Peter Parker lives a pretty cool life — one that gets a bit cooler in Spider-Man: Far From Home (even if he doesn’t want it to) when superspy Nick Fury shows up and gives him a mission. The endeavour gives Peter a new costume to play with...one that, at first, the team behind the movie made look almost too cool for someone who’s also a bit of a dork.
Gifted to Peter by Nick after the former is roped into the latter’s investigation of mysterious elemental monsters appearing all over Marvel’s post-Endgame Earth, the “Stealth Suit” seen in Far From Home is two things to Peter.
Firstly, it’s a way for him to operate in Nick’s world of subterfuge without recognisably being “Spider-Man” during his time as a civilian in Europe with his school friends.
Secondly, as we learned on the set of Far From Home last year, it’s a design that strips Peter back down to his heroic basics — relying less on tech and more on his abilities — but at the same time, also back down to who he is at his core: a young kid in the big leagues who, no matter what cool things he can do, is still awkwardly nerdy deep down.
“It’s awesome,” Tom Holland himself told us between takes on set. “It’s not actually capable of much — it sort of strips Spider-Man back, and it’s now him relying on his powers. But it is his ability to act as Spider-Man without the world knowing Spider-Man is there. It’s just an idea he has to keep his identity from his friends, but it’s awesome.”
While this particular stealth suit is a new creation for the MCU, drawing on the visual language established by the movies already, it does have some notable comic inspirations. “It’s inspired by a bunch of different looks in the comics,” executive producer Eric Carroll noted.
“We have Noir, Big Time — but of course, when Ryan [Meinerding, concept artist and Marvel Studios head of visual development] was designing this, he has all the past SHIELD agents in mind, so it’s very reminiscent of what a Black Widow or Hawkeye wear. And it’s got all these little details, which Ryan’s amazing at.”
The suit indeed is very slick, even without the bells and whistles of the Stark-designed suits seen in Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War, and what you’d expect when it’s something made at Nick Fury’s behest. But according to Carroll, Far From Home director Jon Watts found it too slick for it to feel right on a goofball like Peter Parker. “We thought [the Stealth Suit] was so cool, but Jon Watts really wanted to find a way to make it less cool,” he said. “So he gave them these cheesy flip-up goggles, like those ‘80s glasses. [Tom] has to operate them manually, there’s no cool mechanism.”
“It’s so funny, because we sent the design off to costumes and props, and of course the first design they sent us was like [Carroll mouths sci-fi laser effect noises] and it was awesome, like an Iron Man helmet. And we’re like, ‘No, that’s the point...dumber! It’s got to look really dumb, when he has to flip that up.’ So, at the eleventh hour, he’s looking down all these imposing characters — Nick Fury and so on — and then [Peter] has to flip this up and talk to him.”
Being both extremely cool, yet at the same time incredibly dorky, is just as purely Peter Parker as the suit focusing less on gadgets and more on his powers. But an added benefit to all that thematic interplay in the Stealth Suit, according to Holland? “I can go to the bathroom [in it],” the actor noted. “which is a huge bonus.”
Which is admittedly a very Peter Parker thing to be proud of when it comes to suit design. You can read more from our time on the set of Spider-Man: Far From Home below.
On the UK set of Spider-Man: Far From Home last summer, one question was on the minds of press: How does Peter Parker’s next solo adventure deal with the cataclysmic events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame? We didn’t get to find out, obviously. But we did learn how a different scale for Jon Watts’ Homecoming followup will bring Peter back down to street level — even as he goes on the road trip of a lifetime.