Bringing the webslinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Spider-Man: Homecoming allows him to discover his true calling.
Following a seventies’ TV series, three Sam Raimi movies and a pair of ‘Amazing’ reboots, Spider-Man is back where he belongs, having joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War (2016). Spider-Man: Homecoming is not just another Spidey reboot – the homecoming refers to both Peter Parker’s annual high school event and his return to the Marvel fold.
“Over the past 15 years, we have built the MCU with so many characters and movies, and now we have the opportunity to introduce Peter Parker and the Spider-Man franchise into that universe for the first time,” says producer and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “It’s exciting because that’s how he truly was in the comics, from the very beginning – he didn’t enter the comics as the only hero; he entered a world in which Tony Stark, Captain America and the Avengers all were there. And now, for the first time, we get that in an entire film, which makes it fresh and new.”
“If we can put Spider-Man back in the MCU, which he was always a part of in the comics, everybody wins – and the biggest winner is the fans”
With the character licensed to Sony Pictures and now being shared with Marvel Studios and Disney, Spider-Man: Homecoming represents an unprecedented collaboration between the studios – and makes perfect sense.
“It’s a Sony movie and a Marvel production,” explains producer Amy Pascal. “Everyone came together and decided if we can put Spider-Man back in the MCU, which he always was a part of in the comics, everybody wins – and the biggest winner is the fans, as they finally get to see what they’ve been waiting a long time to see.”
From a storytelling perspective, Spider-Man joining the MCU was “the best thing in the world” according to director Jon Watts. Spider-Man: Homecoming isn’t constrained by the need to recount his origin story (and the death of Uncle Ben!), a criticism that was levelled at the 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man.
“Not only did they take care of the origin story and heavy lifting in Captain America: Civil War – which they did so economically and beautifully – we also didn’t have to spend time explaining why this fifteen-year-old kid would have come up with the idea of becoming a superhero,” says Watts. “He’s grown up in the MCU; when Peter Parker was eight years old, he saw Tony Stark say ‘I am Iron Man’ on TV. So the idea of this being a world where superheroes exist means that we don’t have to spend any time addressing any of these issues. We just get right into the fun of it.”
Reintroducing Peter Parker as a naïve high school kid with everyday adolescent issues also allows a young audience to be empathetic to the character. Moreover, following his experience fighting alongside the Avengers in Civil War, he’s aware of the great responsibility that comes with being Spider-Man, triggering the dilemma – what could compare to that?
“We introduced Spider-Man in Civil War and you got to see the banter and the fun and contrast between he and the other heroes there. And now, after the greatest vacation of all time, in which he got to spend time with these rock stars, he’s got to go back to high school,” Feige elaborates. “So it exacerbates his problem – a problem that I certainly had and I think most people who go to high school have – ‘Is there something more for me out there?’ But Peter knows there is because he just did it. He thinks he’s ready and of course when you’re fifteen years old you often think you’re ready for something before you really are. That’s the fun of this movie, that’s the relatability of Peter Parker, and that’s why we wanted to do this and reintroduce Spider-Man to audiences through the lens of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
Check out the Spiderman: Homecoming Virtual reality experience.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is out on Oct 18
THE AMAZING BEGINNINGS
Where it all began for the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man…
In 1962, Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee was looking for a character to connect with a teenage audience. Collaborating with artist Jack Kirby, the Spider-Man concept was conceived, although Lee wasn’t happy with the direction that Kirby was taking the nascent character. He turned to Marvel inker, Steve Ditko, who redesigned Spidey to incorporate a mask and his ability to fire webs from his wrist.
Publisher Martin Goodman was unimpressed with Lee’s creation, but reluctantly agreed to allow Spider-Man to feature in a publication that was about to be axed. The fifteenth (and last) Amazing Adult Fantasy was renamed Amazing Fantasy for the one issue, going on sale on June 5, 1962.
However, when the sales figures for the issue were received a few months later, Goodman and Lee were surprised to find it was Marvel’s best-selling issue to date. The dormant Spider-Man was resurrected and in March 1963, re-launched with his own comic, The Amazing Spider-Man.