We’ve heard a lot about Marvel’s possible plans for Spider-Man in the months since they cut a deal with Sony, but now we finally have some intel straight from the source. We’re happy to report, most of it is good news.
Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige was recently doing the press rounds to promote Avengers: Age of Ultron, and he dropped a ton of intel about what fans can expect from this new Spider-Man deal. First up, Feige confirmed reports that the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the character will be Peter Parker, and they’re aiming for actors who are 15-16. So I suppose we can put to rest any dreams of Miles Morales (at least in the foreseeable future).
Talking to Collider, Feige opened up about the studio’s plans to reset the character back to high school, in an effort to tell more of those youthful stories that haven’t been told yet in the other two franchises based on the character. It’s worth noting that both of the other series started with Peter in high school, but had him graduate by the time a sequel rolled around, effectively relegating the high school years to one film each:
“We want to play with Spider-Man in the high school years because frankly there’ve been five Spider-Man films and the amazing thing about it is, even though there’ve been five Spider-Man films, there are so many things from the comics that haven’t been done yet. Not just characters or villains or supporting characters, but sides to his character. The most obvious being the ‘young, doesn’t quite fit in’ kid before his powers, and then the fella that puts on a mask and swings around and fights bad guys and doesn’t shut up, which is something we want to play with and we’re excited about.
I think it was midway through the first film that he graduated high school. At the beginning of the second Marc Webb film, he graduated high school. And some of my favorite Spider-Man arcs and Spider-Man stories, he’s in high school for a lot of it. We want to explore that. That also makes him very, very different from any of our other characters in the MCU, which is something else we want to explore: how unique he is when now put against all these other characters.”
That makes sense enough, and obviously does represent a good way to differentiate this Spider-Man run from the rest of the MCU, by putting a spin on the formula and going back to high school. There are also a lot of great high-school-age Spider-Man tales. Fair enough. But, don’t forget, there are decades of comics that follow grown-up Peter Parker through marriage and everything else, and represent some great stories also worth telling. Here’s hoping we also get those at some point.
In a separate interview with Crave Online, Feige also dropped some hints on how they plan to introduce the teenage wall-crawler. Rest easy: We’re not going to the third origin story within a decade or so, and Feige says they plan to just jump in and start telling Spider-Man stories. Thank God. It also sounds like this version of Spidey will be centered on the average kid learning how to be a superhero stuff, which can definitely be fun:
“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 power … 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.”
Marvel’s first standalone Spider-Man movie is set to land July 28, 2017, and we can certainly expect him to show up in a few other MCU films along the way. Do you think Marvel is taking the right approach with the character?