Tony Stark figured prominently into the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer when it was released last night (and even more prominently into an international cut of the trailer that downplayed the movie’s high school elements), it left audiences wondering just how significant Iron Man’s actual role will be in the film.
While it’s clear that Tony Stark — who brought Peter into the superhero universe in Captain America: Civil War and gave him a costume — will be a big part of the story on a thematic level, what’s less clear is just how much screen time he’ll have.
Certainly it’s clear he’ll have more screen time in Spider-Man: Homecoming than Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner had in Iron Man 3, but it also looks like less than some fans wanted — but just the right amount for others, who had already started joking on Twitter within moments of the trailer’s release that it looked too much like “Iron Man 4, guest-starring Spider-Man.”
We see that there are at least two distinct scenes featuring Tony Stark and one featuring Iron Man in the film. One of the scenes — the one in the limo — takes place at night, while the Iron Man shot (seen below) clearly is during the day, so it’s unlikely that those two are back to back.
That means at least two and likely three different parts of the movie where Tony appears, with the limo scene appearing to be near the start of the movie (“You mean I get to keep the suit?” Peter asks in the international version of the trailer), a scene where Tony is walking Peter through a building happening after The Vulture makes his first appearance (“Forget about that flying monster guy,” Tony tells him, “There are people who deal with that kind of thing.”), and a scene of the two of them swinging/flying through New York together in costume, which we’re assuming is either directly before that second scene with Stark, or at a totally different point in the movie when Iron Man is willingly working with Spider-Man rather than trying to get Peter off the streets.
It wouldn’t seem out of line for that to be more or less the entirety of Robert Downey, Jr.’s role in the film. That’s still more significant than most Marvel cameos have been in past movies, and if the Iron Man sequence is after, rather than before, Tony tries to talk Peter out of being a superhero, it would be a nice full-circle moment that shows support AND gives for a badass superhero team-up moment after all the “you’re too young!” pearl-clutching seen and discussed earlier in the trailer.
Either way, it looks like Iron Man will get about as much screen time here as the average Marvel villain: enough to be a significant presence in the movie, but not enough to upstage Spider-Man in his own solo debut.