“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is the first Marvel movie made specifically for nerds — and it’s about time
If you’re familiar with the previous Spider-Man reboots — and, frankly, teen movies in general — there’s one thing that stands out in Spider-Man: Homecoming: there are no jocks. Teen films are *famous* for their social hierarchies, and the previous Spider-Man films — with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield playing the titular teen superhero — were no different, with the character of Flash Thompson serving as the classic bullying jock.
That’s where Homecoming steps in. This movie is much different — not specifically because of the lack of jocks — but because it spends less time trying to manufacture the “typical” teen movie high school experience and more time embracing the nerdy lives of Peter Parker and his friends.
During a recent press conference in New York City, Jacob Batalon, who plays Peter’s best friend Ned, opened up about the importance of staying true to yourself and embracing the nerdy-ness.
"Our message is that you don't have to be the jock and you don't have to be the cool person in high school, just be yourself, you know," Batalon said, speaking on what the cast hopes viewers take away from the film. "The coolest person to yourself is yourself, and we're like nerds and we love to be smart and that's okay. There's nothing wrong with being yourself."
Laura Harrier, who plays Liz, the senior Academic Decathlon captain (and Peter Parker’s love interest), added that the film was deliberate in allowing each character to have unapologetic quirks and interests.
"We've been talking about that a lot," she told the crowd. "Everyone in this movie's kind of, so different, but genuinely kind of themself — especially, Zendaya's character, who is very different but not ashamed of it. Same with Liz, and Ned, and Flash — everybody. I think if teenagers could take that away, that'd be great."
Even Spider-Man: Homecoming’s high school bully, Flash Thompson saw the “jock vs. nerd” trope finally retired, with Flash being portrayed as an academically-insecure, wealthy classmate of Peter’s who uses his jealousy as a way to mock and make fun of Peter. This newly updated Flash kept the sprit of the iconic “bully” alive without feeling compelled to stick with a tired storyline.
"I tried to embody what Flash was to Peter Parker in the comic books," Revolori told HelloGiggles in an interview. "Back then that was a common a jock and a nerd, but what Flash was to Peter Parker was an obstacle that he had to overcome. That it was the thought of taking the easy road and giving Peter an option," Revolori said. "Do I beat him up because I'm Spiderman or prove that I'm Spiderman, and we see that in this film where he has the opportunity to do that. Or do I become the better person and be responsible and I think that's what Flash is in the earlier days, which that's what we're portraying now."
It seems that Spider-Man: Homecoming pulled out all the stops to embrace nerdy-ness. We love how much thought was put into the film because it truly is a film for nerds — actually, TBH, it’s a film for everyone.
Nerd or not, you can check out Spider-Man: Homecoming when it hits theaters on July 7th!