man trilogy, Jon Watts’ entire filmography consisted of middling horror Clown and road trip thriller Cop Car, which combined for a total box office haul of less than $2.5 million. Fast forward six years, and Tom Holland’s three web-slinging adventures have hauled in roughly $3 billion, winning rave reviews from both critics and audiences in the process.
Not only that, but Watts is sticking around the MCU to helm the Fantastic Four reboot, while his mystery crime caper with George Clooney and Brad Pitt sparked a massive bidding war that was ultimately won by Apple. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Kevin Feige lavished him in praise when talking about his growth as a director in an interview with Sony.
“What’s such an honor working at Marvel Studios is getting to watch storytellers, whether they’re actors, whether they’re directors, whether they’re writers, whether they’re the other creative producers, grow and change and evolve over the years; and Jon Watts is an amazing example of that. He did a great film called Cop Car, very small but very character-oriented which is really what got him on our radar for Homecoming.
And now, seeing him grow through Homecoming and then Far From Home and now with No Way Home, which is by far the most ambitious Spider-Man movie ever made, seeing how he’s grown into that role and really now has gone from an excited newcomer to an excited expert, which is fun to watch, and he’s now handling these tremendous action scenes with a skill that now other filmmakers are looking up to and wanting to learn from. Which is just fun now as — am I becoming an elder statesman? Maybe I am…to now sit back and watch that is really amazing.”
Watts has the world at his feet, and you can guarantee that every project he directs for the rest of his career will come packaged with “From the director of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Far From Home and No Way Home” as a key part of the marketing, fully justifying Marvel’s decision to drop him in at the deep end.