Reader, I am still not fully over the unceremonious booting of Tom Holland from the Avengers franchise. But if anything could make me feel marginally better on the subject, it would be the release of a few extra minutes of screen time for Spidey, previously deleted from the final edit of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Revealed by Yahoo, the extra minute-and-five-seconds of screen time serves to cement the emotional attachments made in the film, leading to what I think is a more compelling ending.
The first additional sequence shows a sweet little moment between Peter Parker and MJ, sleeping next to each other on the flight home from their European adventure. Even though they’re characteristically embarrassed about being so close together, they soon get past it and settle back down to sleep. Don’t you just love those kids?
The second is edited to follow directly afterwards, as Peter steps out of the terminal to greet Aunt May. With Peter donning Tony Stark’s glasses, it’s a bit of a giveaway, but May’s affectionate comment, “I think you’re gonna grow into them,” really rounds off the whole film. After all, the central thesis is to set Peter up for a future as torchbearer for the Avengers. So maybe it’s convenient, with the ongoing saga of the ugly Sony/Marvel split, that the scene was omitted from the final cut.
Since the split, more and more footage is coming into light (which makes it sound a lot like an inquest — and in some ways I suppose it is). The trend has seen many films gain theatrical re-releases with extra footage, including Far From Home (albeit with a nominal sum of four extra minutes). Not only that, but yesterday we reported on an alternate take from the original Iron Man, in which a prescient Nick Fury alluded to Spider-Man and the X-Men in the MCU as far back as 2007 or 2008. And just days before, Kevin Feige just recently announced the Infinity Saga box set with never-before-seen footage. Boy, the MCU marketing team must have had a field day, exhausted by their efforts to sell all this new material.
On one level, maybe there is just a lot of footage out there that got left on the cutting room floor. It’s an epic undertaking to shoot any movie on this scale and editing decisions need to be judicial. Far From Home, Sony’s most profitable movie to date, and which broke records on its opening weekend, was certainly subject to this rigorous editing process in order to make it so successful.
But on another, I feel as though the trickling of recent footage is Marvel’s attempt to appease audiences. After the messy divorce between the two mega-corps, perhaps it’s an assurance that it’s still a company that keeps fans’ interests at heart. Otherwise, it would hardly be operating within the entertainment industry. I like to hope that there’s still a speck of good left in the corporation — but maybe I’ll believe it when Spider-Man comes back home.