Robert Downey Jr. Joins 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'

Marvel's Shell-head is looking to join Sony's Web-head.
Pascal Le Segretain/WireImage
Robert Downey Jr.

It looks like the team-up of Spider-Man and Iron Man seen in Captain America: Civil War won’t be the duo’s last.

Robert Downey Jr., who plays the red-and-gold-armored Marvel character, has closed a deal to join the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel and Sony’s reboot of the web-crawling superhero, sources tell THR.

Tom Holland will star as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and is making his debut as the character in Civil War (and already garnering praise for his take on the role).

The movie establishes a key relationship between Tony Stark/Iron Man and Parker, and Homecoming will continue that thread.

Homecoming has been casting up ahead of its June start of production. Marisa Tomei will play Aunt May, while Zendaya is one of the female leads. Tony Revolori, who starred opposite Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Laura Harrier, who appeared in the soap opera One Life to Live, are also boarding the production, which is being produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal.

Sony has held the rights to Spider-Man since the 1990s, but its recent outings with the character proved unpopular with fans and critics despite relatively strong box office. Meanwhile, Marvel built itself up as a movie studio, reacquiring the rights of many of the characters it had licensed out in the 1990s, and then was bought by Disney. Spider-Man was one of a handful of characters that eluded Marvel.

Last year, however, Sony execs invited Marvel to come in and handle the character, in an effort to restore him to his former glory. One of the ways Marvel is doing that is by introducing Holland as Spider-Man in Civil War before he goes on to his own movie series.

But with Downey’s boarding, it appears that Marvel will continue to keep Spider-Man close not just creatively but also literally; Iron Man and Spider-Man appearing together in Homecoming keeps the Sony movies strongly tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its films released by Disney.

Downey and his industrialist hero have been cornerstones of Marvel’s film slate even though unlike his other co-stars he has not signed the studio’s complicated multipic deals. His last renegotiation included his appearing in Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Part 2, as well as Civil War.

His appearance in Homecoming required another round of negotiations. It is unclear whether that is to appear in just Homecoming or subsequent installments as well.

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