So, as everyone is already aware, Marvel have pulled off a coup by managing to bring the webslinger home to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a new deal with Sony. If you've been trekking up Mount Everest or got stuck in the Sahara Desert for the past few weeks, click here for Marvel's official announcement.
There's two sides to this coin, the first and obvious being: Spiderman can be cast into The Avengers! Or Captain America: Civil War! OR BOTH!!!!
Awesome stuff right?!
The other side of the coin, is how we're now going to have a third Spiderman. Three times we're going to see Uncle Ben die. Three times we're going to see Spiderman's origin.
Now, while this might not seem like a big deal, it can actually be quite damaging to the franchise. While comic book fans won't see this as a problem, it's something that may hinder the general public. Remakes and reboots aren't the most popular at the best of times. But to remake the same movie three times in the course of ten years is real overkill. They need to do something more to make this really stand out and differ from the previous five Spiderman films. Unfortunately, recasting is going occur, which is a real shame, because Andrew Garfield, in my opinion, was perfect in his role as Peter Parker.
So what can Marvel do to make this different? And who should the recast? Keep reading to see my ideas. And of course, feel free to add your own ideas and views!
Miles Morales - Ultimate Spider-Man
Right off the bat, a LOT of people are going to hate this idea. It's probably my least favorite. But it is a viable option for Marvel and is the easiest way to re-imagine Spider-Man, so it has to be said.
For those that don't know, Marvel comics reinvented a number of characters back in 2000, in a move to revamp their heroes and villains with new, more modern origins, as well as wiping some of the more dated arcs from continuity. This became known as the 'Ultimate' Universe and was separate to the existing Marvel Comics Earth-616 universe.
In this continuity, Peter Parker is still Spider-Man. However, he dies at the hands of the Green Goblin and the mantle is taken over by a 13 year old boy named Miles Morales. Miles is Black Hispanic and was inspired by Barrack Omaba and Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, aka Troy from Community. People lost their collective minds when this occurred and the decision was met with a mixture of love and downright hatred for the character. If Marvel wanted to make their own stamp on Spider-Man in film, this would be a way to do it. It would also fall in line with a lot of what Marvel have established in the cinematic universe, as the Ultimate universe has influenced a lot of what has happened in the movies so far, such as Nick Fury, the Chitauri, and Hawkeye being a S.H.I.E.LD agent, as opposed to a criminal.
- Real talking point for people, huge amounts of free publicity, due to the radical change.
- A hugely different approach towards Spiderman which will leave a unique mark on the Marvel Cinematic universe, while still being (relatively) in line with the comics.
- Minority representation. Always a good thing in a day and age where people are looking for heroes to be more ethnically diverse. And it wouldn't be changing a heroes race or origin for the sake of diversity either, because Miles already exists in the comics.
- Miles Morales is only 13. It wouldn't be in continuity with the comics to have him played by someone older. It also probably wouldn't go well with censors if a 13 year old kid was out there with a team of superheroes that are all at least twice his age, nor would it be realistic to think the Avengers would take a young, untried hero on board. Could you imagine Captain America's reaction? Yikes.
- Backlash from fans. Miles isn't the most widely accepted and loved character in the Marvel Universe. Plus a lot of fans would probably take issue with him being put in place of Peter Parker, because, well, Peter Parker is one of the most beloved characters of all time.
- Continuity. Yes, Miles Morales is a part of the Ultimate Universe, so he does have continuity in that sense. But it was Peter Parker who was involved in Civil War and the Infinty Wars. I would take a lot of tweaking to adjust that to Miles. Unless of course we went with an aged up Miles Morales, or a cross of Peter and Mile's origins. But this wouldn't be in continuity either and would alienate fans.
- Skips out on Peter Parker. He's iconic. He's been Spider-Man for over half a century. I can't think of anyone I know who's a fan of comics that wouldn't want to see Peter Parker as Spider-Man kicking arse with The Avengers. If Miles was to be introduced, I think it would be better done if we were given Peter first.
There's only one person that I would want to see as Miles Morales, even though it means him being aged up, and that's Don Glover. Only option for this in my opinion, what with him being the source of inspiration behind it and all.
If Marvel want to make these movies different to the existing and leave a fresh stamp on them, then we need to look at the villains involved. The Amazing Spider-Man did take a relatively different approach to the villains, the only mainstay being the Green Goblin. However the villains they went with didn't really see to work in the movies. The Lizard seemed off and Jamie Foxx just didn't work as Electro. And we've already see the Green Goblin three times. People aren't going to want to see the same characters rehashed again and again and again.
