Spider-Man was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an instant when he swung across an airport tarmac, yanking Captain America’s shield from him, and squinted the eyes of his suit to say, “Hey, everyone.”
Following that act, Spider-Man gets his own standalone film in Spider-Man: Homecoming, where he will be wearing the same suit from Captain America: Civil War. As it turns out, the suit audiences are seeing on the screen was truly on the set of the film when Jon Watts directed it on the Atlanta sets.
“It’s 100% practical when we’re shooting,” Watts said. “[Tom Holland] has a full suit that he wears whenever possible. And then, what we do is we go in and then just sort of clean it up. You paint out the seams, you paint out zippers, and if there’s too many wrinkles in a particular part, you paint that out. Then, you animate the eyes.”
The moving eyes are the only part of the suit which couldn’t be pulled off on set. “They look exactly like the way they do in the movie,” Watts explained. “They just don’t move.”
As for the design of the suit, that fell on the creative team during Spidey’s involvement with his Civil War debut.
“Well, at Marvel, they have this amazing visual development team,” Watts said. “Their main job is designing the characters. They did most of the work for the suit for Civil War, so that it was ready, but the inspiration was always the original [Steve] Ditko illustrations.”
“But the lead concept artist there, this guy, Ryan Meinerding,” Watts went on. “This is before I came on, but [Marvel Studios president] Kevin [Feige] told me this story and I love it: I think Spider-Man is Ryan’s favorite character and he asked Ryan, ‘What would you do if you could do anything? Let’s say Tony Stark built a Spider-Man suit, what would you do?’ He said, ‘I’d have the eyes move.’ Because in the comics, the artists have always drawn the eyes with different shapes to show his emotion, but you’ve never been able to do that in the movies because there was no reason to. But by having this tech angle on it, you weirdly can get closer to the spirit of the comics by having these expressive eyes.”