Now, with all the speculation surrounding Sony and Marvel's recent deal to bring Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's been a whole lot of talk surrounding just who we'll actually end up seeing as the MCU's new web-slinger. After all, it's looking increasingly unlikely that Andrew Garfield will be reprising the role of Peter Parker - which means the part just became the hottest ticket in Hollywood.
Now, that question - of who should play the new Spider-Man - has obviously been a subject of much debate here at Moviepilot - but in talking through the possibilities, we came to a pretty huge realization...
What if Sony and Marvel DON'T Announce Who'll be Playing Spider-Man?
Yup, that's right. What if, over the course of the next year, and all through the lead up to Captain America: Civil War, we don't hear a word about anyone being officially cast as Spider-Man?
After all, he hasn't yet been confirmed to be starring in Civil War - though it's a pretty safe bet he will be - and so they could legitimately claim to be considering their options for a good while yet. With the next solo Spider-Man outing set for July 2017, it's not even impossible that they could hold out until the release of Captain America: Civil War in May 2016 to make the announcement...
Only, why would they do that?
What if Marvel Want to Reveal the New Spider-Man DURING Civil War?
After all, one of the most iconic moments in the comic-book version of Civil War is the one pictured just above - Spider-Man's unmasking of himself, as he join's Iron Man's side in the fight.
Now, one of the big issues that the movie seems set to face is that, unlike the comics, it seems unlikely to focus on an argument over whether or not superhero's identities should be publicly known - thus taking away a key part of the original's resonance, and that legendary moment shown above.
If, however, the film were to feature a young, masked Spider-Man - whose identity we, the audience, don't yet know?
Well, then you've got yourself one of the most iconic moments not just in comic-dom, but in cinema history. And, better still from a Marvel perspective, most likely the largest opening weekend box office gross of all time.
But Could It Really Happen?
Well, in all honesty, it's one hell of a long-shot. After all, the logistics of an entire casting process - to say nothing of filming the actual plot thread featuring Spider-Man being unmasked - without anyone finding out the identity of the newly cast hero would be immensely complicated. Add in the fact that production on the solo Spider-Man movie wouldn't be able to begin in earnest until the May before its release, and you have a pretty solid argument against it. It would, ultimately, be a huge risk.
Except, of course, that Marvel have never seemed to mind doing things a little - or a whole lot - differently to everyone else. While the rest of the cinematic world was making sequels, they made a combined cinematic universe of interconnected movies. When Robert Downey Jr couldn't get a leading role, they made him Iron Man. When, after a decade of work, they'd finally made Thor, Captain America and Iron Man household names across the world, they made Guardians of the Galaxy. Because they could.
So if having the courage to do it is the biggest problem, then I'd say it's still very much on the table. Similarly, filming of Spidey's solo movie could begin a few days after the release of Captain America: Civil War and still - if some of the effects shots were started right away - make it to the screen in July 2017. And, with most of Spidey's scenes in Civil War likely to be performed by a stunt double - or a CGI Spider-Man - anyway, it's not out of the realms of possibility that Marvel could film one or two scenes (and some voice-work) with a secretly cast actor on a closed set without anything leaking.
Does that mean it'll definitely happen? Not at all...
Could it happen, though, and would it be awesome if it did? Damn straight...