Sometime in 2016, the youngest version of Spider-Man yet will be introduced in a Marvel Studios movie. It hasn't been announced officially but you can count on the character appearing in Captain America: Civil War, setting up for his own solo movie in 2017.
This of course, is the third live-action Spider-Man series to appear in theaters in a decade and represents another reboot of the story of Peter Parker. Sony Pictures, who own the film rights to the property and its long history of Marvel Comics stories, have partnered with Marvel Studios to try again at making Spider-Man one of the most prominent superhero movie characters (The Amazing Spider-Man films failed at this) and since this reboot will be the first time the character appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they're starting with a very young Peter Parker. But don't worry, they won't be retreading the same territory.
It's important to note, that while Marvel is looking to introduce a Peter Parker who's in high school and only 15-16 years old, the next web-slinger adventure will not be another origin story.
The New Spider-Man Is Not An Origin Story
That's the number one concern in response to any news related to the next Spider-Man's age. We've already seen the radioactive spider bite origin story twice onscreen and Marvel Studios is fully aware of this. In fact, the Spider-Man who will appear next year is already a super-powered hero trying to make a difference in New York. You just haven't met him yet. Speaking with CraveOnline today at the Avengers: Age of Ultron press junket, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige explained how they'll be handling the introduction of Peter Parker.
"In Spider-Man’s very specific case, where there have been two retellings of that origin in the last whatever it’s been – [thirteen] years – for us 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]"
By "reveal it in different ways," Feige is essentially saying that Marvel won't be ignoring Parker's origin story, just that Spectacular Spider-Man (rumored title) just won't be a film about how he got his powers and who he was before. Instead, when we meet Parker next year - a year before his own movie - he'll already be a hero in his own way. What the Spider-Man solo movie in 2017 can do is instead include flashback sequences and/or references to explain how he got his powers, similar to how Marvel's TV division handled Daredevil's origins in his new Netflix series. When viewers meet Matt Murdock in episode one, he already kicks ass and is a vigilante.
The "homemade" costume reference is also interesting statement because it could be a hint towards one element of the Marvel Civil War story where Iron Man (who's rumored to appear in Spectacular Spider-Man) gives Spider-Man a new and more advanced costume.
For fans looking for an adult Peter Parker, think of it this way: This is the first time Spider-Man appears in the MCU so to start old would diminish the opportunity of keeping the character around long-term and take advantage of decades worth of stories, team-ups, villains, etc.. Not to mention, it wouldn't quite fit the established film continuity if a famous superhero had already resided in New York for over a decade...
Comparisons have already been made to Harry Potter so it's possible Marvel can be thinking super-long-term and that this new Spidey can be around for multiple phases of the MCU. Rumor has it, plans are already in place to have Peter Parker be the face of Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 while the other core heroes are unavailable until Part 2.
Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill and Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Spider-Man on July 28, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 on May 4 2018, Black Panther on July 6 2018, Captain Marvel on November 2 2018, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 on May 3 2019 and Inhumans on July 12, 2019.
Header edited from art by Cristiano Suarez
Iron Spider-Man art a recreation by Guile of Michael Turner's Civil War #3 cover.