If only films were made for the narrative and not the money. We would not be in a situation where Tom Holland’s version of Spider Man, who has become an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is cruelly ripped out of said universe. All of this is because both Sony and Disney want more money than either of them should have. It has recently been announced that they have failed to come to a new deal, with Disney reportedly wanting a jump from 5% of the profits to 50% (to be fair, they are offering to pay for half of the costs too). It seems like this is too big a jump for Sony to stomach. Now the complex web of the MCU, with Spider Man sitting at the centre, has been ripped apart. The only brightside is that Far From Home actually proves to be a satisfying conclusion to Tom Holland’s version of Spider Man’s arc, which started in Civil War.
At first, it may seem like Far From Home is the worst possible film to end Tom Holland’s Spider Man’s story. It ends on one of the biggest cliffhangers of any MCU movie (save the infamous end to Infinity War). J. Jonah Jameson and Mysterio reveal Spider Man’s identity to the entire world! This has never been done on screen before, to the best of my knowledge. Even Aunt May finding out Spider Man’s identity at the end of Homecoming was a massive shock, for Spider Man’s identity always seemed to matter a lot more to him than most superheroes. To see the mask come off truly turns the world of Spider Man upside down. Naturally, people want to see the repercussions of this game-changing moment. This is unlikely to happen now, which will disappoint a lot of fans.
Whilst it may be unsatisfying to leave a film on an unresolved cliffhanger, this could prove to be similar to the original Italian Job and actually work out for the better. In Civil War, Spider Man is introduced as Iron Man’s Robin. Tony Stark makes the Spider Man suit for Peter Parker, and decides when and when Spider Man is needed in the operation looking to capture Captain America. To the rest of the Avengers, Spider Man is known simply as the fourteen year old kid Iron Man brought on to the team. Living in Iron Man’s shadow is what Homecoming is all about. Spider Man, famously, suffers a humiliating defeat where he is unable to stop a Ferry falling apart without Iron Man’s help. Tony Stark takes the suit away as a punishment for his recklessness, and the rest of the film is about proving that Peter can be Spider Man without the help or guidance of Tony Stark. This proves to be the case, for Spider Man does stop both Vulture and Shocker’s plans. Far From Home takes this further and places Peter in a world without Tony Stark/Iron Man. He is asked throughout the film to fill the large hole left by Iron Man’s death at the end of Avengers: Endgame. By the end, he does this successfully. He defeats Mysterio and his “avengers level threat”. This is made all the more significant by the fact Mysterio, Quentin Blake, is only a villain because of Tony Stark, who angers Quentin to the point that he wants to wreak havoc. Spider Man is not only in the city-saving role of Iron Man now, but he is also correcting some of Tony Stark’s past mistakes. The cliffhanger of Far From Home, in this context, serves to consolidate this character progression.
Ending with the public revelation of Spider Man’s identity puts Spider Man in Tony Stark’s shoes. Everyone knew that Tony Stark and Iron Man are one and the same: “the suit and I are one”. “I am Iron Man”, he proudly declares to the world. Spider Man’s mask and hidden identity was the last barrier separating Iron Man and Spider Man’s journeys. This does make for a promising set up to a third film, for Scorpion could have made a return now knowing the wall-crawler’s identity after Vulture refused to divulge this secret. However, it also works as a standalone ending. Despite having the foundations of his entire career taken away from him, Spider Man has developed to a point where he is able to cope with it. We do not need to see what happens after this ending because Spider Man will be fine. He has grown and matured to the point where he can handle anything, despite the seismic shock. Read in the context of being the last MCU Spider Man film, Far From Home’s cliffhanger can be read quite optimistically.
Further, the relationship between MJ and Peter is given a hopeful ending. Mysterio/Quentin Blake, also frames Spider Man for his death and for all of his crimes, whilst revealing his identity. J. Jonah Jameson has now started a savage media campaign against the webslinger. Will MJ believe these lies? Does she trust Peter enough to know Jameson is spouting fake news in a fashion not too dissimilar from Alex Jones? We know she will. Their relationship is strong. Peter has gained MJ’s love, affection and trust. We do not need to see how she will react to this revelation because their relationship is strong enough to survive it. Again, Far From Home being the cut off point for this story makes for an affirmative ending.
It would actually be quite depressing if there were to be a Spider Man 3 (with the word “home in the title, no doubt) and it began with MJ dumping Peter, or with Peter crumbling under the pressure of everyone knowing his identity. Allowing Far From Home to be the ending of his story creates an optimistic message: Spider Man and Peter Parker can now handle anything that is thrown at him. Whilst it is sad that this story is now likely to be over, unless Disney and Sony finally put narrative before cash, at least Spider Man’s time in the MCU ended on a positive and satisfying note.