Sam Raimi directed the first three live-action Spider-Man movies to significant success with Tobey Maguire in the title role. But after the third movie left fans cold, the franchise briefly seemed like it might die. Just a few years later, though, Sony rebooted it with the two Amazing Spider-Man movies, featuring a mixture of stories already covered in Raimi’s films, as well as new characters and stories – but The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also left audiences cold, and once again a prospective franchise ran out of gas earlier than expected.
Many fans thought they might not see Spider-Man on the big screen again for a while…until Marvel studios stepped in to bring Spidey into the Marvel Cinematic Universe beginning with Captain America: Civil War before getting his own movie. Tom Holland, the 19 year-old star of the tsunami drama The Impossible, will step into Maguire and Garfield’s shoes, while the director will be Jon Watts, whose directorial debut Cop Car premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and attracted the attention of top brass at Marvel. Jonathan Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, of the Vacation reboot, will pen the screenplay.
While promoting Cop Car, out in August, Watts told EW that he’s ecstatic about working with Holland as his star.
“He can be a real high school student. That’s why people love Spider-Man. He’s the most grounded, relatable of superheroes. And Tom can really do that. He captures that. And he can do a standing back-flip. He’s perfect.”
Watts also said work has just begun on the script for his film, as well as discussing how Spider-Man will fit in with the rest of the existing MCU. He said he doesn’t take it for granted that he’s graduating from an indie drama to a superhero reboot before his first movie even hits theaters, and he doesn’t expect that Spider-Man will keep him from making other movies he has in his head. “It’s an opportunity to just have a much bigger canvas instead of just scrapping together any story you can,” Watts said.
Many have balked at the decision to reboot Spider-Man so soon after the previous movies left a sour taste in some fans’ mouths. It’s clear from previous interviews and these comments that Watts plans to execute a specific vision that Marvel has for the character – one that’s different from the ones that have been onscreen before and could perhaps be faithful to the original comics. Peter Parker was in his late teens at the beginning of the Maguire and Garfield eras, but the actors were far older. Holland will age the character down and inject some youthfulness into the aging Avengers ensemble, providing a less cynical and more fish-out-of-water perspective than most of the superheroes currently in that world.
To reboot Spider-Man again just for the sake of keeping the character in people’s minds would have been superfluous. But to do it with the goal of bringing him into orbit with some of America’s favorite superheroes is intriguing. Watts has gotten strong reviews for his first movie, and while success with a small indie doesn’t guarantee skill at managing a huge blockbuster, his comments so far suggest that he understands the role he’s been given and will work well within the Marvel creative community. Next year’s Captain America: Civil War will offer a first glimpse of the future of the masked web slinger.
Captain America: Civil War releases May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.
Source: Entertainment Weekly