So it's been a long while since it was officially confirmed that our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man would finally be swinging his way into the [Marvel Cinematic Universe](tag:1096390), with young English actor Tom Holland making his debut as Peter Parker in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.
Given that until recently Sony held the rights to the character, both the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield iterations of our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man did not appear as part of the MCU but existed as part of a separate narrative universe (which is a very 'comic book' way of going about it, so funnily enough the different versions kinda work).
The MCU Spider-Man
The introduction of Spider-Man to the MCU is a pretty big deal, hence why Marvel have been keeping a really tight lid on the details. We've not seen any Spidey themed promo yet and we still don't really know the extent on his involvement in the film itself.
Something which is still being hotly debated is which side he's going to be on in the ensuing battle as the heroes are split over the Sokovia Accords we saw handed down to Captain America / Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and the gang in the trailer.
The Case For Iron Man
The most prevalent rumor is that Spidey is going to be taking the side of Iron Man / Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) against the titular Captain America in Civil War. Heroic Hollywood claim to have witnessed a behind the scenes fight between Spider-Man and Captain America, which makes it likely that he'd be on Iron Man's side in the film.
Of course this makes perfect sense given the source material as Spider-Man does start off on the Pro-Registration side, even publicly unmasking himself in support of the act in what is one of the most important scenes of the comic. Given that at this stage Spidey's Peter Parker identity was still one of the best kept secrets of the Marvel universe, this was a huge deal; a significant moment for the character and a meaningful move in the propaganda of the war.
The Case For Captain America
But though he's initially on the pro-registration side Spider-Man becomes increasingly disillusioned with the war as it progresses, especially following the tragic death of Goliath (Bill Foster) during a clash of the two factions.
When Parker learns that Stark and Reed Richards / Mr Fantastic (who won't be appearing in the movie due to Fox sadly still holding the rights to Fantastic Four) are imprisoning the anti-registration heroes in the Negative Zone he argues and fights with Iron Man before quitting to join Captain America's anti-registration movement (though not before getting the utter crap kicked out of him by the Thunderbolts).
So on the flip side it would also make perfect sense if he ended up fighting Tony Stark / Iron Man instead. In [Marvel: Civil War](tag:2346746) he appears on both sides of the battle and fights with both characters in separate scenes.
So This Means...?
Even if the rumors of Spider-Man fighting Cap are true it doesn't necessarily mean that he's going to be on Stark's side for the duration of the film.
Unfortunately I highly doubt that there will be adequate time to explore this plot point fully given that the focus of Civil War looks set to be more on the Winter Soldier / Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) than just the Accords and their repercussions. Which is a shame but also makes sense given the MCU structure and the fact that it's a Captain America film, not an Avengers one.
Spider-Man is, in my opinion, one of the most important characters in Civil War because he functions as an ideological figurehead and eventual victim of the battle. He represents all the other heroes caught in the battle, torn between their beliefs, their freedom and their friends, and if he's not going to be fulfilling this role in Civil War I suspect someone else will.
Given that Holland's Spider-Man has only just been announced as an official MCU character we're currently lacking the background necessary for including him in any real significant manner, rather Civil War will likely be the thing that sets up his own solo film (set for release in 2017).
Sadly at the moment all we have is educated guesses as to what will happen to him in Civil War; it could go either way and still ring true to the comics, or the narrative could take a different approach altogether as the films tend to do.
Thankfully we don't have much longer to wait to find out now as Captain America: Civil War is set to release May 6, 2016 in the US.