When it was first announced that Spider-Man would be leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe, everyone was in shock. For years, Sony had full control over Spider-Man appearing in films until Marvel was able to reach a deal to allow Spider-Man to feature in the MCU. From this deal came Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who has received praise from many including the king himself: Stan Lee.
The most recent Spider-Man film starring Holland, "Spider-Man: Far From Home," was the first Spider-Man film to gross over $1 billion at the box office worldwide. Spider-Man being in the MCU seemed to have a large impact on the success of these recent films, so why even think of taking him out of MCU in the first place? According to Sony and Marvel executives, they could not come to an agreement regarding money, so Sony revoked Marvel’s right to use Spider-Man in their films.
While many were worried about what this split would mean for the future of Spider-Man, others had hopes that this wouldn’t be the last they would see of the web-slinger in the MCU. On Sept. 27, a little more than a month after his initial departure, the announcement that everyone was hoping for was released: Spider-Man was back in the MCU.
While many rejoiced, others noted the one caveat of the deal. While Tom Holland could continue to play Spider-Man in the MCU, he could only do so for two more movies, a solo movie as well as an appearance in another Marvel film, presumably another Avengers movie. This aspect of the deal will allow the Marvel writers to slowly write Spider-Man out of the MCU altogether.
But what does this all mean? While Spidey is welcomed back for now, he’ll eventually be gone from the MCU again unless another deal is made.
Many people may be wondering why Spider-Man being in the MCU is even important. To understand why, one must first know Spider-Man’s origin.
He has been a beloved comic book character since he was first introduced by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962. Part of what made Spider-Man so iconic wasn’t the web-slinger himself, but the person underneath the mask: Peter Parker.
Unlike Superman, who created the persona of Clark Kent to try and fit in, Peter was himself first and then became Spider-Man. Many people can relate to the nerdy teenager who feels like he doesn’t fit in more so than an alien from another planet with superpowers. Unlike Superman, Spider-Man has human flaws and it makes him a better superhero because of it. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man encapsulates this character trait perfectly.
Unlike Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield’s version of Spider-Man, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man feels like a genuine teenager in high school. You can relate to him being a nerdy, unpopular high school student who is awkward around girls and still trying to figure himself out. By putting him in the MCU, it allows Peter to have a mentor: Tony Stark. It also gives him other superheroes he can relate to, such as Thor and Captain America. It also aids in showing that Peter is still very much a kid with a lot of growing up to do. While this storyline could still be explained in other ways, putting Spider-Man alongside other superheroes shows just how young and inexperienced Peter truly is.
One of the biggest reasons people are excited for the return of Spider-Man back into the MCU is the bomb that was dropped at the end of "Spider-Man: Far From Home." The post-credit scene ends with a shocking twist as the villain of the movie, Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, reveals to the world that Spider-Man is a “killer” and that his true identity is Peter Parker, putting Peter, as well as his friends and family, at risk.
If they were to take Peter out of the MCU altogether, there would be no way to continue this storyline without talking about characters in the MCU like Iron Man or Nick Fury as they played big roles in "Far From Home.” With Sony being in full control of Spider-Man they would have to start his story all over again. That means Uncle Ben would die yet again, and let’s be honest, no one wants that. This new deal will allow for them to not have to start over and finally get answers to these questions that will haunt fans until the movie is released in July of 2021.
Ultimately, Spider-Man has been in good hands since appearing in the MCU. Unlike the first two Spider-Man films under Sony, audiences didn’t have to sit through yet another origin story. It also has added a new and different insight to the beloved character. Seeing Spider-Man alongside Iron Man, Captain America and other Avengers has shown Spidey on screen in a new setting with different challenges. It is easier to see that he is still a teenager who has a lot to learn when paralleled with adult superheroes like Iron Man, who have had years of experience.
In the end, I hope to see Tom Holland as Spider-Man in more films than just the two new films in the MCU. I personally believe Holland to be the best portrayal of Spider-Man audiences have seen so far. I know many who would argue it is Tobey Maguire, but I’ll save that argument for another day.
Nonetheless, Spider-Man is back where he belongs, for now, and fans can look forward to what is to come. I know I’m personally already counting down the days until July 16, 2021, the announced release date for the next Spider-Man film.
While the future of Spider-Man after these next two movies is still unknown, something tells me that these next two movies won’t be the last we see of Tom Holland as Spider-Man.