Tangled Web, Indeed1 of 12With a little over a year until Spider-Man: Homecoming is scheduled to hit theaters, announcements about the film are coming quicker and quicker. Just this week, it was reported that Donald Glover – who was once the subject of a Twitter campaign to star as Peter Parker – may be joining the cast of the film.
If he is indeed cast, who would he play?
There's even bigger questions than that, however - there’s still a lot we just don’t know about Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Yes, we know it features a high school aged Peter Parker, that Tony Stark will appear, and that it won’t be an origin story, but that’s…really not much. Who will the villain be? Who are the characters of the supporting cast? How close will Homecoming come to touching Peter's origin? These are the questions that must be answered.
Does the Spider-Man deal extend to his supporting cast?2 of 12Right now, while we know several castmembers, the only officially confirmed characters in Spider-Man: Homecoming are Peter Parker, Aunt May, and Tony Stark. How far does the Sony/Marvel deal extend to his supporting cast? There are conflicting reports that the previously announced Spider-Man spin-off films such as Sinister Six and Venom are alive or not, but however the fresh ink on this contract reads there could be some room for negotiation.
We know that Marvel and Sony are looking for ways to fit other Marvel characters into Spider-Man's sphere of things by allowing him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it stands to reason the street might be able to go both ways. Could that mean we might see Flash Thompson/Venom in Guardians of the Galaxy? Or Norman Osborn in a potential Thunderbolts film? At this point, anything is possible.
Will Spider-Woman appear in the MCU?3 of 12Now that Spider-Man is officially part of the MCU, what about his female counterpart Spider-Woman? While the cinematic Peter Parker will likely be too young to have inspired a spin-off character just yet, that doesn’t mean that Jessica Drew isn’t a perfect candidate for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With a background that ties her to both S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra, Spider-Woman would make perfect sense joining the universe where these two organizations are at the forefront. Or at least, a version of Spider-Woman that draws on Drew’s history and traits.
How does Tony Stark fit in?4 of 12Now that it’s confirmed that Tony Stark will play a role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, the question is, how does he fit in?
In Captain America: Civil War, he serves as something of a mentor to Peter, upgrading his gear and enlisting him to fight Captain America. He also clearly had some chemistry with Peter’s Aunt May – something Robert Downey, Jr. has been all too willing to play upsince the film’s release.
There’s also the little matter of Tony moving somewhat into Nick Fury’s previous MCU role as the organizer and top cop of Marvel’s heroes – a position that would give him a unique role in Peter’s life, possibly even taking his mentorship into out-and-out leadership.
That raises another question. Will Tony continue to keep Spider-Man at arm’s length from his Avengers? After Civil War, he may need some new blood, but Tony seemed to regret having allowed Peter in the fight towards the end of the airport battle.
Or will the events of Avengers: Infinity War (working title) force all hands on deck?
How close will HOMECOMING get to Spider-Man's origin?5 of 12While Kevin Feige has said that Spider-Man’s origin is better left to previous movies, and Homecoming apparently takes place after Captain America: Civil War, in which Peter was already established as Spidey, there’s still room to explore his roots.
Homecoming could explore different aspects of Peter becoming Spider-Man through his relationship with Stark and his development as a hero, or it could touch his origin more directly through flashbacks showing bits and pieces of the events that lead to him fighting crime in the first place.
It wouldn't be the first Marvel Studios film to use flashbacks. While we're not saying "prepare yourselves for Uncle Ben!," there could be something to key into Peter Parker's own story.
Will Miles Morales appear in the MCU?6 of 12Now that Miles Morales is active as Spider-Man in the mainstream Marvel Universe comic books, both on his own and in the Avengers, it seems more likely than ever that the former Ultimate Spider-Man could appear in some capacity in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. Though it’s Peter Parker under the mask, the burgeoning relationship between Peter and Miles’s comic book counterparts could translate to the big screen, with Miles being one of Peter’s friends.
