Spider-Man: Homecoming is scheduled to hit theaters in July, and it has fans excited for a bunch of different reasons. For one thing, it has a new actor playing the hero, Tom Holland, who made a cameo in 2016's Captain America: Civil War. Fans are also looking forward to the rebooted series after some disappointment over Sony's last movie, which was trying to build a separate franchise. The new movie will also show how the new Spider-Man fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has new gadgets and villains for the hero.
So far, the trailers have only gotten audiences more excited to see what lies ahead for the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, and we here at CBR are no exception. There are a lot of reasons to be excited about this new movie, and signs are good that we'll get a good time when Homecoming hits the big screen. In this list, we'll be going over all the reasons why we think this will be the best Spider-Man movie yet. While CBR is really looking forward to Spider-Man: Homecoming, we have to face reality and say it might not be a guaranteed success. That's why we're going to also look at five reasons why the movie might not be all we're hoping for.
Let's start with a point that's been under-appreciated about the new movie, and that's the costume. In the Sam Raimi trilogy of the early 2000s, the costume looked like the comic book version, except it had a raised webbing pattern on it that wasn't part of the original. The Amazing Spider-Man movies starting in 2012 had a more faithful costume, but there was a big part that was missing, and that's the eyes, though that was partly fixed in the sequel... which ironically lacked vision.
However, Spider-Man: Homecoming is the first version of the live-action costume with eyes that grow and shrink based on his expression. That might seem a minor point, but the comic book version has always had eyes that moved, and that was important to show his personality and expressions. It also shows how dedicated the new movie is to following the original.
The Vulture is one of Spider-Man's oldest villains, both in terms of his age and how long he's been fighting Ol' Web-Head. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created the Vulture in 1963's The Amazing Spider-Man #2 as the second costumed villain that Spider-Man ever fought, after the Chameleon. He's a major threat that even Sam Raimi couldn't get into his movies, but he's finally on screen.
Better than that, the Vulture will be played by Michael Keaton, who's best known to audiences as Batman. Most recently, he both explored and satirized his legacy in the 2014 movie Birdman, about an aging actor struggling to get away from his legacy as a movie superhero. The movie won Best Picture and Keaton was nominated for an Academy Award, so it's hard to imagine a better actor for the part.
In Captain America: Civil War, we first saw Tom Holland as the young Peter Parker when Tony Stark brought him in to join his team. Even in those brief scenes, we saw the Marvel Cinematic Universe setting up the relationship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker as a sort of mentor-trainee. That was a big part of Marvel's Civil War miniseries in 2006 (Mark Millar, Steve McNiven), so it made sense there, but it seems like they're extending that into Spider-Man Homecoming.
In the trailer, we see Stark giving Parker his new costume, going over the ground rules and chastising him when Parker gets out of line. It's a great partnership with a lot of chemistry and humor that the movie will build on, and we can't wait to see more of it.
Another thing we noticed in the trailer for Homecoming was new technology. It seems like Stark will be giving Spider-Man some new gadgets in his war on crime that we've never seen before on the big screen. At the end of Civil War, we saw Parker access some sort of artificial intelligence that turned on the Spider-Signal. In the trailers for Homecoming, we saw his spider-insignia that turned into a remote-controlled drone. We don't know what else the suit can do, but given Stark's love of tinkering, we think there will be more surprises.
In the comics, Parker has always been upgrading his costume and trying out new technology to fight crime. He's had everything from cameras to electrically-charged webbing to tiny spider-drones, so Homecoming makes the hero more like his comic book version, and also sets the movie apart from the previous movies where Spider-Man was limited to web-shooters.
Now we're getting into why Tom Holland is such a great choice for Spider-Man besides his wide-eyed enthusiasm and acting chops, and that's his age. Let's be frank and say that, while Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were great as Peter Parker, it was always kind of awkward to pretend they were high school students.
Maguire was around 26 when he played Spider-Man in 2002, and he was able to carry himself like an awkward teenager brilliantly. Andrew Garfield was 28, and managed to pull off a teenager as well. Even so, seeing Holland at 20 is a lot easier to swallow as a high schooler. Also, the fact that Holland has some gymnastic skills means he has the body and movement to pull off the web-crawling.
While the original Spider-Man trilogy in the early 2000s and The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 were all well-received, they all had a problem, and that's Marvel. From 2008's Iron Man, Marvel Studios has been cranking out superhero movies with a winning formula and powerful stories that have reinvented the way comic book adaptations have been filmed. More than that, Marvel was able to create a rich shared universe that effortlessly brought together its characters into Avengers and beyond.
When Sony tried to create its own shared universe with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the movie stumbled. Audiences began crying out, not just for a Spider-Man movie, but for a Marvel Spider-Man movie. They wanted to see Spider-Man wisecracking with Iron Man or swinging alongside the Hulk. While Sony probably could have righted the ship and made their Spider-Man series a success, it just seemed easier to hand the reins over to Marvel. Marvel has the system down. They make it look easy.
One area where comic book adaptations have been criticized is in the area of diversity. Very few minorities and women have been featured in the past. That's changing, though. Marvel has been leading the way in the movies by introducing more diversity with African-American heroes like Falcon and Black Panther, and female heroes like Black Widow and Scarlet Witch. DC has also been breaking ground with 2017's Wonder Woman and casting a Polynesian actor as Aquaman. It looks like Spider-Man Homecoming is going in the right direction as well.
