Earlier this year, audiences got their introduction to our third new Spider-Man in 14 years in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War. The decision to reboot the webslinger once again was not an easy one for Sony, but it came about as a result of an unprecedented collaboration with Marvel Studios that sees Marvel taking the creative lead on new Spider-Man movies while the character is allowed to exist within the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, which are distributed by Disney. By all accounts, they got off to a swell start as Tom Holland’s much younger iteration of Peter Parker was a standout in Civil War, and production is underway on the new standalone film Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The decision to age Peter Parker down and tell a high school-set story was one of the first made when Marvel was granted creative control of the character, and while Homecoming will certainly stand out in that regard, the question remains how long that might last. So when Collider’s own Steven Weintraub got the chance to speak with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige at Comic-Con 2016, where the first footage from Homecoming debuted, he asked Feige if the intention is to keep Parker in High School should they get the chance to make sequels. Firstly, though, Feige acknowledged that this has been a very carefully plotted step-by-step process:
“The first step was reintroduce a new Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Civil War and have people leave the theater saying, ‘I love that Spider-Man. I wanna see more of him.’ I think that’s happened. The next step is making a great Spider-Man: Homecoming and a great film that showcases Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and makes everybody fall in love with him all over again.”
So, if Spider-Man: Homecoming is a hit, will the sequel keep Parker in high school? Feige said their early ideas for the new Spider-Man franchise involve taking a cue from another iconic series of films:
“Should we be able to make more after that? Sure. This is sophomore year, is the next one junior year? Is the next one senior year? Is there a summer break between each of those? I don’t know what, but it was sort of how do we do a journey for Peter not dissimilar for what the students of Hogwarts would go through each of their years, which was one of the early ideas we had for the movies.”
Indeed, the Harry Potter films—taking their cue from J.K. Rowling’s books—each follow a new year at Hogwarts, so the idea seems to be that if a series of new Spider-Man films move forward, we’ll get to continue to spend time with Peter Parker through the trials and tribulations of high school—with some city-saving and webslinging on the side. That’s certainly a different direction than previous Spider-Man movies—which is the point—and could prove incredibly fruitful should the plan come to fruition.
First, though, audiences have to respond to this initial film, and as part of the footage shown at Comic-Con, it was revealed that not only is Michael Keaton’s villain Vulture, but his costume is made of tech, not organic. Steve asked Feige if they considered making the character a metahuman, but the Marvel Studios president stressed the grounded nature of the MCU:
“That had been done in I think every prior Spider-Man film. Part of the fun of joining the cinematic universe, joining a world in which he now knows Tony Stark personally, has received a suit full of many things we haven’t seen yet that Stark Industries has supplied, it made sense to—cause that’s sort of the Marvel Cinematic Universe grounded nature is it is much more technologically based. In a world where Falcon flies around with a beautiful set of wings, it made sense that we had Vulture have technical origins.”
Tech-based villains? High school stories? Indeed, director Jon Watts‘ Spider-Man: Homecoming sounds like a refreshing change of pace. Here’s hoping the finished product is the goods when it hits theaters on July 7, 2017.