Yes, Spider-Man: Homecoming is the greatest Spider-Man film adaptation of all-time, but did you know that it’s easily the most ethnically diverse Spidey Remix’s off all-time as well? Well if you’ve seen the movie then that’s no big spoiler. However, if you have not seen the film or have been communing with monks atop a mountain citadel for ten years, Peter Parker’s high school bully Flash Thompson isn’t the same ol’ Flash.
What was the same old Flash like? (See previous monk reference) Everybody knows that Flash Thompson is supposed to be the captain of the football team, tall and muscular and, lest we forget, white. All that is true right up to the day that it’s not. The Shadow League had a one-on-one sit down with Tony Revolori aka Flash Thompson. Here’s how it went down.
The Shadow League: You’re Flash Thompson and I imagine him to be the modern day version of what a bully is. A bully doesn’t have to be the 6-foot-4 jock, unintelligent, lumbering brute. In this day and age, all a bully needs is to have a keyboard. Could you explain playing this uniquely millennial version of Flash Thompson?
Tony Revolori: I’d like to say thank you. You’re the first person who has gotten what I was trying to do. John (Watts, the director) and I had conversations where we were like, ‘How do you personify an internet bully?’ Because that’s what it is now. Sure, there’s people who physically harm people, too. But that’s much less tolerable. Now it’s harder to stop a bully on the internet? How do you personify that? Someone who is unstoppable. Someone who has no weight in his words. His words are heavy regardless, or has no thought to what he says? They came up with the idea, ‘What if he’s rich? What if he’s a cocky brat?'”
At the same time I wanted people to understand that he’s this way, like any person becomes this way in the world through living. You see pockets of it throughout the film where (Peter Parker) answers a question with ease within five seconds without even looking at it. It’s that sense of jealousy, of course he goes about it the wrong way and he is a dick, but at the same time I wanted him to be sympathetic and people could see where he’s coming from. I hope people understood what we were trying to do because it is difficult to quantify what that is, but I hope it makes sense to people.
Spider man Homecoming “Peter Parker vs Flash Thompson” Trailer (2017) Tom Holland Superhero Movie HD
Spider man Homecoming “Peter Parker vs Flash Thompson” Trailer (2017) Tom Holland Superhero Movie HD [Official Trailer]
TSL: When I see a character I immediately begin imagining their home life, the pressures they might go through, and I’m imaging in Flash this guy who grew up in a household that values of academic excellence, and he’s seeing Peter not even trying?
TR: In my mind, and this is in no way canon, his dad is obviously rich, but it’s one of those things where, ‘I’ve made my fortune, when are you going to make yours?’ There’s pressure. ‘You’re not the best in your school? I was? Why aren’t you there?’ It’s one of those things where, not only is Peter smarter than he is, but in my mind, it’s also because Peter is poorer than him. Flash has convinced himself that he deserves to be the best because he’s rich, because he has the best tutors. Why is he not the best? If I’m asked back to do another film, hopefully we’ll be able to explore that some more. That’s what makes these characters so great. It is a great dichotomy to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker.
As many characters that are in the film now, they gave space for each of them to progress and grow.
TSL: This is the most quintessentially Queens cast I’ve ever seen in my life. I was tired of seeing films hearkening upon the imagination to envision a particular quality of a neighborhood, then not living up to it. Like, Rumble in the Bronx didn’t have any Spanish speaking people in it, then i see Spider-Man: Homecoming and I see Queens. And I see the cast and think, ‘Yeah, that looks a whole helluva lot like Queens! Even the extras looked Queens to death.
TR: I will say kudos to Amy Pascal, Kevin Fiege, John Watts and Luis Esposito. You guys created an amazing atmosphere. John Watts didn’t just grab a bunch of extras. He handpicked all of them himself. Like, ‘This one, this one, this one!’ making sure it felt like Queens, which is wonderful. For them to be able to do it in a movie like this is just gonna invalidate every excuse studios make for not hiring a brown lead. It’s not casting simply for the sake of diversity, but because the person is perfect for the part.