First things first, we are incredibly excited about Spider-Man: Homecoming. Aside from all the positives we’ve seen with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, the trailers we’ve seen and the behind-the-scenes news we’ve heard about the Spider-Man reboot have raised our anticipation levels to new heights. Spider-Man is finally at home in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where he belongs, and that’s a very good thing. But on the other hand…
When Spidey entered the MCU, he brought a whole host of problems with him that no one seems prepared to deal with yet. Add to that some of the worrying rumors we’ve heard, the quotes from producers on the Sony and Marvel side, and the upcoming slate of Marvel and Sony movies, and we have a potentially huge mess that no one is talking about yet. Sure, Spider-Man: Homecoming should be a big win for everyone involved, but what if it’s not? What if our worries about the franchise come true and a new Spider-Man movie just can’t swing off the ground? What if Spider-Man: Homecoming is a huge failure?
There’s reasons for optimism here, but we’re still a bit worried. Read on to find out the 15 Reasons We’re Worried About Spider-Man: Homecoming.
15. This is the Third Teenage Spider-Man Movie in 15 Years
When the news about Spider-Man: Homecoming first hit all we really knew was that the story would be bringing Peter Parker back to high-school once again. Before writers were brought on board, before a director was set, before Tom Holland was cast, Marvel knew they wanted a teenaged Spider-Man unlike any we’ve had before. But here’s the thing… we’ve already had two teenaged Spider-Man in the last 15 years.
For those who remember movies that didn’t happen all that long ago, Spider-Man saw Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man in high school for the first movie while he dealt with bullies and an embarrassing teenage romance. When the series was rebooted, Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man upped the ante on the high-school drama, opting for an indie skateboarding Peter Parker to fight inside the halls of Midtown Science and fall in love with Emma Stone. So when the writers and director of Spider-Man: Homecoming say that high-school is going to play a big part in the film, umm, did they even see the films they’re rebooting?
14. Sony is Planning its Own Marvel Universe
Rejoice, Spider-Man fans, because after years of waiting, Spidey is finally in the MCU! But, you know, after rejoicing maybe calm down a little and start getting worried, because as it turns out the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t going to be the main home of the Spider-Man franchise. Instead, Sony is attempting to launch their own Spider-Man Universe, which literally makes no sense at all.
Since Sony still owns the rights to all the characters associated with the Spider-Man comic books – including all villains and side-characters – they plan on using them to create their own cinematic universe instead of playing nice with Marvel. All we know of those plans right now are that a Venom movie is in development, with plans to tie all the other Spider-Man villains to that franchise. While that would eventually lead to a Sinister Six film (different from the one originally planned with Drew Goddard directing), we have no idea if Spider-Man will even be in this universe. That’s worrying. Are all of Spider-Man’s famous villains and friends going to be in a universe without Spidey? Is Spidey going to be swinging back and forth between the MCU and the Sony Universe? Whatever the plan here, it seems needlessly complicated and sure to irritate fans who were just getting used to Spider-Man in the MCU.
13. Spidey’s Suit is Being Taken Away
Forget about the long-term state of Spider-Man’s universe right now and instead focus on the movie to come, Homecoming. From the trailers as well as interviews the cast and crew have given we know that a big portion of the film will see Spider-Man without his Stark Industries suit. You know, the same suit that fans came to love and admire in Civil War, and the one that differentiates this Spider-Man from the other two in the first place.
From what we know, it looks like Stark will take away Peter’s high tech suit at some point during Spider-Man: Homecoming in order to teach him a lesson. Unable to learn the lesson, Peter makes his own suit which looks considerably less cool and way more downgraded than anything since Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man pyjamas. While the plot point may be something essential to the film, we can’t say we’re looking forward to an entire film where Spidey doesn’t have his costume. Oftentimes the Spider-Man costume is the most thrilling part of the film, and especially with the new additions that Stark has made to the traditional red and blue outfit, we hate the fact that Spider-Man will be fighting crime decked out in anything that’s not the best.
12. The “Iron-Man” Vulture
We all know by now that Marvel has a serious villain problem. Whereas the villains in Sony’s Spider-Man films have ranged from spectacular (Green Goblin, Doc-Ock) to pitiful (The Lizard, Venom), at least they haven’t been as one-dimensional and repetitive as Marvel’s villains. And as wacky and campy as Sony’s villains may be, at least they have proper motivation. So, with Spider-Man: Homecoming now being a Marvel film, we have our reservations about how the Vulture is going to shake out as a villain.
