Now, for all that Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of those 'very good things' we hear so little about these days - and for all that Spider-Man: Homecoming is sounding more intriguing by the day - there's still a touch of sadness attached to Spidey's return to the mainstream Marvel fold. Y'see, while watching Spidey snark it up in Captain America: Civil War was great and everything, it also marked the end of our hopes of seeing several terrific cast members from previous Spider-franchises return to their roles. Heck, we even saw J.K. Simmons - long rumored to be in line to return as J. Jonah Jameson - defecting to DC, and to Commissioner Gordon's differently mustachioed hero-wrangling duties.
With that in mind, then, it seemed well past time to take a look at...
Five Old School Spider-Man Stars Who Deserve A Shot In The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Or, in other words, five stars whose performances in previous Spider-movies - whether the original Sam Raimi-directed trilogy or the Amazing Spider-Man franchise - might just warrant a repeat appearance in the MCU.
5. Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus
Widely considered to be Spider-Man's greatest on-screen villain to date (and up there with the greatest in the comic-books, too), there's surely an argument to bring the ever-excellent Alfred Molina back to reprise his role as Doctor Octopus. After all, if anything, the now 63-year-old Molina is more age-appropriate to play the brilliant older scientist than he was back in 2004's Spider-Man 2. Also, and perhaps more importantly, he's awesome, and the idea of him sharing a screen with Robert Downey Jr. is surely too appealing to turn up.
4. Thomas Haden Church as Sandman
Now, there may not have been all that much to love about 2007's Spider-Man 3, but Thomas Haden Church's Sandman was many fans' highlight - and one of the most comic-book faithful visual adaptations in the series. With CGI having come on leaps and bounds over the past nine years, just think about what Marvel could do with the villain's powers in a Spider-sequel - especially with Church along for the ride (y'know, for consistency).
Meanwhile, in the Spider-Verse:
3. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Or, rather, seeing as even the baby-faced Stone would likely be a little too old to play the teenage Peter Parker's love interest at this point (especially in a Hollywood known for its age-related sexism), could we perhaps see Amazing Spider-Franchise fan-favorite Stone return... as an alternative reality version of Gwen Stacy? After all, there has been a lot of talk of the Spider-Verse lately - and who doesn't love Spider-Gwen?
Speaking of which...
2. Bryce Dallas Howard as...Gwen Stacy?
Yup, that's right. If you're going to throw the Spider-Verse into the mix, why not throw the fresh-off-the-back-of-Jurassic World-and-criminally-underused-in-Spider-Man-3 Howard into the mix as another version of Gwen Stacy entirely. Has anyone at Marvel looked into whether they or Fox hold the rights to Gwenpool, for instance?
And, finally, who else but:
1. J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson
So iconic in the part that not even a defection to DC can knock him off the top of the list, Simmons' portrayal of Jameson in Raimi's trilogy remains definitive for an entire generation of Spider-fans. Could he somehow be persuaded to straddle the frantic dividing line between the MCU and DCEU - if only for a cameo?
After all, he already knows Doctor Strange, which is surely a plus?
The big question now, though?