It's not long until the DVD and Blu-Ray release date for [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035), and fans are anticipating being able to finally see the special features, deleted scenes, interviews, all that good stuff. Some are hoping that, somewhere in that treasure chest lies an answer to a question that sorely needs brought to light.
Namely, what's our Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man been up to?
Why didn't Spider-Man join the Avengers in Age of Ultron?
Now we've known for a while now that Joss Whedon really wanted to include fan favourite Spider-Man in Age of Ultron, and the rumours that he would be making an appearance did gain a lot of momentum, fuelled to an extent by the fake leaked post-credits sequence which is actually pretty great and would not look out of place in the MCU.
Unfortunately the rights agreement between Marvel and Sony didn't come through in time, so there was no time for a Spider-Man cameo in Age of Ultron.
"I said, it would be great if we could just add a few more, if we could have a Captain Marvel there, that you’ve made a deal for. And they talked about it. I was like, ‘And Spider-Man, we could do that too, cause Sony had approached us during the first movie about a little integration. So I would have put both of them in, but neither of the deals were made. And then they were like, ‘We’re making a Captain Marvel movie and we’ve got Spider-Man as a property,’ and I’m like, ‘I’ve already locked my film, you f**kers! Thanks for nothing.'" - Joss Whedon
The Ant-Man Easter Egg
It's wasn't until Paul Rudd donned the suit as Ant-Man last month that we got our first in-universe acknowledgement that yes, Spider-Man exists.
Now we know that Ant-Man takes place shortly after the events of Age of Ultron because there's a reference to the Battle of Sokovia; Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) makes a sarcastic comment about the Avengers being too busy "dropping cities from the sky" to help them.
Near the end of the film Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), who after Age of Ultron is now an official member of the Avengers, is trying to track down Lang. He asks a reporter if she knows anything about a guy who can shrink, she replies that they already have "a guy that can jump, a guy that can swing and a guy that can climb on walls."
"There is a young kid running around New York City in a homemade version of the Spider-Man costume in the MCU, you just don’t know it yet.", Kevin Feige revealed at an Age of Ultron press release earlier this year. So whilst we the audience may not know it yet, the Tom Holland Spider-Man is out there in the MCU and has been for a while now; a high-school age kid out there fighting crime and already becoming prevalent in the media.
The Spider-Man/Avengers Dynamic
When Spider-Man and the Avengers first meet in the comics, they don't take him very seriously. To them he's a loner, a wise-cracking kid who doesn't know how to work with others. He clashes with their dynamic for a while, and when he eventually gets offered membership he initially turns it down, not thinking that he'd work well with them.
I think it's fair to say that the same thing may have presented itself in the MCU for here we have the established powerhouse of the Avengers: a demi-God; a super-soldier; a genius billionaire mechanic; a monster; a super-spy; a telekinetic; the world's greatest marksman; someone who is the physical embodiment of an Infinity Gem and a flying ex-military officer. Stumbling into that world comes this fifteen-year old kid with newly discovered powers and a cheeky attitude; it's doubtful that the team would be falling over each other to induct Spider-Man straight away.
Kevin Feige himself described Tom Holland's Spider-Man as "this young high school kid in the MCU dealing with his powers", and he needs time for those powers to mature. Judging from the time period of Ant-Man it's probably fair to say that Spidey would've discovered his powers either during or shortly before the events of Age of Ultron, so at the time the Avengers were trying to stop a genocidal robot from dropping cities out of the sky Peter Parker was probably freaking out and trying to adapt to life as Spider-Man. Once he's become more established as the web-slinging superhero, probably around the time of Civil War, he'll then be in a suitable place to be brought to the forefront to fight alongside, or against, members of the Avengers.
Rather than rushing right into having Holland cameo in the MCU Marvel are biding their time, which bodes well for this iteration of Spidey, even if it does mean we have to wait a little longer for him to make his appearance in [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) next year.