Despite playing an integral part of Spider-Man’s origin, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never actually mentioned Uncle Ben by name. There have been references made to the character here and there. Peter mentions Aunt May having “gone through a lot” in Civil War and his initials are on a suitcase in Far From Home but that’s about it.
The general reason for this is thought to be that we’ve had two movies that dealt with the origin, and death of Uncle Ben, and fans don’t need to see it again. This is supported by comments from Kevin Feige who told CinemaBlend that they trust the audience to fill in those blanks. “They’ve seen the other films. They’ve read comics. They can fill that in,” he explained. “That was a very purposeful decision we made to not retread that ground.”
Finally, though the MCU has mentioned Uncle Ben by name, and it only took the multiverse being born and a zombie apocalypse for it to happen. Ben was named in the latest episode of What If..?, ‘What If… Zombies!?’ by Peter Parker during a conversation with The Wasp.
During a moment of reflection, The Wasp asks Peter how he stays so upbeat in the face of adversity, to which he replies: “Practice, I guess. My mom, my dad, Uncle Ben, Mr Stark, and now Happy.” While it’s only a brief mention What If…? is canon to the MCU, so this means that Uncle Ben did exist in the version of the MCU we’ve been watching as well.
— Spider-Man: No Way Home Updates (@spideyupdated) September 8, 2021
Only time will tell if we’ll ever see the big-screen version of Spider-Man mention his beloved uncle. A while ago, we’d have bet against it, but with the return of several old faces in No Way Home and a looming trip into the multiverse, we wouldn’t be surprised if we see a living Uncle Ben at some point.
After all, if Feige and the other brains behind the MCU are keen to avoid retreading old ground, what would be more shocking than showing us a universe where Uncle Ben actually lives!
What If…? stream exclusively on Disney Plus every Wednesday.