With its colorful palette, quick quips and wonderful web-based action, Spider-Man: Homecoming is set to be a very special cinematic representation of our friendly neighborhood hero.
Filled with familiar faces, such as Aunt May, Adrian Toomes and even Spider-Man's pal Tony Stark, it feels very much like Homecoming has been ripped straight from the comics. However, if a recent news report is to be believed, some classic characters won't be appearing in Homecoming — or any future films in the franchise either.
These Fan-Favorite Characters Won’t Appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming
It’s a well known fact that Spider-Man has one of the most detailed and expansive supporting casts this side of #Batman. From the villainous Venom to the various Goblins, his Rogues' Gallery is also the envy of many other writers and publications. It’s no wonder that many of the same characters keep cropping up in all of Spider-Man’s onscreen adaptations; they’re so compelling! For instance, we’ve already had two divisive iterations of the Green Goblin, and that's not including #JamesFranco’s New Goblin!
Even so, fans have fervently hoped that Homecoming would lay the groundwork for more “definitive” versions of characters like the Goblin and Doctor Octopus to join the MCU. How great would it to be to see Octavius again? And Tony Stark sassing Norman Osborn is a must-see, am I right?
Yet, for now at least, it looks like these dreams will only be dreams (sorry Shia LeBeouf). Homecoming producer Amy Pascal sat down with ScreenCrush, and she had this to say about re-envisioning firm favorites from previous Spidey films. And sorry Goblin fans, it doesn’t look good for Stormin’ Norman:
“...there are certain characters I don't think there’s anything more to say about them right this minute ...I don’t know how many more times we can do the Green Goblin.”
This is definitely saddening, particularly for fans of the Green Goblin. However some fans might be a bit skeptical at first, given the fact that Amy Pascal did cause confusion with her comments on Venom's cinematic future. Unfortunately, Kevin Feige later affirmed her stance on the matter. Whilst he didn't rule out Obsorn and other villains potentially making a return down the line, he said that it won't be happening any time soon.
"...this is it’s the first time Spider-Man is in the MCU...and the first time he’s played by [Tom Holland]... [so] as Michael Keaton does with the Vulture, we get to explore villains we haven’t seen before. Spidey has an amazing rogues gallery, so at some point I think it might be interesting to revisit some of the characters we’ve seen in films before, but right now, we think there are a lot of new ones we haven’t played with yet.”
Ouch. As disappointing as this is, let’s face it, both Pascal and Feige’s reasoning is kinda understandable. If the Spider-Man franchise is going to prosper, it has to break new ground and remain fresh, rather than rehashing the same story. This is why #TomHolland’s version of Spider-Man is so technology (and #IronMan) heavy; it allows audiences to explore new aspects of Spider-Man.
Many moviegoers simply wouldn’t bother seeing a film that, for example, adapts 'The Death of Gwen Stacy' when they’ve seen a rather brilliant realization of it beforehand. However, Pascal’s reluctance to re-tackle certain characters will have many repercussions going forward.
Which Fresh Foes Could Spider-Man Fight?
Pascal may only refer to Norman Osborn's cackling alter-ego, but her statement may also apply to other classic villains that have appeared in Spider-Man movies already. Sony and Marvel seem very keen to differentiate the new Spider-Man from his previous incarnations, so it's unlikely that they’ll want to draw comparisons between the rebooted franchise and its past installments by including the exact same characters.
If the two companies want to eschew every villain from Spider-Man’s past films, that leaves a negligible amount of notorious nemeses left to fight. If the Green Goblin is on the sidelines along with Doctor Octopus, and Venom and Carnage are not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then Sony and Marvel will have to mine Spider-Man’s mythos for more maniacal madmen. And that's potentially problematic.
As much as we love Peter Parker’s villains, some of them don’t leave as much of a lasting impression as, say, Venom or Doc Ock, so #Marvel and Sony may have to beef any future baddies up a tad. Think along the lines of Kaecillius (#MadsMikkelsen) in #DoctorStrange, who was a composite of several comic book characters, with a cinematic twist. So, which other foes could join the fray?
Because of his scientific origins and education, Spider-Man has always attracted foes that are heavily tech-based; Sony's previous incarnations really ran with this idea, and #MichaelKeaton’s Vulture has followed suit (heh) with his winged apparatus. So who fits that particular bill?
The Spider Slayers
If we’re thinking about technological terrors for Spider-Man to tussle with, then the Smythes and their robotic Spider-Slayers should definitely be considered. In the comics, Spencer Smythe was a genius in robotics who was commissioned by J Jonah Jameson to build a series of Spider-Slayers to, well, slay Spider-Man. After they repeatedly failed he passed away, but his son Alistair resumed his work, and took his battle to more extreme levels, augmenting his own body with tech to fight Spidey.
BJ Novak briefly played Alistair in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but a true cinematic debut is definitely on the cards. Indeed, we’ve yet to see #SpiderMan fighting a horde of killer spider-robots, although the slayers themselves will have to be tweaked somewhat to avoid the generic “hero v faceless army” trap that #AgeofUltron fell into.
Mysterio was "born" when the cinematic special effects guru Quentin Beck became disheartened with his career and decided to embark on a life of crime. As Mysterio, Beck used his expertise in holograms, misdirection and illusions, to evade or blindside his enemies.
Mysterio may not adhere to the fairy-tale or animal iconography of Spider-Man’s filmic past, but he's a bold and exciting move for the franchise. Intriguingly Sony recently announced that he'll be getting his own movie along with Kraven the Hunter, but it seems that, like Venom, they won't be connected to the MCU's Spider-Man. Here's hoping that this soon changes though; plenty of fans are yearning to see Spidey fight him, and that rumored Sinister Six film certainly needs to happen at some point!
“Wait, Morlun isn’t tech-based!” I hear you say. Well, if we’re considering outlandish characters like Mysterio, then it’s only fitting that we muse over Spider-Man's more mystical malcontents. Morlun is an ancient, hugely powerful and dangerous entity who feeds off totems – people who are a merge of animal and beast, which naturally, Spider-Man is.
Due to his mystical background, Morlun may be trickier to integrate into the MCU than many of Spider-Man’s other villains, but if they hash out a movie where contrasting characters like Rocket Racoon and Thor fight side-by -side, then anything’s possible!
There's another reason for putting Morlun in the MCU; as a member of the Inheritors, he could pave the way for a full-fledged adaptation of Spider-Verse with #TobeyMaguire and #AndrewGarfield back in their costumes - if they are willing to reappear that is!
On the other hand, I doubt they’ll keep to the violence of Morlun's original appearances. Given that Marvel has adhered to more family friendly fare, that scene of Morlun ripping out and eating Spidey’s eye will definitely be a no-no for the filmmakers.
Sony and Marvel’s reluctance to reboot certain Spider-Man villains may anger some fans, but it’s a move that is completely justifiable. And hey, with its re-imagining of the Vulture in the #MCU, Homecoming may set a precedent for successfully popularizing lesser-known Spider-Man villains.
Then again, you never know. Amy Pascal, Kevin Feige and co. may change their minds further down the line if things are going well. But what do you think? Are you happy with this decision, or are your Spider-sense tingling in fear? Have you got any other villains that you think should appear post- Spider-Man: Homecoming? Head to the comments and let us know!