Even though The Amazing Spider-Man movie series fizzled out, along with plans for Sinister Six shared universe cross-overs, Marvel's wall-crawler remains one of the most popular superheroes in print and on film. As a testament to the character, Spider-Man buzz, speculation, and rumor have dominated the pre-Captain America: Civil War conversation - a film that features several established MCU characters, the introduction of entirely new heroes (Black Panther), and a no-holds barred battle between Captain America and Iron Man. Any one of these features would have fired-up the fan base and culled a strong box office performance; yet, Civil War is raising the bar in nearly every way imaginable - capped off by the introduction of an all-new Spider-Man.
Injecting Spider-Man into the MCU was no small feat, requiring complicated negotiations between Sony and Marvel, but the partnership is already paying dividends for both parties. However, after The Amazing Spider-Man movies struggled to portray an "untold story," some viewers are, understandably, anxious to find out how Tom Holland's web-slinger will differ from those played by Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire. Today, we may be getting one step closer to that answer - as a new rumor could hint at why Peter Parker joins the battle in Civil War.
Days after an unofficial product leak teased the design for Spider-Man's new movie costume, another unverified source is claiming to provide insight into Peter Parker's Civil War backstory - including why he chooses to, reportedly, side with Iron Man and pro-superhero registration advocates.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Geek, the outlet claiming this new Spider-Man rumor as an exclusive, does not have an established record for Marvel Studios scoops - and does not name their source (or provide any information regarding how close that source is to production). For that reason, it's worth taking the following rumor with more than a grain of salt - especially considering the "explanation" could be common sense fan-fiction just as easily as it could be an actual piece of insider info. Nevertheless, we present the information here for the sake of discussion.
Geek backs-up prior reports that asserted Tony Stark would recruit Peter Parker to the pro-registration team (which also includes Vision, Black Widow, and War Machine), earning the 15-year old hero's trust with the gift of an advanced Spider-suit. Still, procuring a new suit isn't Parker's primary motivation.
According to Geek:
"'Peter started becoming Spidey because he grew up and idolized Tony,'” our source revealed. Since Iron Man takes place 10 years before we meet Peter in Civil War, where Peter is 15, that means Peter was five-years-old when Tony broke onto the scene in the original Iron Man, likely dominating the news as Peter grew into a teenager. If the guy you admire and look up to suddenly shows up on your balcony with a sweet piece of tech and says, “hey, let’s be bros,” are you going to turn him down?"
As indicated, the unidentified source could just be using believable guesswork to trick Geek into posting a false report - an ever-present danger in the movie scoop game. It certainly wouldn't be the biggest or longest-running piece of misinformation in this industry (the "fan-fiction" Batman V Superman script that became a source for several inaccurate "exclusives" still holds that honor); nevertheless, it's also possible that Geek's source is accurate - or just a lucky guess.
Until we have an official explanation, the idea that Peter Parker idolizes Iron Man isn't hard to believe - especially since this Spider-Man is only fifteen years-old and would have grown up marveling at The Avengers. After all, if real-life five to fifteen year-olds want to be Iron Man, it only makes sense that kids in the Marvel Universe, where the heroes are real, would long to be superheroes too. It only helps Geek's case that Peter Parker is an orphaned science nerd without a father-figure - making Tony Stark the perfect role model.
As a result, it's easy to imagine that when this meek tech-head suddenly gets superpowers, the first person he'd look to emulate would be Iron Man - and, as evidenced by his treatment of Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins) in Iron Man 3, Stark has already shown a keen eye for sharp youngsters and an interest in mentoring. Conversely, while Captain America may be a hero, he's been less public about his work and doesn't share Parker's passion for invention - he's a soldier not a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.
That all said, Marvel will need to be a little careful about how Spider-Man's allegiance to Stark could impact feelings about the character long term (as part of another reboot). So far, the Civil War trailers have painted Steve Rogers in a more sympathetic light, compared to Stark, and it'll be interesting to see if other factors, in addition to Parker's excitement about Iron Man, lead to his pro-registration beliefs. Could the disaster that kicks-off Civil War in some, potentially small, way set the stage for Uncle Ben's death in this version of the story? If so, paired with admiration for Iron Man, it'd be understandable why Spider-Man might believe that superheroes should by held accountable - especially since he, himself, might still be reeling from his own failure and guilt (assuming he's complicit in the death of Uncle Ben this round too).
Marvel isn't ready to showoff their new Spider-Man or his backstory yet - and it may not be until the final film before fans know very much about Holland's iteration. In the meantime, this new rumor gives moviegoers another aspect of the character to debate and we'll be sure to update readers with any official updates as they drop.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange– November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.