Warning: Spoilers from Avengers: Endgame are ahead.
UPDATE: This story was originally published on May 3, 2019.
Thanks to the combined work of the Avengers, who undid what Thanos' (Josh Brolin) fatal snap in Marvel's newest superhero outing, every dusted human and Avenger is back in the world. And now that our precious Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has been un-dusted in Avengers: Endgame, we can all go back to sleeping soundly at night. We can also start asking questions about when Spider-Man 2 happens in the MCU timeline.
At the end of Endgame, we see Peter returning back to school and reuniting with his best friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon). But considering that the next Spider-Man movie is supposed to be the last movie of Marvel's Phase 3 (aka the thing that Endgame was supposed to be the end of), uh, quick question: When does Spider-Man: Far From Home take place? Is it… before Endgame? Is it after Endgame? Well, now that the new Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer is out, the answer just a whole lot clearer (and weepier — you've been warned).
Alright, now that you've managed to dry your eyes, you can plainly see that the new film picks up right after Endgame, and poor Peter barely has time to process that he died and came back only to have is mentor and father figure, Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) perish right before his eyes. And while it seems we are only moving forward, rather than jumping into too many flashbacks (as some fans theorized), the trailer does introduce the concept of the multiverse into the MCU (exciting!) which has been opened up thanks to the time travel lesson we all just got in Endgame.
Prior to the trailer, we learned that Far From Home picks up mere minutes after the end of Endgame... reportedly, anyway. According to a 2017 interview, before Endgame even had a real title, then Sony Pictures president Amy Pascal told Fandom that the Spider-Man sequel “[starts] a few minutes after Avengers 4 wraps as a story.”
Original article follows:
In a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly, Endgame’s directors, the Russo Brothers, explained that the scene we see of Peter returning back to high school in New York and reuniting with Ned is “The two of them seeing each other for the first time after having disappeared.” Apparently, Ned was also dusted, so have fun crying about that.
So Peter and Ned are picking up their lives immediately where they left off five years ago. For other Avengers, this will be a little bit easier because they’re all adults, but Peter and Ned are juniors in high school. The classmates that didn’t disappear in the snap have now graduated from high school and are already off to college, while everyone who did disappear is just going back to Algebra 2. It’s an awkward situation and it’s going to be one the film addresses — because it has to — but it might not have to focus on it to the extent you might think.
From the released Far From Home trailers, it looks like all of Peter Parker’s classmates disappeared in the snap, including Zendaya’s MJ (Honestly, how dare you turn Zendaya to dust). Other classmates who appear to be exactly the same age include Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) and Betty Brant (Angourie Rice). This obviously leads us to believe that Peter’s entire class was snapped away since they’re all the same age again, and now on a summer field trip.
It’s a little far fetched to assume everyone at this New York School disappeared because that would just be too convenient to the plot of Far From Home. However, there’s also a theory out there that Far From Home takes place in present day, but jumps back in time before the snap. In the trailer, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) makes a comment about how it’s “so nice to finally meet you,” but if this moment was happening in the present, wouldn’t these two have already met at Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) funeral? I suppose it's possible they didn't make time to chat, but the scene could also, of course, be a complete misdirect since Marvel is really big into doing that these days.
Alas, the TL;DR version is that that Far From Home picks up after Endgame, and the plot appears to be set after Endgame, but there’s a possibility we might be jumping back in time without the use of any Time Stones via flashbacks. But, listen, honestly, anyplace and anytime is fine as long as Peter Parker is safe and sound.