This week a YouTube video popped up that made a claim about the Sony/Marvel/Spider-Man relationship that is being spread around Marvel fandom, and as it’s such a big claim that can cause huge fights among fans it’s worth investigating to see if there’s any actual evidence that it’s legitimate.
In a YouTube video about Sony’s cancelled Amazing Spider-Man 3 plans, it’s claimed that “Marvel Studios never intended for Iron Man to be in Homecoming or a big part of Peter’s life, but Sony wanted this to be the most star-studded Spider-Man movie ever.” The only problem with that is that all of the evidence out there about the development of the MCU Spider-Man contradicts the claim.
Firstly, when Marvel Studios was looking for the new Spider-Man (and it was Marvel’s Sarah Finn who oversaw the casting) they had the actors screen-test with Robert Downey Jr. to ensure there was chemistry between Spider-Man and Iron Man, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter back in 2015:
Robert Downey Jr., whose Iron Man character appears in Civil War and is said to share scenes with Peter Parker/Spider-Man, participated with the actors in the tests, which included former-Sony-chief-turned-producer Amy Pascal and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige. They were looking for chemistry between the boy and the elder Avenger.The Hollywood Reporter, June 23, 2015
That was just for Spider-Man’s first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, but because of that Iron Man was always part of Spider-Man: Homecoming according to director John Watts in an interview with Den of Geek in 2017:
He was always a part of it. That was always a big part, the idea of him being this reluctant mentor – or the unintentional mentor – to Peter. Like, just sort of the grand ambition to be like that someday.Den of Geek, July 3, 2017
But that doesn’t mean that Peter Parker was meant to be “Iron Boy Jr.” in the MCU, as the intention of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home was for Peter Parker to emerge from the shadow of Iron Man to become his own hero, as Kevin Feige explained to CinemaBlend in 2019:
And as we were working on Endgame, we realized that the true end of the entire Infinity Saga, the final film of Phase 3, had to be Spider-Man: Far From Home, because – spoiler – we lose Tony Stark at the end of Endgame. And the relationship between Peter Parker and Tony Stark is so special over the five films that Tom Holland has portrayed Spider-Man in the MCU, that we needed to see where his journey went, and see how does Spider-Man step out of the shadow of his mentor Tony Stark and become the true hero that he was always meant to be. It’s for that reason that Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home are essentially two pieces of the same story, and it’s not over yet until Spider-Man: Far From Home.CinemaBlend, June 25, 2019
No one can argue that Sony didn’t make some strange decisions with their Spider-Man movies (remember the EDM-loving Snapchatting Spider-Man idea from the email leaks?), but right now it doesn’t look like there’s any evidence to support the claim that Sony forced Iron Man into Spider-Man: Homecoming as the character was connected to Peter Parker from the very beginning of his time in the MCU.