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Why Peter Parker's Actor In Iron Man 2 Is More Important Than You Think

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand onward and upward, the films that started it all continue to fall further and further into relative obscurity. While 2008's Iron Man is well-remembered as the catalyst for the franchise's creation, with so much Marvel content coming out so quickly, it's not easy to retain the minutiae of yesteryear. One such example is 2010's Iron Man 2. From a modern perspective, it is widely regarded as among the more detached movies in the grand scheme of the Infinity Saga, but that doesn't mean it merits skipping during your next MCU rewatch.

Arguably Iron Man 2's biggest contributions to the wider shared universe were the introduction of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), better known as Black Widow, and the return of James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle) in his War Machine persona. However, Iron Man 2 also includes a less widely-known cameo from a young Peter Parker — the future wall-crawling Avenger, Spider-Man — in what has canonically become his first appearance in the series, before Tom Holland's official, suited-up arrival in 2016's Captain America: Civil War

While this is a landmark moment in the MCU, it becomes especially important once you take into account the importance of the kid behind Spidey's retroactive debut, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Jon Favreau's son, Max, was the MCU's first Peter Parker

During the third act of Iron Man 2, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Rhodey team up in their respective suits of armor to put weapons developer Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) and Ivan Vanko's (Mickey Rourke) evil schemes to an end. Under the latter's direction, a horde of Hammer's drones begin to wreak havoc over the expo event, threatening the lives of everyone there in pursuit of their primary target, Stark. In an instance of mechanical confusion, one robot notices a young boy — now known to be Peter Parker, after a popular fan theory was confirmed by the MCU's powers-that-be — wearing an Iron Man helmet. The robot prepares to attack the boy, to which Peter responds by raising his open-palmed hand — much like his idol — in preparation to deliver a pretend repulsor blast. Much to his surprise, the android actually explodes before his very eyes, courtesy of the real armored Avenger, who shows up behind him just in time. 

Who was behind the mask in real life, though? As it turns out, it was Jon Favreau's son, Max — who was only 8 years old back then — who brought this little Iron Man fanboy to life. 

While the junior Favreau isn't a professional actor, he does have a few big-screen credits under his belt. He's taken part in two additional voice acting projects that his father played a role in, those being 2009's G-Force and 2016's The Jungle Book. However, if a live-action Spider-verse film comes to fruition, and those behind it need some very obscure incarnations of the web-slinger to fill out the roster, perhaps Max Favreau could get another crack at playing Peter Parker in the future. 

Nonetheless, should that day never arrive, at least he can hang his hat on the title of (technically) being the MCU's first Spider-Man actor.