Why Marvel nixed a Spider-Man cameo in Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Tom Holland denies Spider-Man 3 Holland.
Tom Holland as Spider-Man. Pic credit: Marvel Studios.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier could have had a major MCU cameo.

In a new interview, showrunner Malcolm Spellman shares how there was a brief idea of having Tom Holland as Spider-Man appear on the show, but Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige himself kept it from happening.

A Marvel crossover

One of the best parts of the Marvel Universe has always been how characters could pop in and out of each other’s adventures with ease.

Given the number of heroes in New York City, it’s no surprise that scores of comics will have, say, Spider-Man and Daredevil running into the middle of an Avengers mission and often reference events happening in other titles.

The MCU has done its best to emulate that but faces the key challenge of having actors with time in their schedules for such surprise appearances.

Speaking to Inverse, Spellman was asked about how the finale of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier has Sam and Bucky trying to stop the Flag-Smashers from attacking an international conference.

Given this was a major event in the middle of New York, the possibility of a Spider-Man cameo was brought up.

“Of course! Then Kevin Feige tells you, ‘No. Stop it.’ Listen, when you first show up to these projects, in your mind, you think you’re gonna get to use everybody in the MCU. But Marvel always asks, ‘Does this person belong in this story? You cannot just geek out and put all of our characters in your project because you like them. They have to occur organically.’ So Spider-Man did not make it.”

Spidey’s cameo timing

Spider-Man Homecoming
Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Pic credit: Marvel

It would have been tricky to work Spider-Man’s appearance given the timeline of Phase 4 of the MCU.

It’s still unknown precisely how long after the events of Avengers: Endgame that Falcon and the Winter Soldier takes place. It appears to be at least a few months but indicated it might be longer. 

Meanwhile, it was established Spider-Man: Far From Home took place a few months later but likewise unclear if it was happening at the same time as FATWS. 

Therefore, it’s hard to tell if this would be before or after Peter Parker’s identity is exposed to the public, so he would have bigger problems than helping the pair out. 

There’s also the fact that, while fun, Spider-Man’s appearance would have been a huge distraction from the point of the episode, which was Sam accepting the mantle of Captain America and taking away from his own heroics, which no doubt was another reason it was nixed.

Where’s Steve?

Captain America (Chris Evans) has a lot on his shoulders in Avengers: Endgame. Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019

Spidey isn’t the only missing figure in FATWS’ plans.

One of the key questions of fans is where Steve Rogers is. The series never confirms his fate, leaving fans unsure if Steve has died or simply retired or somewhere else.

When it was brought up, Spellman acknowledged that even he had no idea about Steve’s current whereabouts. 

“I’ve got to tell you the truth, my friend. Marvel won’t tell me what happened to Steve, so we were able to write whatever we wanted because we don’t know. We’re wondering if Steve’s on the moon too, you know what I’m saying? That’s as good a guess as anything because they won’t tell me.”

Spellman has been selected as the writer for the upcoming Captain America 4, which promises to feature more of Sam as the new Cap.

While Chris Evans remains wary in interviews, the possibility he at least makes a cameo to close out Steve’s story would be fun. 

Spellman’s comments show that while the MCU wants to be interconnected, they also put the stories first over mere fan service.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier season 1 now streaming on Disney+.

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