Last night was another quarantine watch party hosted by Brandon Davis of ComicBook.com. This time it was Spiderman: Far from Home, and the small part I want to highlight is William Ginter Riva. There were several characters that helped Beck in his master plan. William was one of those characters. He had a small part . . . twice. He first appeared in Iron Man.
Jump to 0:12. Or just wait for it. It’s only 12 seconds.
Then he appeared again in Far from Home.
Jump to 2:00.
Unlike the other No Small Parts entries, he probably got a bit over 2 minutes of screen time, but the added value of this part is the connection it draws between the first modern MCU film, Iron Man, and the first one after which Tony Stark had died (representing a coda to the Tony Stark legacy). The thing that amazes me the most about the MCU is that I can’t think of any cinematic universe that tied together so many independent stories that collectively told a bigger one. Star Trek came close, and Star Wars came closer, but the MCU is the new standard for such a thing. Every movie stands 100% on its own yet tells a common story across 23 films. The fact that William appeared only at the very beginning and then at the very end makes the MCU feel a little bit more real, and thus relatable.
William was a small but significant way to remind us of that larger story, so I can’t help but appreciate this role.
Side note: What some may not know is that William was played by Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in 1983’s A Christmas Story. The best part, of course, is that they made a (not so?) subtle reference to “You’ll shoot your eye out.”
Jump to 2:33 for the reference.
Other posts in this series can be accessed by clicking here.