The deal that allowed Sony-owned Spider-Man to crossover into the Disney-owned MCU has come in for intense speculation since the character first appeared in Captain America: Civil War, and now the director of Spider-Man: Homecoming has had another say in the debate. It’s less than a month before Tom Holland makes his solo debut as the webslinger, with Homecoming continuing to dominate social media. Marvel’s front man Robert Downey Jr. has revealed that early screenings for the film are garnering plenty of positive feedback, with the film tracked for an opening weekend in excess of $100 million.
Despite that, the conversation surrounding Spider-Man’s place in the MCU is ongoing. Sony producer Amy Pascal discussed the highly anticipated Venom and Silver & Black movies – which take place in the Spider-Man universe – as “adjuncts” to the MCU, adding to earlier suggestions that Spidey’s time alongside the Avengers is limited. But Homecoming director John Watts doesn’t seem to think so.
Watts spoke with THR at CineEurope, where Sony treated viewers to a sneak peak of the first 13 minutes of his movie. He briefly discussed fitting Spider-Man into the MCU, and what that meant for the character:
“That’s where he was always meant to be, he was introduced to give a kid’s perspective on this crazy world of superheroes, and up until now Spider-Man has been alone.”
This adds to the director’s previous comments that Sony’s Spider-Man isn’t living on borrowed time from the MCU, suggesting that the deal is very much concerned with narrative demand and doing the character’s justice.
After Sam Raimi’s original Spiderman trilogy and the failed reboot The Amazing Spider-Man, there was a definite sense of Spidey-fatigue. With Civil War, Sony was given the chance to fast track their own franchise while sharing in the significant commercial success that Marvel has enjoyed for years. The dual-purpose of the Sony-Marvel deal is personified by heavyweight actor Robert Downey Jr., who features in Homecoming as Peter Parker’s mentor. Holland and Downey Jr. formed an immediate chemistry in Civil War, which looks set to continue going forward into the MCU and the standalone Spider-Man trilogy. It makes a lot of narrative sense, but it also guarantees a certain amount of revenue.
Yet Spider-Man wasn’t just a requirement for Sony, he also brings some much-needed youth and perspective to the MCU. Tom Holland was one of the breakout successes of Civil War, offering a different sort of heart and humor to the action-packed spectacle. His nervously charming Peter Parker still retains the pun-tastic commentary that fans are familiar with, but pitting him immediately into a world filled with superheroes allowed for a completely new take on the character. He called out perceived scientific inconsistencies in the Avengers’ gear and went toe-to-toe with several members of the group as politely as possible. It isn’t the sharply sarcastic Spider-Man that fans are used to, but it’s one that they immediately fell in love with. It’s not long now until Spider-Man: Homecoming, where Holland will remind us once again why Spider-Man is one of the most beloved superheroes of all time.
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