WARNING: This article contains minor spoilers for Captain America: Civil War.
If you've been paying any attention to the Captain America: Civil War marketing over the past few months, you're probably aware that Spider-Man is on #TeamIronMan. At Civil War's UK press conference, co-director Joe Russo explained why Tony Stark seeks out the young Spidey's particular set of skills:
“Look, there’s a certain narcissism to the character and Tony doesn’t want to lose this fight, and at the same time I think he also sees Spider-Man as the greatest living non-lethal weapon. If you’re going out to capture a bunch of people who you don’t necessarily want to hurt, you couldn’t ask for a better character than Spider-Man to take with you."
"He does show up and illustrate that Spider-Man, he knows how powerful he is. In a video we see Spider-Man stopping a car moving 40 miles an hour, where he catches it and puts it back on the ground, so I think he believes that he’s taking with him perhaps one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe, and I think he feels like the kid will be well-protected under his tutelage".
"You also find out in that sequence, when things go wrong the kid says, ‘What do I do?’ and Tony says, ‘Keep your distance, web ’em up.’ So he’s obviously mentored the kid for what’s about to go down."
Although Anthony Russo followed up his brother's comments by joking that "It’s still very irresponsible", the fact that Tony's recruitment of Spidey boils down to the fact that he feels like he would be a good mentor for the new hero (in addition to his non-lethal super strength) is interesting. Here's hoping we saw more of that mentor-mentee relationship in next year's Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Directed by Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, and starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, Tom Holland, Anthony Mackie, and Sebastian Stan, Captain America: Civil War opens in UK cinemas on April 29, 2016 and May 6, 2016 in the US.