WARNING: This post contains MINOR SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War
Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is right around the corner, with the theatrical premiere of Captain America: Civil War just under a month away. The film has already been screened for members of the press, and the early reactions are very positive. People have praised its handling of complex thematic and emotional material as well as its portrayal of its large ensemble cast. One of the biggest takeaways was that the latest big screen incarnation of Spider-Man was a standout, a great development for those excited to see the web slinger be a part of the MCU.
Actor Tom Holland was officially brought on board fairly late in the game, being announced as the new Peter Parker in June 2015 when Civil War was well into principal photography. Though it was known he would be a part of an MCU installment before his own solo vehicle in July 2017, it remained to be seen how large Holland’s role in the third Captain America would be. Now, the character’s amount of screentime has been revealed, and it could be more than some viewers expected.
Mike Sampson of Screen Crush News was asked on Twitter about Spider-Man in Civil War, saying that Holland is in a significant chunk of the movie:
@MarvelousRealm That's about right. Maybe 10 mins of Parker, a good 20 mins of Spidey.— Mike Sampson (@mjsamps) April 9, 2016
Depending on how Peter is developed, half an hour should prove to be the perfect length for his introduction. Directors Joe and Anthony Russos’ main goal was to establish the Web Head in this universe before he got fleshed out in later films, and it sounds like they were able to do just that. Obviously, Spider-Man is not a main character in Civil War, but moviegoers will most likely be able to get a good read on the latest version and how Holland’s take differs from its predecessors. It’s nice to know that Peter isn’t just a tacked on addition and has a substantial part, meaning his inclusion in the film is warranted and will ideally add some value to the narrative.
What makes this even more exciting is that there’s still so much of Spider-Man fans have yet to see. He’s had an extremely limited presence in marketing, appearing only at the end of the second trailer. While Marvel will plausibly include some Spidey action shots in upcoming TV spots, they don’t need to go overboard on pushing that aspect of Civil War and largely hold Parker back. The focus of the promotional campaign has been the rift between #TeamIronMan and #TeamCap, relying on years of audience investment with those characters to carry necessary emotional resonance. Moviegoers are sold on that premise, with or without the inclusion of Spider-Man. Having Your Friendly Neighborhood show up is just a pleasant surprise in what was already one of 2016’s most anticipated films.
It’ll be interesting to see how exactly Spider-Man factors into the story. As rumors have suggested, Peter is a new ally of Tony Stark’s and is part of his group during the airport “splash page” sequence (evening the matchup to 6-on-6). Why Stark recruits the wall-crawler and how their dynamic evolves are elements being saved for the film, but it’s easy to see why Parker would be drawn to Iron Man. Peter and Tony are two of Marvel’s best scientific minds, and seeing them interact in a mentor/mentee capacity has the potential to be a treat. Hopefully, Holland shares a few scenes with Robert Downey, Jr. and viewers get to see Tony form a bond reminiscent of his friendship with Bruce Banner in The Avengers. That would be a great way to bring Peter Parker into the fold and set him up for years to come.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016;Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017;Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans– July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Source: Mike Sampson