Though Marvel continued their trend of hiring Academy Award-winning/nominated actors to play villains with Michael Keaton as Vulture, based on what we’ve seen in the trailers the Vulture looks a little…disappointing. Though interviews with the cast and crew have said he’s one of the most unique and menacing villains that Spider-Man has faced, what we’ve seen so far is something that looks so Marvel that it’s disappointing. With his mechanical wings and shiny weaponry, the new Vulture looks more like an Iron Man villain that something out of Spider-Man. Spider-Man villains should be fun, bright, and often created during a crazy accident. While we’re still holding out hopes that Vulture will be great, right now all we see is another mechanized villain trying to destroy New York City for no reason.
11. What Happens After the Trilogy?
After reboots on top of reboots, after much publicized problems with Sam Raimi leaving the Spider-Man franchise and Sony’s meddling in The Amazing Spider-Man movies, after joining forces with Marvel, we finally have a new Spider-Man franchise to be excited by. Everyone involved wants to get this one right, and a trilogy with Tom Holland as our new Spider-Man is all set to be a hit. But what the hell is going to happen after the trilogy?
Look, Harry Potter has eight movies, Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit) has six, even Fast and the Furious has eight and counting. Why should it be so difficult to let Spider-Man – a character that’s been around for six decades! – have a franchise that goes on longer than three movies?! There’s endless stories to tell with Spider-Man, so we can only hope that Sony and Marvel have the good sense to let this franchise keep ticking rather than tearing it all down after three movies and starting over. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. All the news that we’ve heard indicates that Sony and Marvel are done after three Spider-Man films, and after that it’s anyone’s guess what comes next. Unfortunately, we have a feeling what comes next won’t be Tom Holland continuing to fight crime in the Spider-Man suit.
10. Where Are the Other Avengers?
This is a problem that all post-Avengers movies had; when the characters go solo how the hell does it make sense that no other heroes drop by to help them? Sure, it can be explained away in a little solo film with small stakes or something like Thor: Ragnarok that takes place on a new planet, but in Spider-Man: Homecoming’s case the answer isn’t so simple.
After Civil War the Avengers all know about Spider-Man, so there’s no excuse as to why he shouldn’t get a little help here and there. Sure, Iron-Man will be on hand, but the fact that Spidey calls New York home makes it even more difficult to believe that no other Marvel hero would react when a winged maniac tries to destroy the city. We get that the whole point of the movie is one kid versus a horrible evil monster, but it’s tough to suspend our disbelief when Marvel has worked so hard at proving that all of these characters occupy the same living, breathing universe.
9. Do We Want the Tony Stark Show?
We all love Tony Stark – he’s the best part of every movie he’s in – but will he overshadow a Spider-Man movie? Are we really prepared for the wit of Tony Stark to clash with our first truly funny Peter Parker? How will Spider-Man: Homecoming balance our need for a great solo-film with our uncontrollable urges to see as much Tony Stark as possible? These are big issues.
As we all know by now, a Spider-Man solo movie is a balancing act like none other. While the new Spider-Man worked perfectly in Civil War, that was arguably because he was only in it for one key scene, and as such there was no weight on the character to be everything he can be. Now that he’s leading his own film however, the stakes are high for the character to be treated right. Not only does that mean a proper amount of Peter Parker to Spider-Man, but it means balancing out the rest of the cast with Tom Holland. And when Robert Downey Jr. is part of that cast, it’s going to be tough to keep him locked up in the background while Spidey fights for our love and attention.
8. J. Jonah Jameson, We Miss You
Back in the day when we were all kids and Spider-Man was simply a character from comic books and cartoon series, we were thrilled with the concept of Spider-Man on the big screen. Then 2002’s Spider-Man arrived, and it was thrilling. Spidey was alive in red and blue, swinging from the rooftops, fighting crime, and yet there was no better part of the original Spider-Man trilogy than J. Jonah Jameson. Yep, J.K. Simmons was, is, and always will be the most perfect J.J.J. we could ask for. Which is why he hasn’t been recast in any of the movies that have followed the original series.
