‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ writer reveals difficult choice over Peter’s secret identity

One of the best scenes in 2008’s Iron Man comes right at the end. Agent Coulson gives Tony Stark a prepared statement explaining that Iron Man is his bodyguard. Stark walks out before the crowd and at first denies that he’s the superhero type, only to pause and admit “I am Iron Man”.

Since then the MCU has rarely bothered with secret identities. Heroes are either public figures or simply fly low enough under the radar that they don’t need to conceal their identity. The big exception is Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, and No Way Home will show him trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle after his secret identity was blown by Mysterio.

But the cracks in his secret first happened in Spider-Man: Homecoming, when his buddy Ned saw him climbing through his bedroom window. Now, during an online watch party for the movie, writer Jonathan Goldstein said they wrestled with the best way to deal with the subject:

It’s a good point: Superman and Batman are obviously notorious for keeping their true identities hidden, but in the DCEU alone Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, and – to some extent – Aquaman all have separate civilian lives where their co-workers and friends don’t know their costumed activities.

Throughout the No Way Home trailers, we’ve seen the negative impact of people knowing Peter is Spider-Man. MJ and Ned are on the front page of the Daily Bugle as “Spider-Minions”, they’re pursued by the paparazzi, yelled at by protestors, and it seems that he’s facing costly legal action for his heroism. But even after the spell we know Ned and MJ soon re-learn Peter Parker’s secret, so at least the core group dynamic will remain intact.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is available to buy on Prime Video, Apple TV Plus, Vudu, Google Play, or YouTube. Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17.