As excitement builds around getting the first look at Tom Holland as our Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man it's hard not to feel a little bit sorry for Andrew Garfield, especially following his most recent emotional interview.
"I didn't actually make it. I was never Spider-Man. I was the actor that I am. The person that I am. Struggling with trying to match up with something that I'd elevated so high in my mind. Elevated beyond what I could attain, what I could achieve. The great thing is, that's what Peter Parker was doing as well. Peter Parker created this symbol that he couldn't live up to. It was never enough. He never felt enough, and I never felt enough. I never felt like I was able to do enough.
And I couldn't rescue those films, even though I didn't sleep. It was especially difficult in that situation because... well, just because. And it was especially important because that character has always meant so much to me."
When he was first announced as the next Spider-Man back in 2010 he seemed like a really good choice, not least because of his lifelong love of Spidey and the passion he brought to the role. Indeed his performance was one of the facets that The Amazing Spider-Man received the most praise for. It wasn't that bad a film, and he was a good Spider-Man: funny and likeable and just a little bit awkward.
But we all know how this tale ends. The sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, received poor reviews and when Sony and Marvel struck a rights deal Garfield was replaced by a younger actor: 19-year old Tom Holland who will portray the first official MCU Spider-Man in next year's [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409).
There's a lot of pressure for the new Spidey, on both the studio and Holland himself. We've run down a list of a few things that would make the MCU Spider-Man better than the Amazing Spider-Man (sorry Garfield).
Strike The Correct Balance Between Peter Parker & Spider-Man
"Mark my words," said director Marc Webb back in 2010, "you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker."
It's been said so many times that it's become a cliche when discussing the two actors: Tobey Maguire was a good Peter Parker (and not that great as Spider-Man) and Andrew Garfield was a good Spider-Man (and a poor Peter Parker).
It's the basis of what makes the Peter Parker Spidey so likeable, he's an outsider. An orphan. A loner. A science geek. Bullied at school and consumed by "self-obsessions with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness", he's every confused teenager's outlet. Spider-Man is literally Parker's alter-ego, his opposite twin who is adored and praised by others and embodies all that which Parker is not.
One of the major criticisms of Garfield was that his Peter Parker was a little too "cool" (which to be fair to him, the fault for this lies mainly with the writers) to portray the awkward Parker. His Spider-Man was great; the witty, fun, outgoing side of Parker that is only able to come out when he's under the mask as Spidey. But his Parker wasn't; he was too much Spider-Man and not enough Peter Parker.
High School Spidey
Not only does high school give us a vast environment with many supporting characters (Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn, Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane etc) but it also harkens back to what is considered to be the finest run of the comics, those written by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
It was during the time of Lee and Ditko that many of Spidey's major antagonists were introduced too, including Doc Oc, Mysterio, Green Goblin, Chameleon, Electro, Lizard and Sandman. It was also around this time that Kraven the Hunter, who is rumoured to be the villain in Spider-Man's next solo feature, first appeared.
Having a high-school age Spidey also ties in with the Peter Parker/Spider-Man dynamic, and gives the writers a lot of drama potential; what with Parker dealing with school, classmates, his Aunt, his job at the Daily Bugle and, oh yeah - stopping supervillains.
Not Another Origin Story...
Even before the first Maguire/Raimi Spider-Man film back in 2002 most people knew of the origin story of Spider-Man, even if they weren't comic book fans. He's such a prolific character in popular culture, and its already been done twice already, that we really do not need another retelling of his origins.
However, given that Spidey is being introduced during Civil War (at which point he will already have had his powers for about a year), and his solo feature isn't happening till after that, it seems unlikely that Marvel would backtrack into another origin story.
His origin is important, yes. What happens to Uncle Ben forms the basis for the character's morality, the removal of his father figure leaves Parker having to figure things out and grow by himself, but it would be nice to see some exploration of what happens after that, especially since the superhero adaptation genre is often saturated by origins.