While the actor has always held out that he would be open to reprising his role as the Daily Bugle’s favorite editor in chief that loves to yell “get me pictures of Spider-Man!,” things got complicated with Simmons’ shiny new role as part of the DCEU. While it’s conceivable that the actor could still take a Judi Dench in James Bond approach to J. Jonah Jameson, it’s looking more and more unlikely as time goes on. What that leaves us with is a role that simply can’t be recast without going in a wildly new direction, as well as a big part of Spider-Man’s universe simply missing from the films. No matter how you look at it, unless J.K. Simmons comes back everyone loses.
7. Mary Jane Who?
Similar to J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson, it’s now been ten years since we last saw Mary Jane Watson on screen. Arguably the heartbeat of the entire original Spider-Man trilogy, Mary Jane didn’t appear at all in The Amazing Spider-Man series after being played by Shailene Woodley in the second film and getting cut out entirely. Now, despite rumors to the contrary, it looks as if MJ isn’t going to show up in Spider-Man: Homecoming, at all, which begs the question: why is Sony depriving Peter Parker of his one true love?
All of this Mary Jane Watson avoidance has us wondering when, if ever, the one who calls Peter “tiger” will show up in a film. Sure, her character was Peter’s focus over the three original Spider-Man films, but that’s because MJ has been integral to the character of Spider-Man longer than nearly anyone else. There’s a reason fans love Mary Jane, there’s a reason Peter Parker loves Mary Jane, and no amount of Gwen Staceys or Zendayas will change that. Bring us Mary Jane Watson or we’ll assume you’re hiding something from us!
6. The Three Villains Problem
When the Spider-Man: Homecoming rumor mill first began to churn, everyone knew that the Vulture would end up becoming the villain of the film. And so he did, as confirmed by Michael Keaton’s casting and trailers. But then something mysterious began to happen. Interviews with the cast and crew started bringing up Shocker, people involved in the film started mentioning The Tinkerer, and when actor Logan Marshall-Green was added to the cast as a villain it was assumed he was playing one of the two. But then Fargo Season 2’s Bokeem Woodbine was added to the cast as another villain, and now it’s a whole different ballgame.
To be clear, we think Bokeem Woodbine is a fantastic actor that would make for a thrilling villain; ditto for Logan Marshall-Green. But we already have a fantastic actor that could make for a thrilling villain and his name is Michael Keaton. Didn’t Marvel and Sony see what happened with Spider-Man 3 and its three villains? Didn’t they hear the audience ridicule in Amazing Spider-Man 2 when Rhino came into the end of the film for absolutely no reason, or when Green Goblin and Dane DeHaan were absolutely wasted with nonsense scenes? What is going on with Spider-Man: Homecoming that makes Sony and Marvel think they can pull off three villains? Isn’t this movie supposed to take Spider-Man back to his roots? Because if so, this seems all kinds of wrong, and yeah, we’re worried about it.
5. No One at Sony or Marvel Knows What’s Next
Sony and Marvel came together to give us a Spider-Man we can all cheer for and that’s great. Though we have concerns about Homecoming, we can deal with those because we have no choice and the movie comes out very soon. We can even put off the panic about what comes after the trilogy, because we’ve been taught to enjoy things while they last. But look, at some point we’re going to need to discuss the big question hanging over Spider-Man: what the heck is going to happen with this Marvel and Sony partnership?
Interviews with Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige haven’t clarified anything for us about the future of the character, so either Sony and Marvel are being coy about their plans or they have no idea themselves. Our concern here is that with such a massive and exciting deal in place for Spider-Man to crossover with the Marvel Universe, what’s going to happen when the current deal runs out? If no one has thought of what comes next, chances are what comes next is a hasty mess with various characters tied up in confusing rights situations: none of which is going to be good for movie fans. Amy Pascal herself has gone on the record about the deal saying “if it works for everybody, then it’s going to work for everybody, “which is incredibly vague and deeply confusing and does nothing to lessen our fears of a total collapse of the deal. Evidently, that collapse would result in Spidey being shut out of the MCU and everything fans have been conditioned for (the merging of two universes) going up in smoke.
4. Doc Ock and Green Goblin May Never Be Back
We know, we know, Spider-Man 2 was one of the best superhero movies ever made and there’s absolutely no way to replace Doctor Octopus. Add to that how iconic the Green Goblin was in the first ever Spider-Man film, and how forgettable he was in the last one, and it’s tough to imagine Green Goblin re-appearing on-screen any time soon. But let’s be realistic: Doc Ock and Green Goblin are Spider-Man’s two most important villains, and they absolutely need to be in a new Spidey Universe.
