(Warning - potential plot SPOILERS for Spider-Man's upcoming solo movie reboot lie below. Proceed with care, Spider-Fans...)
Now, there are a whole lot of reasons to be excited for the upcoming Spider-Man solo movie, currently set for release in 2017. Whether it's the fact that Marvel Studios and Sony are set to be teaming up for the first time, the potential cameo-ing of any number of Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes and villains, or simply the fact that Spidey is heading back to our screens once more, there's good reason that it's been rumored to be titled 'Spectacular.'
That being said, though, there's one key element of the Spider-Man movies we've seen before - and the comic books themselves - that we seemingly won't be seeing on-screen come 2017. Specifically:
The New Spider-Man Movie Will Officially NOT Be an Origin Story
As the film's screenwriting duo, John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, revealed recently to USA Today, the Spider-Man reboot is set to not only stay very much rooted in reality, but will also skip ahead to the "good stuff." As Daley put it:
"I don't think the origin story is going to be in there."
In addition to that absence of an origin story, in fact, Goldstein suggested that the movie would be diverging from previous Spider-Movies...by becoming more faithful to the early Spider-Man comics:
"The main difference I think is the tone will be really grounded, about a real kid who gets these powers and what that means to a geeky, outcast kid and how he deals with them..."
A tone which will, it seems, be reflected in the movie's plot. As Daley added:
"You don't instantly become a superhero, it's a long journey...It's spending a lot more time in the high school. And so we have time to sort of develop the powers with him and experience the wish fulfillment. And also just the fact that it is really alienating to other people."
Or, in other words, in place of an origin story we all already know by heart (Peter Parker gets bitten by radioactive spider, gains powers, loses his uncle Ben, learns that with great power comes great responsibility), we're going to get the chance to see Spidey actually dealing with his double life, and all of the emotionally resonant adventures (and angst) that come with that.
Or, in other words, it's going to be a whole lot like watching the first hundred or so issues of Spidey's adventures in the 1960s' The Amazing Spider-Man (or, more likely perhaps, Brian Michael Bendis' fantastic Ultimate Spider-Man run).
What Can We Expect to See Happen in the Solo Movie, Then?
Well, among other things:
Spidey's High School Pals Might Finally Get Their Chance to Shine
After all, though Harry Osborn, Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy have all had their fair share of attention in the movies so far, other key members of Peter Parker's teenage social group - including Flash Thompson, Betty Brant and Liz Allan - have been given a much shorter shrift.
Expect that to change come 2017, though...
There's a Good Chance of a Love Triangle
After all, one of the defining elements of Peter Parker's comic book life has been the constant stream of women chasing after him. It's not likely to play out as it did in the '60s, with Peter rapidly becoming an icon of wish fulfillment for geeks everywhere, but the well-rounded and personality-filled versions of Mary Jane and Gwen that we saw in Bendis' Ultimate Spider-Man could make for intriguing supporting characters, as could a Daily Bugle-employed Betty Brant.
Peter Likely Won't Be Very Good at Being Spider-Man Yet
One of the other notable elements of the movies so far that may not make it to the MCU is Peter's surprisingly quick ascension to competent superheroism. In the comics, by contrast, he spent a whole lot of his life struggling to not suck at his chosen profession, and especially at his work-life balance. Or, in other words, don't be too surprised if he gets beaten up...a lot.
Also, on that note:
Spidey Will Probably Get Unmasked...and Get Away with it
Another element of the comics that's got a good chance of making an appearance in the movie, Peter Parker traditionally had a bad habit of being unmasked...and then finding that no one he knew would believe that nerdy Peter Parker could be a superhero. Some variation on the gag has a good chance of turning up in the new solo movie.
And, of course:
Things Will Completely Suck for Peter Parker
Whether it's in the form of bullying (take a bow, Flash), romantic troubles, superhero-ing struggles, or even the threat of being unmasked, it's a pretty safe bet that Peter'll have a much suckier time of things now that he's stuck in high school for at least his first movie. After all, the previous Spider-Movies have had a tendency to exchange high school struggles for young adult angst at the earliest opportunity.
That seems a whole lot less likely here - which actually could well prove to be a pretty darned great move.
What do you think, though?