Starting with Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man” in 2008, a total of 11 films have been released in Marvel Studios’ cinematic universe. With another 11 films in production, Marvel looks to be drawing a roadmap to a few more billions. The film that most people may be most excited about is probably Marvel Studios’ newest superhero, with permission from Sony Pictures. With a chance to appear in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” Spider-Man will soon be a regular player in the Marvel films, with his first solo film hitting theaters on July 28, 2017.
Spider-Man has done his own thing the past 13 years in film. First starting in the hands of Sam Raimi, the web-slinger was in three films starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. The latest reboot came from Marc Webb in 2012, with Andrew Garfield as the web-head. Spider-Man is one of the most profitable superhero characters in the world and is sure to turn in some business. There are a few things that Marvel can do to ensure a success with this reboot, as well as take a few chances to reinvigorate the superhero movie genre.
The worst thing that this new Spider-Man film can do is tell another origin story. How many times do we need to watch Uncle Ben die in Peter’s arms? Fans who are willing to take out their wallets again for a new Spider-Man should be treated the right way. Moviegoers nearly universally know how Spider-Man became Spider-Man. If there’s a new story to be told, please skip any re-hash of why this guy has the powers of a spider.
What makes Spider-Man such a relatable superhero is his age when he first gets his powers. In the comics, Peter Parker begins his story as a high school student. Casting Spider-Man has been something that both Raimi and Webb have steered wrong on. The two previous actors, Maguire and Garfield, have been too old for a franchise that banks on multiple sequels. The current — and welcome — rumor has Asa Butterfield (“Ender’s Game”) donning the mask. While being relatively young, Spider-Man is known to have a joking perspective, and his quick wit will eventually be interesting to see in play with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man.
After seeing “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” I’ve noticed that the superhero genre may be testing my further interest. My biggest complaint with these franchised Marvel films and the superhero trope as a whole is that there is never any real stakes for our heroes. No matter the threat, you know Captain America and Thor will fight another day, with sequels planned for the next five years. But with this opportunity to reboot Spider-Man, Marvel can break the mold. I’m not saying that this should happen in the first film we’ll get to see Marvel Studios’ own take of Spider-Man, but if the studio wants to be ballsy, it can kill-off Peter Parker and introduce Miles Morales.
The regular comic moviegoer doesn’t know who Miles Morales is, and that’s why he can be a big success. Miles is a half-black/half-Latino super-powered teen who takes on the Spider-Man name and costume following the death of Peter Parker in the Ultimate Marvel imprint. In a film franchise that doesn’t have too many superheroes with minority backgrounds, bringing on Miles Morales would be a breath of fresh air. Suggestions for who should play this new Spider-Man should include Donald Glover (“Community”) and Tyler James Williams (“Everybody Hates Chris”). The only way Marvel can be successful with a new Spider-Man is if they learn from past mistakes, and aren’t afraid to take chances.
E.J. Spangler is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.