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Spider-Man: Homecoming opens this weekend and audiences are in for a treat, as the film, directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car) puts a youthful fizz and pop into the adventures of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland).
In this new retelling of our boy hero, Peter Parker has been folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the action of Homecoming picking up right after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Peter is itching to share the same rarified air as his mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), and eager to rejoin the adventures of the Avengers. Tony instead sends him home, which means heading back to high school in Queens.
But! (Minor Spider-Man: Homecoming spoilers ahead.) Stark does leave Peter with a new souped-up suit — a great improvement from his homemade costume we saw hidden in Aunt May’s ceiling in Civil War. It’s sort of the fully-loaded Spidey version of Iron Man, complete with 576 different combinations of web-slinging options and other high-tech gadgetries. There’s also a soothing female voice that communicates all information — both good and dire — to Peter, one that he dubs “Karen.”
If Karen sounds familiar, it’s because she’s voiced by Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly. Of course, in a nice meta Marvel twist, in real life Connelly is married to Paul Bettany who, as Jarvis (and later, Vision), is the voice of Tony’s artificially intelligent operating system. Got all that? “Yes, it’s Jarvis’ wife,” says Watts with a laugh. “It’s cool, right?”
It is. But what’s next? Could Jarvis and Karen and their big computer brains go on the road together and leave their demanding, emotional human counterparts behind? Can we please cast Taran Killam to be some sort of underling to Maria Hill (played by his real-life wife, Cobie Smulders)? Maybe that MCU scroll can provide more options.