During the opening minutes of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) is picking up the mess caused by the Battle of New York in The Avengers, before being rudely interrupted and sent away by the Department of Damage Control. Flash forward eight years — you know this thanks to a dope title card — and Toomes is now establishing himself as the film’s Big Bad.
But wait — it can’t have been eight years since The Avengers, since the Joss Whedon film seems to establishes itself as taking place in 2012, the year it came out and Spider-man: Homecoming seems take place in the present — and 2012 + 8 = 2020. So, what does this all mean?
If you were confused by this timeline glitch, you’re not alone because now, Kevin Feige chief of Marvel Studios, is setting the record straight.
Feige told Cinemablend that while MCU tries to keep from putting specific dates in its films, he admitted Marvel needs to publish an updated timeline so fans can follow along with an accurate frame of reference for the sequence of events.
“All of that debate has made us go, ‘Okay, at some point, I’m not sure exactly when, we’re going to publish a timeline and see what it all is,'” Feige said. “It wasn’t meant to flummox anybody exactly, and I’m not sure I’d do it again the same way, but it does all connect to where we placed it. Other than very particular instances where there’s a newspaper, or verbal reference to years, we never date the films. And I think there’s a presumption, ‘Well if the movie came out in November 2017, it must take place in November 2017’ — which is not the case.”
Feige went on to add that he looks at the MCU timeline like Star Wars, not thinking in specific years but in major events — like Tony’s announcement about being Iron Man — and categorizing everything else as before, during, and after.
While this is totally a fair assessment from Feige, you have to admit that MCU technology aside, it totally seems like Homecoming takes place in 2017 — just look at Peter’s high school. That’s definitely a 2017 high school (*whispers* or even a…2016 high school).
Feige definitely has a point in his thinking but MCU canon is already so convoluted, we’re going to need a road map of sorts to help us understand where everything fits in the timeline ASAP.