Let me preface this by saying, this scenario is not going to happen.
I do a blog, outside of this one, where I write movie reviews and I'll also write my thoughts on certain movie news tid bits I hear about comic book movies. My most recent post was my prediction that the new Spider-man films that Sony/Marvel are releasing in 2017 is going to underperform. If you want the entire rant here's the link to that rant.
Why the MCU [Untitled Spider-Man](movie:2680610) Standalone is going to underperform (short version)
In short, look at the trends? Every Spider-man film that has been put out has garnered less and less at the box office than its predecessor. They haven't done bad at the box office, just not as good as the last one. Half the reason Sony found themselves in this situation is because they though ASM2 was going to be this hit success that was going to end this downward trend.
You may be saying that that's all going to change now that Marvel is at the helm. I don't wanna back myself into a corner by saying it won't, but I think people are just getting sick of the Spider-man storyline. It was so huge in 2002 because Spider-man was the only good superhero film out there, but now we've got a Raccoon and a Tree out performing the most iconic Marvel superhero. It doesn't matter if its done by [Marvel](channel:932254), the average movie goer is just going to see the Marvel logo like they've seen five times before and think they're doing the exact same thing. In short, its going to underperform.
So how do you make people excited about Spider-man films again?
The answer could be in Miles Morales. Change the race of the hero, get some diversity in [The Avengers](movie:9040), bring a whole new origin story instead of the one we've seen twice. Hell I'm even on the bandwagon to bring Donald Glover in on it. But is it the answer? You're saying we finally get a chance to get Spider-man on the same screen as Iron Man, Captain America, and the Hulk, and its not Peter Parker?
I'm almost certain they're going with Peter Parker.
For some reason the rumor is that they're going to make him younger and somehow that changes things. I'm personally sick of high school Peter Parker. I'm not saying have him in his thirties but if they're smart they won't do an origin story which means he's already Spider-man, which means he's been doing it for a while before Civil War (assuming he's going to be in Civil War). Did he start when he was in Middle School?
My thoughts? Have him be in college or even graduated college. Change his story around a bit. Instead of a mugger killing Uncle Ben, have him be killed in the attack on New York from the first Avengers or as a result it. Have Peter inspired by the Avengers, doing local vigilante work in New York until he's recruited by Tony Stark in Civil War. I know we're all waiting for that post credit scene in Age of Ultron with Spider-man. I'm skeptical it will happen but damn would it be cool.
So that makes for a good set up for why he's in Civil War, but we still have to figure out what the standalone is going to be about. That's where we run the risk of doing the same thing we've done again and again.
I suppose that's where the Miles Morales argument comes in. Its a fresh look on the hero. He's facing new problems, there's a new story we get to learn, its not the same stuff rehashed.
So it must be asked, which route do you go? Peter Parker or Miles Morales?
Scenario 1: Miles Morales' Story
Its 2017, we go into the theaters to see the new Spider-man reboot. We've seen Peter Parker countless times. It was nice seeing him in Civil War but what on earth could they do to make this movie any different than the same thing we've seen twice.
We see Spidey swinging around. As much as we love Peter Parker, it looks like the same thing we saw from MacGuire, from Garfield. The effects are great but how many times can you see Spider-man swinging around before you get tired of it right?
Spidey swings up to the top of the Rockefeller building (or Stark Tower?!?) looks over the city, takes of his mask and... its Miles Morales?!?
"But wait a second," says the everyday movie goer. "I saw Civil War, and that's not (Insert Name Here). That guy is black! I am very confused"
That's when you hear the voice over from Miles bringing us into a flashback of his superhero origins. We don't need it to take up a full third of the movie, it doesn't have to be sprinkled in like a Nolan cake, its just a modest flashback acknowledging Peter Parker's Spider-man, explaining why he's not in the film, and why Miles Morales is now Spider-man. Its quick, its to the point, let's get to the action.
This scenario opens up the Spider-man universe that Marvel now has free range to play around with with a bang, already introducing characters we haven't seen before in past franchises. Peter Parker doesn't have to be dead. He's just not in New York. (And if he's not a teenager, this makes a lot of sense) It also gives the audience something new instead of the same stuff we've seen over, and over again.
Scenario 2: Peter Parker vs. Miles Morales
The more I think about this option, the more I like it.
2017 comes along, same as before, we think this is going to be your run of the mill Spider-man reboot. Great power, great responsibility, yada yada yada.
Same scenario, except its actually Peter Parker this time. Whoopty Freakin Doo.
However, Peter Parker is now dealing with the aftermath of the events of Civil War. Does that mean he revealed his identity? Hopefully not, but maybe. In my scenario, he's dealing with the increased popularity he got from the events of Civil War. He's no longer the local neighborhood Spider-man, he's a New York Icon. And the same way the Avengers inspired him to go out and fight crime, he's seeing the influence he's having now that he's a local celebrity. But with that celebrity status comes greater enemies, ones that would bring risk to his city and those he loves (Aunt May and Mary Jane). Suddenly that phrase, "With Great Power comes Great Responsibility" has a whole new meaning to it.
That's kind of interesting, its nothing we haven't seen before (E.I. The Dark Knight) but its kind of a new direction.
So Peter goes to the Daily Bugle and suddenly J. Jonah Jameson (played by JK Simons of course) says, "Parker! I want pictures of Spider-man's new suit?"
New Suit? What new suit?
After some investigation, Peter realizes that he has a copy cat. A local kid (I'm allowing him to be a teenager) named Miles Morales.
And if I'm the average movie going audience, I don't need to know the source material of Miles Morales. All I see is a product of Spider-man's celebrity status and the prospect of an interesting and kick ass character.
At first he tried to tell the kid to just get lost, as its his responsibility to make sure this kid doesn't get hurt trying to help him. Morales turns out to be more persistent than Peter expected and stronger than he expected. All the while we're seeing things from Miles's perspective and we learn his backstory and origin, making us conflicted on who is actually right. The two may even come to blows at one point as we wonder if Peter is doing this because he wants to protect Miles or if he feels his celebrity status threatened.
But by the end, he realizes, though he has this celebrity status, he's still very a new comer and may need some help protecting his city. The two team up to face the bad guy and the credits roles.
Is it likely to happen? No. But this is actually a scenario that actually seems like a new direction to the franchise. Instead of Peter dealing with his love life, dealing with the "great responsibility" of just being a superhero, something we've seen done twice, we have Peter dealing with a bigger world. We have him dealing with the fact that he's finally in a world where he has to play in the big leagues. We have Spider-man actually being a cultural icon, something that was kind of touched on in Spider-man 3, but was quickly thrown aside for BS about... whatever that movie was about (its really a mess).
This time around, Spider-man might be getting the key to the city but we actually see the responsibility that actually comes with that great power.
And honestly, it would be nice to change things up a little bit with Spider-man by having the new face to the franchise in Miles Morales and the potential to have his own spin off movies come from this one but still have the awesome realization that the iconic Peter Parker is now a member of the Avengers.
I know this is never going to happen. Frankly, its a theory and I'm not a story producer with Marvel or Sony but what do you think?
Which Spider-man do you think they'll go with?
If you're interested in more of my writing, check out my blog and follow me on Twitter at @cmhaugen24