If there was any doubt about what direction Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios are going to take with the next live-action incarnation of Spider-Man, you can put it to rest. The next time moviegoers sees the web-slinger on the big screen, he'll be a young, teenage Peter Parker. Sorry Miles Morales (the current Ultimate Spider-Man) fans, your time will eventually come.
While some Marvel Comics readers, including some of our own readers and staff, are still waiting to see an older, veteran superhero version of Spider-Man onscreen (before someone reboots again) Marvel and Sony need to plan long-term. And by long-term, we mean they might be signing an actor to the longest ever superhero movie contract (think Harry Potter). They need to in era of long-form storytelling onscreen, and continouous, interconnected films that span cinematic universes. And Peter Parker is going to be a face of that, if not, the face of that down the road.
Think about it. The unprecedented, seemingly fan-inspired partnership between Sony and Marvel to share Spider-Man and merge cinematic universes into one, cohesive, bigger franchise is the first time Marvel HQ gets to play with their all-time most popular, best-selling individual character. When comic readers think Marvel, Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man is the guy. So if, Marvel is going to help reboot (read: start from the beginning again), they are actually going to start from the beginning.
And that means young Peter Parker in high school.
The only difference is that this time they'll (reportedly) be skipping most of the origin story since we've begrudgingly been through that twice in recent years. With great power comes great responsibility, radioactive spiders, red and blue suit, so on and so forth...
By all accounts, the next time we meet Parker on screen, he's already going to be Spider-Man and he's first going to show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's all but officially confirmed that Spider-Man will have a role to play in Captain America: Civil War, as he should given his role in the original Marvel Comics Civil War story, but there's a chance given the time table of current releases that whoever ends up being cast as Peter Parker could feasibly get a cameo appearance in this summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Since Captain America 3 begins shooting in two weeks, the casting process for Spider-Man is heating up. Thanks to BD, we know at least one new name that auditioned for the part: 16 year-old Mateus Ward (Hostages, Murder in the First). BD's source claims that Marvel is looking at 16-17 year-old actors and holding super secret auditions outside of the office so it's possible we learn something very soon. Again, Age of Utron is in theaters in just a matter of weeks and it would be strange of them not to take advantage of the release and squeeze Parker into a post-credits button stinger, even just to get the buzz rolling for next year's Civil War. That may be a stretch but it's not when compared to the reality that Spider-Man is actually being rebooted within the MCU...
And if you ask Marvel CCO (and previously, Editor-in-Chief) Joe Quesada about the new Spider-Man, he'll tell you (while again confirming it's going to be Peter Parker) that if you get him right, you're off to a good start.
Then again, Andrew Garfield was a pretty great lead in The Amazing Spider-Man and Sony quickly shut down that series...
If you missed it, rumor has it Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man has a major role to play in Spider-Man and the 2017 film may live under the title Spectacular Spider-Man. Casting a young lead allows Marvel to inject youth into The Avengers roster, as we've mentioned before, and locking him in super long-term allows him to grow into a leadership role in The Avengers, something Marvel needs to plan for since their core cast of Avengers actors may all be out of the picture after Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 in 2019...
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.
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