Spider-Man: Homecoming, the latest film from Marvel Studios, takes place largely in New York, with the character of Peter Parker going to high school in Queens. But was Homecoming legitimately shot in Queens? Or did the crew set up production elsewhere?
The majority of Spider-Man: Homecoming was not actually shot in Queens. Instead, it was primarily filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, production was headquartered at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta. This is the same location where the majority of Marvel Cinematic Universe films were shot, including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Strange, and Captain America: Civil War.
High school scenes in Homecoming were shot at Grady High School in Atlanta, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
So why did the Spider-Man: Homecoming crew decide to shoot in Georgia and not in New York, the place where the movie is actually set? Mainly it’s due to costs. The state of Georgia offers tax incentives to encourage film and television studios to shoot in the state; according to Ad Week, Georgia offers a 20 percent tax credit to studios that shoot there, plus an additional 10 percent if the film or television show promotes the fact that the production was based in Georgia. This is why there is a “Made in Georgia” logo at the end of a lot of films and television shows.
Largely because of these tax incentives, it’s actually cheaper to build New York sets in Georgia than to just go to New York and film in real places.
“We’re shooting in Atlanta for most of it, because they have studios there and I think it’s cheaper to build a New York set than it is to shoot [in New York], because it’s going to be very expensive,” Tom Holland told Superhero Hype.
This is not to say that every scene in the movie was shot in Georgia, though. Towards the end of filming, Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s production moved to New York. They shot on 31st St and 23rd Ave in Astoria, a neighborhood in Queens. They also shot on Water St and Old Slip in Manhattan and Richmond Terrace in Staten Island, according to On Location Vacations. In addition, some exterior shots were filmed at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, although the interior high school scenes were filmed in Georgia, according to Slashfilm.
Director Jon Watts is from Colorado, but he lived in New York for over a decade, and he said it was important to him to make the movie look and feel like it was taking place in Queens. This informed the decision to ensure the movie had a diverse cast.
“The very first thing I made was a look book of what I wanted the world to look like and what the kids should look like and the high school should look like,” Watts told Slashfilm. “I lived in New York for thirteen years and it should look like a school in New York, it shouldn’t look like a school in the Midwest in the 50s. So I pulled a bunch of pictures of kids and documentary photos of kids in schools, and that was part of my pitch and everyone was really into that and followed through with the casting, which is so, so cool. I love the kids.”