Marvel Studios unveiled the new trailer for this summer’s Captain America: Civil War earlier today, and with it, moviegoers got their first look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man (Tom Holland). A treat saved for the very end of the preview, the web slinger’s cameo was a pleasant surprise, and only increased the already high levels of anticipation for Civil War. After years of fans dreaming of this possibility, Spider-Man is home and hanging out with the Avengers.
Holland is the third actor to portray Peter Parker in a live-action film, following Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. With five films featuring Spider-Man out there, the pressure is on Marvel Studios to make sure their rendition stands out and is different from what’s come before. They’re forgoing the origin story and making Peter younger than he’s ever been in the movies. But how will Holland’s performance match up to his predecessors? According to James Gunn, viewers will be very impressed.
The Guardians of the Galaxy director was raving about Civil War on Twitter and was asked by a follower what he thought of Spider-Man. Gunn offered very high praise, saying that Holland fits the part like Robert Downey, Jr. fit Tony Stark:
It’s his own thing. He is to Spidey as Downey is to Iron Man, Ledger was to the Joker, Pratt is to Star-Lord. https://t.co/uvp9qJb2Cx— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 10, 2016
Evoking names like Downey, Chris Pratt, and Oscar winner Heath Ledger may seem like hyperbole, but Gunn could be on to something here. During a Facebook AMA in December 2015, the filmmaker said that he’s seen Civil War and called it “one of the best Marvel movies ever.” In particular, Gunn had great things to say about Holland, feeling that the new take on the character is “off the charts awesome.” So, it’s safe to say that he’s not merely pumping up Marvel’s new film; Gunn knows what he’s talking about and is excited about what’s coming.
Should Gunn’s words prove true and Holland steals the show as Spider-Man, it would be terrific news for fans of the character. It’s been a while since Your Friendly Neighborhood was on the top of his game, cinematically speaking. After Spider-Man 2 earned widespread acclaim in 2004, filmmakers have struggled to bring the character’s mythos to the big screen, with the three films that followed splitting opinions and underperforming commercially. Still, Spidey remains one of Marvel’s most popular and bankable heroes. With the contracts of the original Avengers ending soon, the time to start passing the torch is now. Who better than Spider-Man to take over as the face of the franchise?
The studio has major plans for the web head, with a solo vehicle planned for 2017 and more appearances likely thereafter. Of course, it’s vital for fans to respond positively to the portrayal so they’re excited to see more of Spider-Man. If Holland works out, becoming the best movie version of the character to date, then Marvel is set and has their longterm future secured. If not, then they may have to rethink their strategy. The general public has only seen a snippet of Spider-Man, so for most it’s difficult to judge how effective the new iteration will be. But it’s important to remember that Gunn wouldn’t be hyping fans up like this unless there was some truth behind his claims. It seems like Holland is the real deal.
Time will tell of course, but Captain America: Civil War is shaping up to be one of the biggest and best Marvel movies to date. The trailer generated overwhelmingly positive buzz on social media, selling audiences on the stakes and character drama of friends divided, fighting on opposite sides. Fans could be thrilled about seeing Spider-Man done justice on the big screen, but based on the preview, Peter Parker is just one of many aspects moviegoers will be talking about this May.
Captain America: Civil War opens in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2016; 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.
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