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Diversity Unanimously Approved! | SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Press Conference

New York, NY – 6/25/17: L to R – Michael Keaton, Tony Revolori, Zendaya, Tom Holland, Laura Harrier, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei and Jacob Batalon attend a Photocall for Columbia Pictures’ “SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING” at The Whitby Hotel.

SONY Pictures presents a Marvel Studios / Pascal Pictures production, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. Starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Laura Harrier, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, with Marisa Tomai and Robert Downey, Jr. Directed and cowritten by Jon Watts, SPIDERMAN-MAN HOMECOMING is one of the year’s most anticipated films. After a 2-year build-up, with a tease during last year’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, the new-n-improved reboot placed a pleasing web-spin among the entire franchise. Joining the MCU as a quasi-Avenger, Tom Holland’s cameo fighting alongside Team Iron Man with a then tag of “Underoos,” the stage was set for big expectations among one of the world’s most popular superheroes to have ever blessed our imagination.

As we crawl upon its release (Friday, July 7), HOMECOMING held its press junket the weekend of June 23rd – 25th in not only the character’s home, but mine as well. (The Big Apple!) As expected, the film is a pleasant rush of unstoppable enjoyment. From start to finish, it’s a cinematic journey of heroism that beautifully balances itself with teenage drama. Sprinkled with Easter eggs and added touch-ups with Marvel’s usual post-credit scenes, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is one of the biggest and boldest among movie-magic experiences this year.

I was one of the lucky journalists to have been invited to Spidey’s spectacle weekend. Granted a spot during the studio’s domestic press conference on Sunday, July 25th, the scenery was just as magical as it was in the film. Being greeted by peers and reps in full Spidey spirit, it was pleasing to have been tangled in this web of excitement. After checking in, scoping out and grabbing my spot, breakfast, and some catch-up with peers, it was time for us to cop-a-squat, followed by cast, director, and producers being introduced.

New York, NY: L to R – Amy Pascal, Kevin Fiege, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Michael Keaton, Tom Holland, Robert Downey, Jr., Maris Tomei, Zendaya, Tony Revolori, Jon Watts – SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Press Conference Panel at The Whitby Hotel

From the start, what was brought to light aside from how psyched everyone is regarding HOMECOMING and Spider-Man’s new path among the MCU was the film’s diversity. One that’s never really been heavily placed in other comic-book movies, HOMECOMING covers that base more than anyone would expect. “I would say that the inspiration for this was reality,” says Amy Pascal when approached (alongside Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Fiege) on how having cast in diverse form elevates a film, because it’s more American in terms of everyday relatability than the usual layout. Pascal’s answer was received with applauds, and for good reason seeing as it’s a true and smart observation.

One of the standouts in the film is Tony Revolori who plays the role of Flash Thompson, an annoying, bully’ish-like nemesis to Peter Parker. The talented Latino of Guatemalan roots shines in HOMECOMING. His supporting role outdoes itself in form where ethnicity isn’t even a “thing.” Having done great work in previous films like DOPE (2015) or THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014), SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING will place him in yet another light of likeability.  Having been asked about his thoughts as a Latino cast in a role originally for a blonde with blue eyes, Revolori followed up with, “Working on a project like this is on a different level because we have so many fans and people who work so hard and put so much effort into it, you can’t help but want to do a good job. You know, I’m very fortunate to be a part of it with a great cast. Thank you to Jon, Amy, and Kevin for casting a 5’8” brown guy to play a 6’2” blonde blue-eyed guy.” “It’s wonderful,” Revolori continues, “I think the fact that when you see the film, there’s not a single line of exposition as to explain why I look the way I look, and I think that’s wonderful. That I just am in the movie; it’s not about a certain race, it’s not about doing anything. I think that’s the kind of diversity we need in Hollywood now.”

And now it counts more than ever seeing as the playing field has changed in big ways. Not that it’s never existed, but with film’s like HOMECOING, along with others in store, Hollywood’s landscape has drastically changed. More on HOMECOMING was expressed by other members of the cast. Unfortunately for me I wasn’t selected to ask my question(s), but the good thing is no matter whether I do or not, at these gatherings there are always a handful of others waiting to ask the same thing. As usual, rawdio has bene provided for your enjoyment. Simply click to hear the entire conference in its entirety if you weren’t on our FB page last week as I went live twice for chunks of the event.

That said, enjoy your holiday and remember to catch SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING this coming Friday, July 7 at a theater near you!

© 2017 Marvel Studios/SONY Pictures