SPIDER-MAN director Jon Watts talks about the movie's comic book inspirations

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Ultimate_Spider-Man_Peter_Parker

2016 is the year that Spider-Man finally comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The wall-crawler will be making his official MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War before getting a solo flick in 2017, but it will not be the Spider-Man we’ve seen before. Or, y’know, seen before that (silly reboots).

We’ve already heard confirmation that this Spider-Man solo film will be similar in tone to the coming-of-age age comedy films of the legendary John Hughes, but what about comic book influences? There have been so many different iterations of the character in print over the decaded, so which one will the movie be taking its cues from? Well in an interview with Den Of Geek, Spider-Man director Jon Watts explained that while there are so many to choose from, it’s one very popular version of the wall-crawler that he likes the most.

“[Ultimate Spider-Man] is great. I love Ultimate. We have the freedom to pull from anything, but I really like what [Brian Michael] Bendis did. A lot. That felt like… that was Peter Parker back in high school. And, spending as much time with his high school problems as it did with his superhero problems, which I think is really a lot of fun.”

Ultimate Spider-Man was a relaunch of Spider-Man under Marvel’s Ultimate imprint (think alternate comic book universe) that saw a much younger Peter Parker still in high school. We already know that the new movie Spider-Man, played by young British actor Tom Holland, will also be a 15-year old in high school so it’s clear to see where the comparison comes from.

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Eventually in the Ultimate Spider-Man books, Peter Parker would famously die in battle, with newcomer Miles Morales picking up the name and legacy and becoming a hugely popular character in his own right. Both versions of Spider-Man had one thing in common though: The awesome, and often hilarious family dynamics between Spider-Man and his extended support cast. That’s something which we’ll probably be seeing now.

“There’s also some really funny comics stuff, like, the Archies. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane series, but they have this really great anime-style illustration, and it’s all just about Peter Parker’s relationships. It’s like the soap opera of Peter Parker in high school. Those are really funny, too.”

Right now, Watts is currently still busy with prep work for Spider-Man, though I hesitate to call it “work”. As the director himself says, “I’m just sitting around reading comic books all day — it’s a pretty great job”. A pretty good job indeed. Let’s just hope he actually does a better job when Spider-Man eventually launches in two years.

Last Updated: October 19, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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