Just in case you missed it (yeah, right!), Spider-Man finally made his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War. Tom Holland brought his take on the web-slinger to the big screen for the first time in style and has, deservedly, been universally praised as one of the (many) highlights of the film. But, as great as the fans tributes are, there must surely be one man whose opinion eclipses all others when it comes to Marvel properties - Stan Lee!
Yes, Stan the Man has voiced his opinion on Tom Holland's portrayal of Marvel's flagship hero, and it is pretty safe to say he is impressed! Speaking at Denver Comic Con, Stan was asked about the latest screen version of Spider-Man, and he said:
"Oh, he's wonderful! I was with him the other day. He is great! I can't believe it. It's as if we created a living being to be Spider-Man, and it turned out to be him!"
Praise indeed from the creator of the hero! It's fair to say that he was very impressed with the young Brit's depiction of Spider-Man, just as we all were. Tom Holland has clearly made a big impression, while also making this version of the wall-crawler his own. I don't need to remind anyone that this is the THIRD version of Spidey we have seen on the big screen now...
Previously on Spider-Man...
It seems such a long time ago now that Sam Raimi's Spider-Man was released back in 2002. This was a time when superhero films did not have nearly as much popularity as they do today, but despite that, Spider-Man was a HUGE success. The film took in over $800 million at the box office, smashing records along the way. It was the first film to pass $100 million in a single weekend and, at the time, had the highest ever opening day earnings for a film. I still have really fond memories of this film, I was 13 (and just fit in the age restrictions!) and had been following the build up to this film so eagerly. My dad had arranged tickets for a preview screening and I have to say, I loved every minute of it!
Tobey Maguire was the man in the mask this time around and he does a good job of playing the character. In my mind every casting looked perfect, as if they had been the comic brought to life and Maguire certainly fit the bill for Peter Parker. The costume was also fantastic and this really added to the allure of the film - it still remains excellent today. Maguire continued in the role for a further two films until Raimi eventually withdrew from the in-development Spider-Man 4. This film never happened, but instead turned into something else...
Enter: The Amazing Spider-Man!
Just as it seemed that Spider-Man 4 would never happen, Sony came up with another idea - a reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. There were many skeptics of this idea, especially as it was very soon to reboot the series, but Sony had a plan and they stuck to it. The result of this was the second actor to play Spider-Man on film - Andrew Garfield.
Andrew Garfield was, in my opinion, excellent as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He brought a different side of the character to life and was able to show more of Spider-Man's typical humour than Maguire did. His Spider-Man was different to Maguire's, as you would expect, but ultimately the heart of the character remained the same. One element of Peter's character that was more prevalent with Garfield's portrayal was his intelligence, because Sam Raimi decided on organic webbing in his films, we missed out on Peter showing us his scientific prowess in creating the web-shooters. This was rectified in The Amazing Spider-Man. His version of Peter Parker was a highlight of his films, and he even drew his own praise from Stan Lee:
"I think Andy Garfield is great as Spider-Man, absolutely great. In fact, I would have picked him for the first Spider-Man movie if he had volunteered."
Not quite the same level of praise he gave Tom Holland, but still, pretty good.
Filming has now started on Spider-Man: Homecoming, the appropriately named first MCU appearance of the character. So far we have seen very little, other than a few pictures of Tom Holland in character as Peter and various other cast members on set. It is safe to say that the future of Spider-Man in the MCU is in safe hands after his appearance in Captain America: Civil War (which was, in my opinion, the BEST SUPERHERO FILM EVER!). Marvel were absolutely perfect in their writing of the character with his opening scene demonstrating the very essence of Peter Parker.
Here we see Peter in his bedroom talking to Tony Stark about why he has became a superhero. Tony at first doesn't understand why a kid from Queens would want to use his amazing gifts to help others and asks him why he does what he does. Peter's response is perfect:
Tony Stark: Why are you doing this, huh? What's your MO? I've got to know, what gets you out of that twin bed every morning?
Peter Parker: Because... because, I've been me my whole life, and I've had these powers for six months. I read books, I build computers, and I would love to play football, but I couldn't then so I shouldn't be able to now...
Tony Stark: Right, because you're different
Peter Parker: Yeah, but I can't tell anybody that, so I'm not.
Peter Parker: When you can do the things that I can, but you don't, and then the bad things happen? They happen because of you.
In other words, "With great power, there must also come, great responsibility". The words Spider-Man lives by, and the words I believe Marvel will remember when they add Spidey into the future of the MCU. And let's be honest, if you have the blessing of Stan Lee you can't go too wrong!