Venice canals to Tower Bridge: Spider-Man takes on Europe
Director of Spider-Man: Far From Home says iconic landmarks in Europe allow the web-slinger to morph into a global superhero
LOS ANGELES : He is more used to swinging between New York skyscrapers - but the makers of Spider-Man: Far From Home say Europe's most popular tourist sites made the perfect playground for the famous webslinger.
Currently showing here, Peter Parker's latest adventure plays out during a summer school trip, and leaves a trail of sticky destruction across historic landmarks in Venice, Prague and London.
"What's great about the Tower Bridge is finally we had something for Spider-Man to swing off!" said director Jon Watts of the film's climactic fight scene. "It makes for such a great playground where he's trying just to get up onto that tower and he can't."
Similarly, an early battle sees Venice's ornate bridges, canal walls and bell towers provide Spider-Man the ideal platform for spinning his webs - though not all survive unscathed.
Iconic locations are useful in complex action scenes, Watts said, because they provide a simple geography that means "people understand where they are and what's going on".
"It really helps if you know what everyone's trying to do and where they're trying to go," he said.
As the sequel's title suggests, the film-makers also wanted to explore taking the teenage Parker (Tom Holland) and his high-school friends out of their comfort zones.
The idea originated during the press tour for the previous film Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), when a young cast including former Disney star Zendaya visited Paris, Rome and London to promote the movie.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recalled thinking: "You know what, this would be fun to take the kids who were really with us on that press tour as actors, to have their characters come and do a similar trip - albeit a Queens high school-type trip."
The kids and their teachers experience all the common tourist pitfalls in Europe - awkwardly trying to speak Italian, getting lost down winding streets and showing up at museums when they are closed.
"We've made a lot of movies that take place in Manhattan, and there's a lot of movies of Peter swinging through the city," said producer Amy Pascal. For this film, we "wanted this working-class kid who wasn't terribly sophisticated to be in a very, very different culture in which he didn't quite know how to behave," she added.
Of course, the character of Spider-Man has been popular around the world for decades. But in the context of the Marvel film series, Far From Home starts out with Parker as a "friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man" unsure how to compete with nefarious villains on an international stage.
"Seeing him as a global hero on the screen felt like a nice evolution of that," said Feige. - AFP