There's a lot to be excited about for Phase 3 of Marvel Studios' Cinematic Universe, including a deal between Marvel and Sony to bring Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) into the MCU with a Spider-Man reboot. No longer will fans need to dream about what it would be like if Spider-Man and Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man got into a witty argument - the Friendly Neighborhood Wall-Crawler is officially living in the world with Earth's Mightiest Heroes (and that banter could soon be seen in theaters).
Seeing as moviegoers have witnessed Spider-Man's already well-known origin story in 2002 and then once again just ten years later, fans are understandably curious about how Spider-Man's second reboot will be handled - especially since Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released back in 2014. While the director and co-writers behind the movie can't share too much information just yet, they are finally allowed to briefly comment on how their version of Spider-Man will differ from what fans have already seen on the big screen.
During an interview with USA Today, Spider-Man co-writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein explained they can't give away too many details (because they were only recently hired), but Goldstein did elaborate just a little bit about how they're approaching Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's iconic Marvel hero:
"The main difference, I think, is that the tone will be very grounded and really about a real kid who gets the powers and what that means to a geeky, outcast kid and how he deals with them. You don't instantly become a superhero; it's a long journey."
Daley added the reboot will focus more on Parker's high school life and even joked that there won't be a moment similar to Spider-Man 3's infamous dance scene. (Maybe this version of Parker just doesn't have the moves to pull that kind of dance off.) More importantly, he believes the origin story (e.g. Parker being bit by a radioactive spider and failing to stop uncle Ben's death) won't play a big part in the movie:
"It's spending a lot more time in the high school. So, we have time to develop the powers with him and experience the wish fulfillment and also the fact that it's really alienating to other people. I don't think the origin story's going to be in there and also I think we'll avoid the emo dance that he does... as much as I love it!"
Spider-Man's origin is very well-known, but it's difficult to believe Marvel would completely gloss over how he received his superhuman powers and why he's so determined to put them to good use - Marvel can't assume everyone is familiar with the character; this may be some young viewers' first time seeing a story about the hero, after all. It wouldn't be surprising if his origin is revealed in the opening or told during the opening credits like Marvel did back in The Incredible Hulk. Meanwhile, Goldstein further expanded on Daley's "alienating" comment:
"Just alienating because he's not a popular kid. He's a little geeky and he's self conscience, as we were when we were in high school, so we want to tell that story. The fact is that becoming Spider-Man doesn't solve all your problems."
Meanwhile, during a talk with The Daily Beast, Spider-Man reboot director Jon Watts hinted that the Spider-Man reboot will draw some parallels to director John Hughes work and, just like the co-writers, he explained this movie will do more to expand Parker's high school experience.
"The thing that everyone keeps saying is that it’s sort of like the John Hughes version of Spider-Man, which I think is a really cool take on it. He’s in high school, and the questions that that raises I think we haven’t explored as much as we can. In the comics so much of it was about him juggling his high school life and trying to be a superhero. I think there’s a lot to do there."
Watts also said the reboot's setting will work especially well because actor Tom Holland is believable and relatable as a high school version of Spider-Man. Additionally, Watts commented on the relationship between Sony and Marvel now that they're sharing the famous superhero:
“It remains to be seen how we’re going to do that, but Marvel is a very collaborative place and it’s Marvel and Sony, which is an interesting dynamic.”
Watching more of Peter Parker in high school may not be what some fans want to see (many were hoping Marvel would present an already experienced Spider-Man), but it's important to note that there is plenty of great potential (with great potential comes great responsibility, Mr. Watts) that has yet to be explored on the big screen. Spider-Man has a rich mythos, and Brian Michael Bendis' Ultimate Spider-Man comics, as well as the TV series Spectacular Spider-Man, proved that taking another trip to Parker's high school years can still be a lot of fun and presented in refreshing ways. Now we just have to wait and see who the villain will be.
Before then, though, Holland as Spider-Man will make his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War.
Captain America: Civil War opens on May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – 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.