According to director Jon Watts, making Parker's high school show different ethnicities was part of his original pitch, and he's followed through. Cast members will include people of color such as Donald Glover, Tony Revelori, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier and Zendaya. Homecoming will show a New York high school that's much more true to life.
This isn't the first Spider-Man movie, but it's still an important one. Both Sony and Marvel know they need to get it right. The Spider-Man franchise has been a cash cow for Sony Pictures, earning almost two billion dollars in theaters since 2002. However, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was the lowest earning of all five films, threatening the entire franchise.
As for Marvel, they've been wanting a piece of Spider-Man for years, and have been trying to negotiate the superhero in the Avengers franchise. Now that they have a partnership that allows them to use the character, it's critical that Spider-Man Homecoming is successful. If it flops, Sony could take the rights away and go back to their own series. The two studios are investing a lot in this movie, which means they've taken the time to get it right.
One of the biggest complaints about the otherwise excellent The Amazing Spider-Man was the repeat of Spider-Man's origin. Even though it was very different from his origin in 2002's Spider-Man and had some new twists, some fans complained it felt too familiar. Let's be honest and say we don't really want another Spider-Man origin movie. That's where Spider-Man: Homecoming will shine.
Since we've already introduced Peter Parker in Civil War and even gotten him into the costume, the awkward introduction has been done away with. Without seeing the movie, we don't know how much of Spider-Man's origin will be shown at all. The trailers don't seem to have anything about his origin, so it all feels fresh. We can get right into Spider-Man saving the world.
Even with all those points and a few we haven't gotten into like the twist of Spider-Man losing his costume or the incredible special effects, there's still one reason we know we'll love Homecoming and that's the Web-Slinger himself.
Most fans agree that Spider-Man 2 was Spider-Man at his best with a great villain, an emotional story with Parker struggling with his secret identity and powers, and the romance with Mary Jane. It's also generally agreed that the worst is Spider-Man 3 with its juggling of too many villains, and a corny "evil Spider-Man" storyline. Other fans would point to Amazing Spider-Man 2 as a movie with a thin story and too much effort on building up the Sinister Six spin-off. Even with all that, a bad Spider-Man movie is better than nothing, but Homecoming looks like it'll deliver.
Now let's play Devil's Advocate and get into the reasons why Spider-Man: Homecoming might not work. A hero is only as good as his villain, so let's start with the Vulture's powers. The hook about the Vulture is that he flies. That's pretty much it. In the comics, he had other abilities like super-strength and draining energy from people, but those might not come up in Homecoming.
In the comics, the Vulture is a danger because he's a master criminal, able to make plans and carry them out with efficiency and ruthlessness. Whether the Vulture works in the movie will all depend on his plan and how big of a threat he is. If the movie Vulture is just a guy with wings, the movie will be a bust.
Another major problem with Spider-Man: Homecoming is its legacy. This will be the sixth Spider-Man movie in less than 20 years. We've seen Spider-Man as a teenager, get his superpowers twice, the death of Uncle Ben in two movies, seen him get his powers and lose them, quit being Spider-Man twice, fall in love with two girlfriends and watch one of them die, and fight the Green Goblin twice (three times if you count the New Goblin in Spider-Man 3). That's a lot of ground already covered.
As seen by the low box-office of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, audiences have started to get tired of seeing the Web-Slinger. There's only so much story to cover, and Spider-Man: Homecoming will have to seem new and fresh enough to hold our interest. Otherwise, it will just be more of the same.
One of the biggest complaints about Spider-Man 3 is that there were too many villains. With the introduction of the New Goblin, Sandman and Venom, some fans felt none of them worked. By the time Venom arrived on the screen, the movie was almost over. Now some fans are worried that the same thing could happen with Spider-Man: Homecoming with the news that Shocker and the Tinkerer will be in the movie along with the Vulture.
While it's not guaranteed that Spider-Man: Homecoming will be juggling too many villains, it's certainly a worrying sign. Homecoming could avoid stuffing in too many villains by taking a tip from Batman Begins, which featured Ra's al Ghul, Scarecrow and Carmine Falcone, but gave all of them enough room to shine. We'll see if they pull it off.
While Marvel has really perfected the superhero movie, there have been grumblings about a certain formula -- a rut, if you will -- it's fallen into. The stories and characters don't feel as fresh as they once did, and the rough edges are getting sanded off in the process. For example, some audiences felt Ultron was one of a long line of weak villains in Marvel movies. Reviews have called Dr. Strange a great movie, but some pointed out the story of redemption felt a lot like Iron Man's. Likewise, Ant-Man's Falcon cameo felt forced instead of a really necessary part of the story.
Some fans worry that Spider-Man: Homecoming will suffer from its move to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For better or worse, Sony's Spider-Man movies felt different. Will it be improved or feel less original under Marvel?
The biggest complaint so far about the trailers for Spider-Man: Homecoming is that they've had almost as much Iron Man as Spider-Man. Will Tony Stark's role in the movie be a welcome cameo or push the Wall-Crawler out of the spotlight? There have already been some who have complained Stark making Parker's technology takes away the teenager's role as a scientific genius. There have also been fears that Parker isn't the main focus of the story as much as he's just trying to be a part of the Avengers.
Of course, we don't know if any of the issues we've mentioned will actually be a problem or not. They might turn out to be no problems or big problems. Either way, we're still psyched to see the new and improved Spider-Man!
Directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya and Donald Glover, Spider-Man: Homecoming arrives in theaters on July 7, 2017.
Are you looking forward to Spider-Man: Homecoming? Do you think it will rock or suck? Let us know in the comments!