Marvel skipped Spider-Man's origin in Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming - and it was a smart move for the House of Ideas. Marvel has never been particularly keen on doing a rinse-and-repeat of stories and ideas that have already appeared on the big screen. That's not been a problem with most of their characters - Robert Downey Jr. is the definitive Iron Man, after all - but with Spider-Man it was something of an issue.
Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had drastically underperformed at the box office, and critical responses had forced Sony to (temporarily) shelve their plans to build a cinematic universe out of the Spider-Man franchise. That led Marvel and Sony to strike an unprecedented deal that brought the wall-crawler into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel was clear that they wanted to relaunch the franchise once again, which meant letting Andrew Garfield go, but it meant the studio was launching the third cinematic version of Spider-Man since the year 2002.
Marvel went to great effort to differentiate their Spider-Man from either Andrew Garfield's or Tobey Maguire's. They cast Tom Holland as a young Peter Parker at high school, they stressed the dynamic between their new Spider-Man and the other heroes of the MCU, and they even chose to represent some of his powers slightly differently. But the most notable difference between this iteration of Spider-Man and the previous ones was the decision to avoid re-telling Spider-Man's origin story.
- This Page: Spider-Man's Origin Story Told Time & Again
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Spider-Man's Origin Story: A Tale As Old As Time
Stop us if you've heard this before: a teenage boy gets bitten by a radioactive spider and develops incredible super-powers. At first he uses these powers for his own benefit, becoming a wrestler, and he becomes increasingly selfish. Then, in a tragic twist of fate, the teen's uncle is shot by a criminal who he could have stopped earlier. He's forced to learn a painful lesson; with great power must come great responsibility.
Everybody knows the broad strokes of Spider-Man's origin. That's the tale as told by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko all the way back in 1962; it's been retold in countless popular animated shows, and it's even been adapted twice for the big screen. One version was told in Spider-Man in 2002, and a revised one a decade later in The Amazing Spider-Man. The story beats have been absorbed into popular culture, in the same kind of way even a non-superhero fan tends to know Superman was sent from his dying homeworld of Krypton as a baby. Marvel always wants the MCU to feel fresh and original, and as a result they really didn't want to repeat the same formula.
The MCU's Spider-Man was introduced in Captain America: Civil War, and he'd already been operating as a superhero for several months. That single decision meant Marvel didn't need to retread ground already explored; they could settle for just tossing in vague references, knowing that viewers would join the dots with ease. In one telling scene, Tony Stark asks this young Peter Parker why he dresses up as a superhero. "When you can do the things that I can, but you don't," Peter explained, "and then the bad things happen... They happen because of you." While it clearly carried the sentiment of the famous "power and responsibility" speech, it was a very different way of putting it. In fact, where Uncle Ben's ghost pretty much haunted the previous Spider-Men, the MCU's Ben Parker will get his very first mention in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the fifth movie featuring Tom Holland's Spider-Man. The trailers have already shown Peter traveling with his uncle's suitcase, literally the first explicit nod to Ben Parker in the MCU to date.
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- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019