It's no secret that Marvel Studios has been booming with success due to films like The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). As you watch their films, you notice that they get better and better. The films get deeper, the threats become more real to the heroes, and the stakes are constantly rising.
Just as Marvel Studios' success is not a secret, neither is Sony's failed track-record with their Spider-Man movies. Obviously Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man 2 (2004) were widely praised by audiences and critics alike, but then, somewhere along the way, we were given Spider-Man 3 (2006) which was at one time considered not only the worst Spider-Man movie but one of the worst superhero movies overall. Then, six years later Sony released the extremely divisive reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). The reboot, in my opinion, wasn't bad, I liked it and was excited for the franchise to see a revival, but then The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) came out and I just gave up on there ever being a successful Spider-Man franchise both critically and financially.
But thankfully, Marvel Studios and Sony have come to an agreement to share the rights to Spider-Man meaning that there is a certain deal in place that will allow Spider-Man to be featured in Marvel Studio's MCU movies and for MCU characters to make appearances in Sony's Spider-Man movies. It get's a little technical and I haven't really dissected everything in that deal, all I cared about was Spider-Man can meet the Avengers.
Marvel's Genre of Movies
It's amazing, what Marvel Studios have done with their characters on film. It's been revolutionary too, how Marvel Studios took these characters and made the superhero aspect a sort of sub-genre to a much larger or more general genre. For instance, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was more than a superhero movie, it was an espionage or as the Russo brothers put it, a "political thriller" the same way Guardians of the Galaxy was more sci-fi despite many lumping it in as another "superhero" movie.
Then you take a look a the roster of movies that Marvel Studios has coming out and you can tell the genre-diversity is on the rise beyond the cookie-cutter action films. Let's do a brief overview of some of the more stand-out Marvel Studios films that will be more than just "superhero" films:
Dr. Strange - This will definitely have a paranormal feel to it and may even have a dash (or two) of horror elements.
Black Panther - May have a foreign film vibe to it or continue the "political thriller" thing that Captain America: The Winter Soldier had.
Even this year's Ant-Man movie is said to have a heist-film type of vibe to it and of course Captain America's threequel will maintain the same vibe as it's predecessor did; Thor's threequel will maintain the element of fantasy; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be unfiltered sci-fi; so-on-and-so-forth.
It's not just movies either, it's the televison shows as well, specifically the Netflix stuff. Daredevil, Luke Cage, A.K.A. Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist will have a more grounded feel to it as they'll deal with more realistic issues such as gangs, mobs, and other street-level problems.
The Young Adult Genre
So what's missing here, that's just as popular as the superhero genre? Well, obviously, it's the YA (Young Adult) genre! If you have been keeping up and watching movie news from different news outlets, you'll know that there are young adult franchises being adapted to film all the time that are capturing audiences everywhere. Franchises like:
The Hunger Games series
The Maze Runner series
The Divergent series
I'm sure there are many more on the way, not to mention the live-action adaptations of classic fairy-tale stories which have often have a young-adult vibe to them as well. But Young Adult movies is not a new thing as there have been some very popular and successful young adult films like the Twilight series (which I'm personally not a fan of) and the Harry Potter film series (which I'm an enormous fan of).
Why do YA movies seem to be a growing genre? Well, the demographic audience that these movies are geared towards (young adults) are the lifeblood of our culture. If you can win the heart of a young person, you can win the heart of his/her peers, and ultimately their (or their parents') money.
When we are in our young adult phase of life, we seek to find understanding of who we are and meaning to our lives. Sometimes we invest ourselves into these stories of characters who face the same issues they do. They want to feel a connection, perhaps even more so than the rest of us at times.
This is, so far, an untapped element of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that's what makes the deal between Marvel Studios and Sony so great because that means they can begin exploring that element of the universe by using Spider-Man to introduce the young adult stories to the MCU.
Spider-Man to Introduce the YA genre to the MCU!
There are many rumors floating around the internet right now regarding our favorite Web-Head. Rumors like:
- 1. Who's going to where the mask: Peter Parker or Miles Morales?
- 2. Who's going to play Spider-Man (Peter Parker)?
- 3. How big of a role will he play in Captain America: Civil War?
- 4. What's his first solo movie going to be centered around?
Well, to address these rumors, I'll answer the first one, touch a bit on the second one, and a little on the fourth one.
