The Marvel Cinematic Universe — all-encompassing juggernaut that it is — got a little bigger today.
Robert Downey Jr. has signed on to appear as Tony Stark in next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Marvel’s snarkiest superheroes will meet for the first time in Captain America: Civil War, which swings into theaters May 6th. Apparently, Downey’s chemistry with Peter Parker actor Tom Holland is so strong and their story established so well in the film that Marvel and Sony have been working hard to bring the pair back together for Spidey’s first solo outing in the MCU.
The inclusion of an Avenger in the cast of Homecoming shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. As Marvel Studios president (and Homecoming co-producer, alongside former Sony chief Amy Pascal) Kevin Feige recently told EW, “[Spider-Man] is in the universe now, and the fun of the universe is that characters go back and forth.”
With the addition of one star, however, comes the loss of another. News surfaced earlier this month that Michael Keaton was in talks to play Spidey’s nemesis, though Deadline is now reporting that those discussions have fallen through.
Regardless, Homecoming’s cast is shaping up to be quite the doozy. Tom Holland will of course play the titular web-slinger, with Marisa Tomei signed on to play Aunt May, and Zendaya ccast as a character named Michelle. Jon Watts is directing from a script by John Francis Daley with a target release date of July 7th, 2017.