Technically, I am a part of the Tobey Maguire generation. When I was just shy of 21 years of age, the wall-crawler made his way to the big screen for the very first time. While X-Men was released two years before, it was Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Willem Dafoe, the writing of David Koepp, and the direction Sam Raimi that raised the comic book movie into new heights.
With that said, I’m a Tom Holland guy. We finally have a Peter Parker who is still in the middle of high school (not graduating or moving on to college). He’s a nerd, unsure of himself, but gradually developing into the hero he was born to be. Not only that, but we have him intertwined into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At a time where multiple superheroes can be featured side by side as they are in their comic book origins, Spider-Man is involved in epic storylines alongside Iron Man, Captain America, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians Of The Galaxy. The kid is an Avenger now and looks to grow further in this universe—why take him away from that?
To be blunt, from a storyline aspect, I felt the move Sony made to pull Spidey out of the MCU was a stupid one. There, I said it. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not sitting here trying to defend the “Mouse House” as if they are the underdog studio just trying to survive. It is quite apparent the juggernaut kingdom the place Walt built has become. Like Thanos collecting the stones, Mickey is walking around with his gauntlet picking up the Force and Fox stones, achieving ultimate control. So no, this is not an attempt to feel sorry for Disney—it is in defense of an unfinished story arc.
The MCU’s Peter Parker has spent the last five films being involved in Avenger-related adventures. After being discovered by Stark, he has tussled with Captain America, brought down the Vulture, saved Avenger cargo, formed a friendship with Happy Hogan, battled Thanos, “died”, was brought back to life, defeated Thanos, witnessed the sacrifice of Stark, worked with Nick Fury (or did he?) battled Mysterio, and might have a thing with MJ. That is a HUGE amount of action Spidey has witnessed while partnered with his Marvel family. It would be ridiculous to have a third Spider-Man film with Holland that in no way mentions ANY of the events or people that have been a part of his life since 2016.
And that is exactly what it would have been like if Sony pulled Spidey out and never made a deal. A Holland-starring Spider-Man flick that can’t mention Stark, Rogers, Fury, Happy, or any person that he has met or battle he was in. How believable is that after the level he reached in the MCU? Sure, The Dark Knight Rises never mentions the Joker, but as much as I enjoyed TDKR, it does bother me that Joker is never mentioned. I understand why they do not mention him, but story-wise it felt weird. Additionally, I’m sorry to tell you that I do not have any faith in Sony delivering a TDKR quality Parker film—at least not at this time.
Sure, Sony scored big with Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. That animated film is phenomenal, but let’s discuss Sony’s luck in live-action Spider-Man films. Their last great live-action Spider-Man film was 2004’s Spider-Man 2. Critics loved it, audiences loved it, and it even won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Then came the horror story that was Spider-Man 3. Emo-Peter. Franco’s “Goblin.” TOPHER GRACE AS EDDIE BROCK. Then came the Andrew Garfield movies, and while Garfield and Emma Stone were great together, the two films never captured the same level of success as it’s predecessors.
Enter Tom Holland and the MCU infusion. A cool-yet-nerdy engaging, “middle of high school” Parker. No focus on the Uncle Ben angle or the radioactive spider bite because we know it all already. A new take on his school life. A storyline that fits in with a larger Marvel arc, like many of the actual Marvel comics do. The Holland version has garnered both critical acclaim (both solo films scoring 90% and 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively) and audience support (87% and 95%, respectively). Homecoming and Far From Home have gone on to make nearly $2 billion in the worldwide box office. Moreover, Holland has literally become Parker on screen. He has made the character his. These are undeniable facts that prove the success of keeping the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in the universe that has given him such great success. Why ruin a good thing?
Now, I am fully aware that eventually Sony will take Parker and create their own, non-MCU-related universe—it’s inevitable, like Thanos. My simple request (which seems to be what Disney and Sony have agreed on at the time of this article) is to at least give this current arc an ending. Give Holland’s Parker a conclusion, a resolution in his MCU experience that leads into a new adventure. Give Zendaya’s MJ and Jacob Batalon’s Ned some more MCU time. Let Peter resolve his current situation at the finale of Far From Home where it originated. A full, successful trilogy—with maybe an appearance here and there in other MCU films.
Hopefully, by that time, Sony will have taken time to develop a well thought out storyline that won’t feel rushed or packed with too much content (*cough* Spider-Man 3 *cough* The Amazing Spider-Man 2 *cough*). Hopefully, Sony can capture the same magic they created with SpiderVerse in a live-action format. I truly hope for all of that—after they complete the MCU story the right way. Not by pulling out and ending this angle prematurely.
Until then, I look forward to seeing Holland’s Spidey web-sling his way through the MCU a little longer.
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