Exclusive: Jon Watts on His Childhood Love of Spider-Man

Cop Car director Jon Watts talks about landing the job directing Marvel's new Spider-Man movie.

The Spider-Man director talks about getting started on the 2017 reboot

Every year, the Sundance Film Festival introduces a number of talented filmmakers to the world and while Cop Car wasn’t Jon Watts’ first feature, it made enough of an impact that it helped him score possibly one of the most coveted and prestigious (or nerve-wracking, depending on who you ask) filmmaking gigs available when he was hired to direct Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures’ next Spider-Man movie with Tom Holland in the lead role.

ComingSoon.net/SuperHeroHype got on the phone with Watts earlier today to talk about Cop Car, but there was an elephant in the room that was hard to avoid while talking to him. You probably already know part of the story in that people at Marvel and Sony (presumably Kevin Feige and Spider-Man co-producer Amy Pascal) saw and liked Cop Car and called Watts in for a series of meetings before he got the gig. 

Watts’ story just sounds so amazing, because he makes it seem like getting the gig was so easy, but he elaborated on what was involved. “You have to be able to have a vision for it, but there’s also just a lot of endurance, keeping up your enthusiasm going in for meeting after meeting,” he said with a laugh.

We asked Watts how he’s been dealing with the fact that there have been other Spider-Man movies, and that he more than likely had seen most of them before realizing he’d be directing one himself. “It’s true, but it’s been around for ever so there’s no idea that hasn’t been explored in some capacity in the comics at some point. I like seeing everything and letting that inform it.” 

wattsspideyrightWatts told us his own history with the character that made him so excited to land the gig. “I had this learn-to-draw Spider-Man comic book. There were some panels that were blank panels for you to fill in the rest of the story and then some that were just pencils for you to ink and then there were some that were already inked for you to color to decide if you want to be the penciler or the inker or the colorist or the writer. I was obsessed with this book. I would bring it to school every day until I had slowly filled up and colored every panel and then after that, it was the Todd McFarlane era, his run which was so cool. That’s when I was really into comics, but now it’s just been really great to hang out in an office and read comics all day, catching up on everything that I’ve missed.”

Watts has only just started working with writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (whose directorial debut Vacation was released this past weekend). Though Vacation is very different than Cop Car, they do both involve cars and driving, but other than that it’s hard to see how their sensibilities might come together on a Spider-Man movie. “We’re all learning about each other, but they’re very, very smart and extremely irreverent and I can’t wait to start,” Watts told us. “I should be working on it right now and not doing a bunch of Cop Car interviews probably.”

They hope to start shooting sometime next year, but Watts wasn’t ready to give out any set dates even though Spider-Man has already secured a July 28, 2017 release date. (That’s in less than two years!)

In the meantime, you can look for more with Watts over on ComingSoon.net soon talking about Cop Car, which you can see in select cities on August 7 and On Demand August 14.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)