By Leah Greenblatt
July 09, 2019 at 11:15 AM EDT
Credit: Sony Pictures (2)

Warning: This post contains spoilers from Spider-Man: Far From Home. Read at your own risk!

He may have lost his longtime employer and best friend, but some things can still end Happy-ly ever after for Jon Favreau’s faithful consigliere and forever right-hand to Tony Stark’s Iron Man.

In the final scenes of Spider-Man: Far From Home, it becomes clear that Peter Parker and MJ aren’t the only pair dancing around romance; Happy Hogan and Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May have quietly been weaving their own love story — and bringing a little more depth to the stories of their longtime supporting characters, too.

“Jon Favreau is one of the godfathers of the MCU,” executive producer Eric Carroll told EW on the London set of Far From Home last August. “And Happy and Peter have a great dynamic, almost like an older-brother thing where every time Tony did something nice for Peter, it kind of rubbed Happy the wrong way.”

Here, though, they’re both in mourning for the man they lost; “I don’t think Tony would have done what he did,” Happy tells a tear-streaked Peter, “if he didn’t know you were gonna be here after he was gone.” Or that Happy would be there, too: pushing Peter to take Nick Fury’s phone calls (S.H.I.E.L.D. agents do not respond well to “send to voicemail”); scooping him up from a Dutch tulip field in Stark Industries’ private jet; passing on the gift of a pair of very special, very Tony glasses.

And still finding time, somehow, to form another kind of partnership with his charge’s legal guardian. “Aunt May has always been portrayed as the sort of doting gray matron,” Carroll explains, “but when we went back to the comics to try to boil down what was important about that character, it was just a fact that she was inexplicably the age of a grandparent, even though she’s supposed to be his dad’s brother’s wife, so we were like, ‘We’re going to cast someone who could be more like a single-mother type.'” Enter Tomei, with her cool mom jeans, swinging curtain of hair, and soft spot for underserved communities.

“Obviously, the end of the last movie was sort of this shock moment where May walks in so now she knows Peter’s Spider Man, and another idea that was partly championed by Marisa herself was that we wanted to have a new take on her anyway, so what’s that like now that she knows? We didn’t want to just show somebody waiting by the police scanner or worried about him all night.”

“May and Marisa both have a bit of an activist streak about them,” he continues, “so we pitched this idea where she’s like, ‘Yes, this is great! you can do so much good for the world!’ She’s not worried about him at all — in fact, now she wants him to drop out of school and be the face of the Red Cross and help give donations for all these worthy charities and stuff. She’s sort of his anchor to his regular life.”

With May as that new kind of mother figure, do the late developments in FFH mean that someday soon, Happy could be not just the big-brother guy but a sort of stepdad, too? Only time — and possibly the next installment — will tell.

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