So to recap, we now know who Marvel’s Spider-Man will be and who’s going to direct the first movie – hey, Tom Holland and Jon Watts! – and we also know that Marvel will be skipping all the origin story stuff that we’ve already seen enough times over the last few years (Yay, we don’t have to watch Uncle Ben die again!). But there are still plenty of unknowns about Spider-Man’s long-awaited entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For one, just what type of movie are Marvel and Sony hoping to make that will be different to the past two iterations we got over the last decade and a half?
Well, Devin Faraci over at Birth.Movies.Death is hoping that we would finally get to see more the soap opera that surrounds Peter Parker and his friends/family – like Flash Thompson, Liz Allen, Betty Brant, etc – and how that good ol’ Parker luck always lands him in the dumps with them. So while at a press junket for Ant-Man, Faraci took the opportunity to talk to Marvel Studios Head Honcho Kevin Feige about this angle, and was quite surprised that Marvel were already on the same page. In fact, they were already thinking of a really big influence for exactly that type of movie: John Hughes.
“It’s the soap opera in high school, and those supporting characters, that are interesting. Just as we hadn’t seen a heist movie in a long time, or a shrinking movie in a long time [ala Ant-Man], we haven’t seen a John Hughes movie in a long time. Not that we can make a John Hughes movie – only John Hughes could – but we’re inspired by him, and merging that with the superhero genre in a way we haven’t done before excites us.”
Now for the young ‘uns among us, John Hughes was a master of the fun teen drama in the 1980’s with such timeless classics as The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty In Pink and more. One thing that characterized most of Hughes’ films was that their dramatic crux was almost always something intimately emotional and personal. Faraci had recently written an editorial about how Pixar’s Inside Out has the biggest stakes of any film this year, all because it was purely about the emotional growth and well-being of this young girl Riley. This is something that Feige touched on, as he went on to explain that a movie like Spider-Man doesn’t crazy over-the-top plots to carry it, as long as that teenage drama is solid.
“What’s fun about a Spider-Man movie for us – I think you pointed this out, that Inside Out had the biggest stakes of any movie this summer. Stakes don’t need to be end of the world. Oftentimes, in our films, it is, and in our future films Thanos doesn’t work small. But sometimes the stakes can just be ‘Will this little girl grow up to be healthy and well put-together, or are there too many issues for her to overcome?’ That’s HUGE! That overrides a threat to reality itself. And I think Spider-Man straddles that line in a fun way in his comics. What we wanted was a movie where the stakes could be as high as ‘This bad person is going to do this bad thing, and a lot of people could die’ OR ‘You don’t get home in time and your aunt is going to figure this out, and your whole life is going to change.’
“Particularly at that age, in high school, everything feels like life or death. The tests feel like life or death. Coming home from being out with your friends seemed like life or death. The stakes are high at that age, for the same reason you talk about in Inside Out.”
As a fan of Spider-Man comics for nearly my entire life, I can honestly say that the Spider-Man movies have never truly captured that madcap personal side of Parker’s life, instead always going for straight-up melodrama. If they Marvel can nail this aspect, it would be *cough* amazing.
But that being said though, as nice as personal stakes are, it just wouldn’t be a Spider-Man movie without some flamboyant bad guy to punch in the face. Thus far in the movies we’ve seen Electro, Rhino, the Lizard, Sandman, Venom, Dr Octopus and about 3 different variations of the Green Goblin/Hobgoblin. With Norman Osborn being Spidey’s arch-nemesis, you know that eventually we’re going to see them face off again for like the 4th time, but that probably won’t be happening in Marvel’s first standalone Spider-Man movie.
[Spidey has a deep bench of rogues] That’s the advantage. Right now we’re interested in seeing villains we haven’t seen before.”
Personally, I want to see them adapt “Kraven’s Last Hunt” so badly (as does Spider-Man comic writer Dan Slott), as I think Kraven the Hunter could be an incredible addition to the MCU (I will also gladly champion Manu Bennet for the role, though Gerard Butler wouldn’t be a bad pick either!). Then there’s the nigh-unstoppable Morlun and his family, the Vulture, Black Cat, Mysterio, Chameleon and more. And of course, there’s also The Kingpin aka Wilson Fisk.
The MCU just got its first glorious taste of Fisk through Vincent D’Onofrio’s brilliant portrayal of the character in Daredevil. And since Spider-Man has always been synonymous with New York and has faced off against Kingpin several times, does that mean that we could see Spider-Man showing up in one of Marvel’s upcoming New York based Netflix TV series?
“My general answer to that is never say never. But our current Sony deal is very specific – we’re producing the standalone film, with a certain amount of back and forth allowed.”
In the immortal words of Lloyd Christmas: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”.
Although not officially announced, it is believed that Tom Holland will be making his on-screen debut as Spidey in the currently-shooting Captain America: Civil War, before making his solo film debut in 2017.
Last Updated: June 30, 2015