Where does Spider-Man go from here? In the real world, audiences will be following Tom Holland’s Peter Parker to Europe when the web-slinging superhero’s second solo MCU outing, Spider-Man: Far From Home, premieres in theaters on July 5. That’s mere weeks after the Universe-changing results of Avengers: Endgame.
**SPOILER WARNING: This story contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.**
Marvel has yet to reveal exactly when Spider-Man: Far From Home takes place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s chronology. When the film’s first trailer dropped, many fans assumed it would take place between the events of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War, given Peter’s mirky (dusty) status at the end of Infinity War. It was the safe theory; most fans were confident Peter would return in Avengers: Endgame — and, yes, he does, alongside every other hero we lost to the Snap — but they could not be absolutely, 100 percent sure. Now, Peter is back ... but we’re still not sure about when Far From Home takes place and, in fact, have more questions than ever.
One thing is for certain, though. If Far From Home does take place after Endgame, Peter Parker is going to be facing down many changes. Never mind that his young life was put on hold for five years. Never mind that his non-Snapped peers have aged out of high school and tried to move on (though this is a major question that needs answering as well). Never mind any of that — because Tony Stark is dead.
Tony's death marks the end of an era for the MCU. Robert Downey Jr. was the franchise's founding father, boasting the most appearances (and lines) in the series and driving the plot, and his loss is going to have a seismic impact, not just on the in-world universe but on the fans as well. On top of Pepper Potts’ reassurances — “You can rest now” — and the knowledge that he’s leaving his 4-year-old daughter behind, fans also had to witness Peter Parker’s reaction to seeing his mentor and father figure pass before his eyes. While Tony died for a valiant cause, saving both his world and the universe from Thanos’ terror, that doesn’t make his death hurt any less or have any less of an impact on those around him.
The MCU has only ever alluded to Spider-Man’s origin story, in part because we already know it: His parents die and young Peter Parker is raised by his aunt and uncle until a radioactive spider bite, a dead uncle and the great power equals great responsibility lesson, in that order. The MCU didn’t show any of Peter’s relationship with his Uncle Ben, but used Tony as a father figure in his place.
As the MCU’s resident youngest hero, it made sense for Peter to find solace and mentorship in one of the founding Avengers. While Spider-Man has run solo in past films, trying to figure out the whole superhero thing on his own terms, the MCU’s Spider-Man had Mr. Stark to teach him the ropes. As of the end of Endgame, the MCU’s Spider-Man has died, come back to life, lost three fathers (his dad, Uncle Ben, and Tony), and is maybe about to head off to Europe to find yet another father figure in the form of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio.
Assuming Marvel isn’t pulling the wool over fans’ eyes ahead of Far From Home, the normally villainous Mysterio is on Peter’s side for at least part of the film. Entertainment Weekly released a new image from Far From Home on April 25, one day ahead of Endgame’s premiere, showing Mysterio and a mask-less Peter shaking hands. In Far From Home, it seems, Peter has Mysterio and Nick Fury on his side, but that's about it. The various teases from Holland and director Jon Watts included with the photo still don’t tell us when the movie will be taking place, but Watts’ comment about Peter needing a vacation at the beginning of the film is suspicious. Granted, Homecoming wasn’t kind to its titular hero, either, but Endgame is even more brutal.
Add this to Watts’ quote that “If Tony Stark was sort of the mentor in the previous films, we thought it would be interesting to play Mysterio as almost like the cool uncle,” and we’re getting somewhere (though hopefully he's not the kind of cool uncle we saw in Into the Spider-verse). Tony was still wildly protective of Peter in Infinity War, meaning that if Far From Home takes place before that, there’s no way he would have let something as small as the Atlantic Ocean stop him from coming to Peter’s aid in Europe if Peter were in trouble with a bunch of Elementals.
The logical conclusion is that Peter really is on his own in Far From Home because Tony is dead. And where does that leave Peter? With a lot of responsibility, that’s for sure.