There’s also another route – unlikely as it may be. With Donald Glover – one of the real life inspirations for Miles – reportedly joining Homecoming, is there a chance Miles could be an older supporting character in the MCU? Glover voiced Miles in the animated Ultimate Spider-Man, but it seems like stretch for the 32-year-old to take the live action role in this context.
We do have some ideas on who could play that role (and others), however.
Will Ultimate Spider-Man provide Homecoming's direction?7 of 12There’s a lot of pressure on Marvel to provide fans the “definitive” take on a cinematic Spider-Man now that their one-time flagship character is now back in house, but it’s possible the studio has already given us a blueprint for how they’ll handle the wallcrawler in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man animated series features a young, quippy take on the hero with a style and sense of humor that’s not far off from what was previewed in Civil War. It also places Peter in a context of working not only with S.H.I.E.L.D., but juxtaposed with more experienced, serious older heroes. Could Ultimate Spider-Man presage something of the direction Homecoming will take?
Ultimate Spider-Man’s MCU connections also run deep, with Agent Coulson – a character who originated in Marvel’s films – playing a key role in the show. If nothing else, that’s an indicator that there’s cross-pollination in Marvel’s media when it comes to Spider-Man.
What does this mean for Marvel's other outstanding film rights?8 of 12With Spider-Man coming home to Marvel, that leaves only a handful of film rights still in the hands of other studios - primarily X-Men and Fantastic Four at Fox. But with the first major hurdle in the process of retaining their characters' film rights crossed, could we see a day when they all come home to Marvel ... permanently? Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently implied that the studio has plans in place for just such an eventuality, however likely – or unlikely – it may be.
Fox will likely keep an iron grasp on the X-Men rights (while the Fantastic Four rights are more vulnerable thanks to last year’s unpopular reboot). So it's more likely that smaller properties and properties in question, like Man-Thing and Namor could find their way home in the wake of the Spider-Man deal. Still, if a Marvel-produced Spider-Man movie proves anything, it's that there is always hope for a unified film world.
How will this affect Spider-Man's comics?9 of 12There’s no direct correlation between what happens in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Comics, there is a tendency to bring elements of their comic books in line with the visibility of their films, such as returning Steve Rogers to the mantle of Captain America around the time of Civil War hitting theaters.
Though it’s unlikely Marvel would have any interest in de-aging Peter Parker from adulthood to line-up with Spider-Man: Homecoming, his current status as a globetrotting super-CEO isn’t really in line with the classic vibe of the film either.
It’s possible that the old “Parker Luck” could kick in around the time Homecoming hits theaters and put Pete back in his old digs Remember, last time a Spider-Man movie hit theaters, Peter took back the role of Spider-Man from Doctor Octopus – a move writer Dan Slott said was intentional.
Could Marvel buy back Spider-Man's rights wholesale?10 of 12Though the Spider-Man deal allows Marvel to use Spider-Man in their upcoming films, it does keep the film rights to Spider-Man firmly in Sony's grasp. As strange as it may seem for Marvel not to own the film rights to their own character, that's how the business works.
But will it remain that way?
The current answer is probably yes. Both Sony and Marvel are making out well with this deal. Marvel has one less $200m movie to finance but they still get the benefits of him in the MCU.
Some fans probably still like the idea of Marvel Studios owning Spidey whole cloth, but this is a pretty darn convenient compromise.
Who will Spider-Man fight?11 of 12As of Amazing Spider-Man 2, most of Spider-Man’s biggest rogues have been featured on film, some of them even more than once. So who’s left for Spidey to fight on the big screen?
Assuming Marvel and Sony will want a clean break from previous films – and all the evidence says they will – there are really only a few villains capable of posing a big enough threat to Spider-Man to hold up an entire movie.
Though it’s still unconfirmed, it looks like Spider-Man may be clashing with one of his earliest enemies, the Vulture, in Spider-Man: Homecoming. But if accurate, will Vulture be his only onscreen enemy? Could there be a minor villain in the works as well? Or perhaps a set up for a long game enemy, such as Norman Osborn?
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