1. Peter Parker vs Miles Morales
I am all up for diversity, I know a lot of people are pulling for Miles Morales just because of the sake of diversity and also the fact that we've seen the Parker story done twice now. I get that, I understand all of that for sure, but I'm still going to cross my fingers that we'll get a true Peter Parker Spider-Man movie. The two previous franchises got elements of Parker right and wrong. But I'm a believe in second (or in this case third) chances.
Because Spider-Man was my favorite character growing up, specifically the Ultimate Spider-Man and I loved reading his stories. I wasn't the popular, hot guy growing up and I was kind of lanky and awkward and I found that a lot of the things that Peter faced were the same things I faced or thought I face (I was dramatic).
Either way, it was Peter Parker's story that served as an inspiration to my love for comic books, my creativity, and my desire to just be myself. I'd like to see those types of stories (not saying that Miles doesn't have them) adapted to the big screen.
I like Miles Morales, but Peter Parker will always be the Spider-Man to me.
2. Who Should Play Peter Parker?
I am going to answer this with a straight-up answer: I don't know. I have heard lots of rumors from Logan Lerman to Dylan O'Brien (my choice) to other actors like Asa Butterfield.
The rumor is that Marvel wants a very young actor to play the character Peter Parker aka Spider-Man. This of course would be a departure from the typical casting of a male in his mid-to-late twenties and having them play highschool characters.
Like I said, I like the thought of Dylan O'Brien playing the character of Peter Parker because I think he has everything he needs to have in order to play the character: looks, humor, and experience in action.
But apparently, they are wanting to use a younger actor that would work with other actors and actresses that we, the audience, would see grow throughout the movies as they went on ala the Harry Potter film series.
With that Harry Potter-mindset, it makes sense that they'd cast a very young actor. It would also be cool to see the character and the actor grow together. This is extremely beneficial for the audience, especially a younger audience, as they can grow with him and the stories that are so important to Spider-Man's lore with stay with the audience forever, just like the Harry Potter movies did.
So, I believe I'd be more in favor of this, despite the fact that I've recently discovered Dylan O'Brien as an actor and have no problem envisioning him as the ol' Web-Head.
What's interesting is that I wrote an article with proposal that Spider-Man (who I didn't know was in the works to join the MCU) get his own Netflix series. You can check that out here if you want: Could Netflix Introduce Spider-Man To The Marvel Cinematic Universe!? It turns out, that my ideas were not too far off as you'll note, when reading it that there is a section in my article that says "Cast an Actual Teenager". So, I think that Marvel Studios and Sony are on the right track if all this is true.
3. What the Story Should Revolve Around
Well, I can tell you with confidence that it would probably not be an origin story of any sort. This movie will not focus on Peter Parker's discover of power, loss of a father-figure, and re-inspiration of heroism. I assume he will have already had his powers.
If we get an actual teenager like it's been rumored above, then it makes sense that as we grow with the character/actor, we see the character deal with things like school and curfews and hormones and all the fun stressful stuff that teens go through.
I don't know what villain I'd like to see off the top of my head, I've put a lot of thought into Venom and even though I might have mentioned him in a previous article, I think I've changed my position on having him introduced into the series so soon.
There has been some buzz though that the villain or should I say villains will be the Sinister Six.
This means that there would be no Sinister Six movie (but I think we knew that). I do hope though that this is done right because some of the problems that the two worst spider-man movies faced were being over-crowded with too many villains; but with Marvel Studios' backing it up and with Kevin Fiege helping with the creative processes maybe they can pull it off.
It's also said that there will be some sort of Avengers tryout aspect to the story. The rumor specifically mentioned Tony Stark playing a sort of antagonistic role to the film. Perhaps Tony helped develop some of the technology that turned these villains into what they are, I don't know.
I can't wait to see what's done with Spider-Man in the MCU. With all the rumors going around that I believe might very well be true, I feel that I'm not too far off from seeing Marvel Studios' first young adult movie franchise that will actually (hopefully) deal with all the things that makes Peter Parker's Spider-Man so great: the struggle of balancing his dramatic/traumatic life experiences, school, friends, girls, finding a way to make some extra cash (as all teenagers do), and being Spider-Man.
It would be interesting as well, seeing a much younger character stand side-by-side with the rest of the Avengers in other MCU movies. Hopefully there are no mistakes made here by either company and this thing blows our minds.
But as always, share your thoughts in the comment section below and don't forget to vote in the poll!