Amy Pascal has recently said that “there are certain characters (where) I don’t think there’s anything more to say about them right this minute. I don’t know how many more times we can do…the Green Goblin.” And yeah, we see where she’s coming from, but there’s always a way to make a character fresh. Doesn’t anyone realize that Spider-Man comics have been going since the 1960s and it’s not like Green Goblin and Doc Ock were retired after their first few issues? Yeah, we want to see new villains, but we also don’t see the need in retiring fan-favourites just because they’ve been done before. If a character is iconic – like Doc Ock – they’re iconic for a reason, and considering our worries about Spider-Man: Homecoming, the new franchise can sure do with a dose of iconic characters.
3. The Endless Avengers References?
In Deadpool Ryan Reynolds joked about FOX not being able to afford the other X-Men. Well, since Spider-Man can’t exactly break the fourth wall like Deadpool can, what’s going to be his excuse when other Avengers are mentioned but not seen? Is Spider-Man: Homecoming going to go down the Bourne Legacy route by constantly referencing characters off-screen that aren’t in the movie? We know there are limitations to how many Marvel characters Sony can include in its films, but does that mean the movie will suffer because of it?
Maybe we’re spoiled and now that Spidey is part of the MCU we want to actually see him play in the MCU. But we can hardly be blamed for the expectations that Sony and Marvel have raised. Since they’re the ones who set up this whole thing, the least they can do is pay it off by having the cameos we’re used to seeing from MCU movies. Yeah, we know Iron-Man will make an appearance in Homecoming, but who else? If no one, maybe it’s best to just ignore the Avengers for now and focus on Spider-Man?
2. Is it Just Spider-Man Universe Set-Up?
Movie-making is a business and while studios want the hard-earned money of nerds they’re not all that interested in giving up profits just to keep fanboys and fangirls happy. Which makes us wonder: how much of Spider-Man: Homecoming is going to be dedicated to setting up the eventual Sony Spider-Man Universe? Will that come at the cost of the movie itself or even the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe? How can one film balance setting up two separate universes, when from all we’ve seen before it most films get bogged down with simply tying into one universe?
In the Marvel world, Iron-Man director Jon Favreau famously quit the franchise after getting upset that Marvel was essentially forcing him to make feature-length trailers for their other films. Over at Sony, Marc Webb’s two Amazing Spider-Man films were gutted by the studio and faced extensive reshoots all to serve a larger Spider-Man Universe that never even came. So why are we going down this route again? We know that Spider-Man: Homecoming won’t be good if its only purpose is to lay the groundwork for Venom movies that Spidey may not even be in, so it seems ridiculous that we’ve seen indications this will happen all over again. You’d think Marvel and Sony would have learned their lessons by now, but apparently they haven’t, and that leads us all to one final problem…
1. What if it Flops?
Every Spider-Man installment since Spider-Man 3 has made less money than the last. In fact, the worldwide gross of Amazing Spider-Man 2 was so disappointing that it led to our current reboot and deal with Marvel. While some have floated the idea that audiences are simply sick of Spider-Man reboots, others have said that the quality of the movies and Sony’s meddling in them is what caused the box-office drop-off for what was once the biggest franchise in the world. What all this leads to is one simple question: what if Spider-Man: Homecoming flops?
Most Marvel movies don’t flop. We should know that by now. But then again, does the general movie-going public even know that this is a Marvel movie and not just another Sony one? With such a precarious deal in place between the two studios, we have to wonder what happens if Spider-Man: Homecoming fails miserably and makes Marvel look as incompetent as Sony has in the past. Will Marvel cut their ties with the franchise? Will Sony let the rights lapse back to Marvel? What will happen with the Sony Venom/Spider-Man Villain Universe?
We’re not prepared to live in a world without Spider-Man, but we also know that if Homecoming flops, Spider-Man’s on-screen life is going to look a whole lot different. Another reboot would never make it off the ground, and after another flop it’s anyone’s guess what happens to the world’s favorite wall-crawler. Here’s hoping that all our worries get sorted out by the time Spider-Man: Homecoming opens on July 7, 2017.
Which of these worries do you share? Is there anything else about Spider-Man: Homecoming that you’d like to get off your chest? Let us know in the comments!
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