If Sony Pictures hadn't partnered with Marvel Studios to work together in relaunching the Spider-Man movie franchise (again) within the continuity of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, there'd be little chance for another rushed reboot to flourish. The Amazing Spider-Man movies proved that Peter Parker and his roster of villains aren't enough on their own anymore to play in the billion dollar box office club, at least not for the long-term.
But by putting a new (younger) Peter Parker alongside The Avengers and skipping the we-get-it-already origin story, Sony and Marvel can do something special, something that's been done exceedingly well in the comics and on television with animation. Parker can inject youth into The Avengers and can be the relatable hero who bounces off of other arguably less relatable heroes. And make no mistake, Marvel's Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, is already a hero.
This is what Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige (who recently took over Marvel Studios entirely) said about his vision for Spider-Man while at the Avengers: Age of Ultron press junket just before the summer movie season began (shortly after the Marvel-Sony partnership was announced):
"...we are going to take it for granted that people know that, and the specifics... It will not be an origin story. But, with great power comes great responsibility. It is inherent to who his character is. But we want to reveal it in different ways and spend much more time focusing on this young high school kid in the MCU dealing with his powers... There is a young kid [already] running around New York City in a homemade version of the Spider-Man costume in the MCU, you just don’t know it yet. [Laughs]"
In other interviews Feige indicated that new Peter Parker would be approximately 15-16 years old and will be in in High School for a while. He has his Spider-Man powers and even his homemade costume, but it's not the perfectly fitted design from the comics. Parker doesn't even have web-shooters yet according to some rumors which hint that in Captain America: Civil War, it's Tony Stark who invents these and provides him a new suit.
So, if Peter Parker already found his calling to be a superhero, how long ago did he get bit by a radioactive spider and how long has he been fighting crime and saving the people of New York? According to HH, when moviegoers meet Spider-Man next summer in Civil War, he will have already existed as an urban myth of sorts for a year, meaning when he gets his own solo movie in 2017 he will have been performing heroic deeds for two years and will have already fought alongside (and against) The Avengers.
That shouldn't come as a surprise since in almost every iteration of Spider-Man, Parker acquires his powers while in High School. If he's in his mid-teens that doesn't leave too much time for him to be a hero so HH or their source could be speculating or iterating on the obvious. What we're curious about his how Spider-Man's stories will reflect on past events (the passing of Uncle Ben and acquiring of powers) of if they'll just skip that. And more interestingly, what happens after Spidey gets his own movie in 2017?
Does Sony make direct solo sequels making use of some of Marvel's characters (Avengers cameos galore!) or push forward with their old ideas for Sinister Six and Venom movies before Spider-Man returns for Avengers: Infinity War? And what does J. Jonah Jameson think of all this?
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man– 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.