Spider-Man has such a huge variety of villains that it would be wasteful not to see him fight somebody different. The following are just a few villains that come to mind that I think would be EPIC to see face off against Spidey on the big screen.
Mac Gargan AKA The Scorpion
One of the truly excellent things about Mac Gargan is that he's not only been The Scorpion, he was also inhabited by the Venom Symbiote. This would open up a realm of possibilities, in which he could be a recurring villain, not just in Spider-Man films, but in a Venom movie as well, should Marvel decide to walk down that road. (Which they would be really stupid not to, Venom is SO bad arse.)
Mac Gargan is a private detective hired by JJ Jameson to find out how Peter Parker is able to get all his photos of Spider-Man. Given that Peter has his Spider-Sense, he's quite easily able to avoid being caught out, which infuriates Mac as well as Jameson. This causes Jameson to sign Mac up for a mutagenic treatment which will provide Mac with an edge over Spider-Man, by merging him with a Scorpion. This process is similar to the one that gave Spider-Man his abilities. He has super strength, agility, speed and the ability to climb walls. He also has a super strong grip, similar to a scorpions pincers.
Personally, I'd like to see Mac Gargan not only as the Scorpion, but as Venom as well. I also think an origin change would be required. As opposed to being a PI that gets hired by JJ Jameson, I think it would be awesome if he was tied in via another villain. Which brings me to my next selection.
Wilson Fisk AKA The Kingpin
With Marvel making the Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones TV shows (who will most likely link up for The Defenders TV show) it would make so much sense to have The Kingpin as a villain. The Kingpin is an enemy to both Daredevil and Spider-Man.
Imagine the Kingpin being a recurring villain throughout those TV shows and linking the shows to the movies by having the Kingpin be pulling the strings behind villains going after Spider-Man, as a sort of anonymous benefactor. With Fisk's criminal mind and money, this would be an excellent way to introduce him as a sinister, behind the scenes villain.
As well as being a criminal genius, he's also excellent at hand to hand combat and has given both Spidey and Daredevil more than a run for their money on multiple occasions. To make it even better, Vincent D'Onforio has been cast in the role. He's an excellent actor who can bring something really special to the role.
Last, but not least, my personal favorite.
Kraven, The Hunter
Kraven The Hunter is a Russian immigrant, descended from aristocracy, who's family were forced to flee Russia. He is a big game hunter, who had made it his mission (successfully, I might add) to hunt down Spider-Man and prove that he's the greatest hunter of all time. He may be a villain, but he has a very strict moral code and prefers to hunt his game fairly, without the aid of guns and to kill his game with his bare hands. In addition to defeating Spider-Man, he also forced Venom to retreat as he was losing in battle.
Kraven would be an excellent adversary for Spider-Man in film and it would be fantastic to see him played by someone like Manu Bennet or Gerrard Butler. His strict moral code makes him a very conflicted character and very dark as well. Casting Kraven would set a much darker tone than we're used to for the Spider-Man films, which would be a welcome change.
That brings me to my next point of change that Marvel could introduce to differentiate Spider-Man from the existing films. Tone.
Spiderman has always been a character who makes jokes and wisecracks at the expense of his enemies. He's a thoroughly annoying adversary to have. Now while the original Spider-Man movies didn't quite capture that, Andrew Garfield did a very good job of it. The Spider-Man films have always seemed to be quite lighthearted in nature, but when you think about it, Spider-Man isn't exactly a lighthearted character. I mean, realistically, can you imagine the constant state of paranoia Peter Parker lives in? His whole identity remaining hidden is based solely on him wanting to protect the ones he loves most. I've never found this to be emphasized on enough in the films.
This is an absolutely terrifying thought, one that consumes Peter all the time. Show that. Show his fear of being found out and his family being murdered as a result. Show that paranoia and fear and make the next Spider-Man movie be riddled with dark undertones of fear. Instead of showing the wisecracking joker who's wearing the mask, show the scared person underneath, the one who uses his Spider-Man persona to cover for this. I think if this was to be truly captured on film, you would have a real recipe for success and a stamp that hasn't been put on any of the existing Spider-Man films.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments, would love to hear what people have to say or have to add toward Marvel making the PERFECT Spider-Man movie.