With great power comes great editing.
Fans of Spider-Man: Homecoming were hugely happy with the way the movie handled the Spider-Man lore. Marvel and Sony’s joint venture felt fresh enough that returning fans were bored to tears – while exciting enough to give this incarnation a new perspective. But one thing missing that had a few fans asking questions was the complete absence of Uncle Ben – one of the big reasons Spider-Man becomes the hero he is. Turns out, he almost had a bigger role in the final movie.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Spider-Man: Homecoming co-writer John Franchis Daily said that the decision to exclude Uncle Ben was made to fit in with Peter Parker’s story arc;
“We did talk about there being a scene where [May] references him directly. It was when [Peter] was getting ready for homecoming and the wardrobe she was giving Peter was all Uncle Ben’s clothes. It was a nice moment, but we also knew that it veered away from his arc. If you’re going to talk about someone’s death, you don’t want it to be a throwaway.”
On balance, I think the decision to remove Uncle Ben worked for this incarnation of Peter Parker. One of the major problems with the cinematic universe is that there isn’t much room for background noise. Throwing out an Uncle Ben line like described above might not have connected with audiences the way it should – given how much is going on in the movie during that period. I didn’t mind the lack of Uncle Ben (I think we’ve all seen him die enough times on screen).
There was some criticism that this version of the Aunt May character lacked the presence that previous incarnations of the character have had – leading some to feel that the lack of Uncle Ben only took from the movie. Whatever your opinion, there’s also the possibility of Uncle Ben featuring somewhere down the line inside the MCU.
Never say never with Marvel and the MCU.