Spider-Man: Homecoming will push the Spider-Man franchise into the future and decidedly and deliberately away from the five previous films. The young and fresh Tom Holland takes up the role of Spider-Man this time around, with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Marisa Tomei’s not-too-old Aunt May onboard in support. The movie will focus on Spider-Man’s time in high school, and indeed it appears the entire franchise may be taking place in that setting, in a nod to Harry Potter.
For Marvel, a big part of re-establishing the Spider-Man brand is finding compelling and hopefully non-silly villains for Peter Parker/Spider-Man to battle. Michael Keaton’s Vulture aka “the dark Tony Stark“, will be the bad guy in Spider-Man: Homecoming – and with Venom getting his own movie, the likelihood of the latter character appearing in a future Spider-Man film is open for debate.
If Venom isn’t a potential Spider-Man adversary down the road, Marvel fortunately has a whole deep catalog of other comic book bad guys to choose from. However, not every villain who has worked on the pages of Marvel comics will necessarily work on the screen – a fact Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts is clearly aware of. When Screen Rant visited the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Watts was asked which villains might make appearances in future sequels. While he wouldn’t give anything away on that front, he did make some amusing comments about which bad guys you are certain not to see:
Yeah, we have some ideas of who could fit in in an interesting way, but we’re just trying to build Spider-Man’s side of the world in a rich way that could organically lead to some of that great rogue’s gallery. Not Jackson Wheel, you guys know Jackson Wheel? He’s like one of the silliest of all villains. His name is Jackson Wheel and he becomes Big Wheel and he rides around in a giant wheel. There’s another guy named Gideon Mace. It’s hard to get, except for digital copies, some years, there’s some real, real classic villains. Will-O’-The-Wisp. Gideon Mace, he has an arm that’s a mace that also shoots mace. You just imagine the writers just cracking up. ‘We’re late for our deadline, uhhh…Gideon Mace.’ It’s so fun.
Spider-Man: Homecoming producer Eric Carroll was asked if there are any Spider-Man characters that are off the table not for reasons of ridiculousness, but simply because Marvel has other plans for them. Carroll indicated that all characters – including Venom – were available as far as he knew:
As of now, nothing… we have not been told of anything we’re not allowed to play with at the moment. They do have their own plans. What it is at the moment, we’re not sure what it is after this. But for now, we’re making this movie with them and they have not told us anything about the plans, so… This one has been great, though.
Jon Watts has since confirmed that the developing Venom movie is not part of the MCU – but then again, there could be a day in the foreseeable future when Spider-Man isn’t part of the MCU (again), so who knows what any of that really means. One thing we can safely assume: Gideon Mace will not be showing up to battle Spider-Man on the big screen, unless things really take a strange turn in the offices of Marvel. Though truth be told, a Spider-Man villain with a mace for an arm that shoots mace would be sort of amazing (and might make people forget about Electro).