Well, now that we know who will be starring in Sony and Marvel Studio’s joint reboot of the Spider-Man franchise and who will be directing that film – that would be Tom Holland and Jon Watts respectively – it is now time to turn our attention to seeing what kind of film will the new Spider-Man feature be.
During the press tour for Ant-Man this weekend, Birth.Movies.Death spoke to Marvel Studios honcho Kevin Feige about their plans for the newly integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe Spidey films and Feige made a rather interesting reference in his answer.
It’s the soap opera in high school, and those supporting characters, that are interesting… Just as we hadn’t seen a heist movie in a long time, or a shrinking movie in a long time, we haven’t seen a John Hughes movie in a long time. Not that we can make a John Hughes movie – only John Hughes could – but we’re inspired by him, and merging that with the superhero genre in a way we haven’t done before excites us.
If you’re not familiar with the reference, run, don’t walk, and get copies of such 80s teen movie masterpieces such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty In Pink to get an idea of what Feige is intending.
So, Sinister Sixteen Candles anyone?
Feige also stated that while the stakes of most of the Marvel films have been very high, life-and-death ones, the new Spider-Man film could be a little more personal, much in the way that this summer’s PIXAR hit Inside Out is.
Stakes don’t need to be end of the world. Oftentimes, in our films, it is, and in our future films Thanos doesn’t work small. But sometimes the stakes can just be ‘Will this little girl grow up to be healthy and well put-together, or are there too many issues for her to overcome?’ That’s HUGE! That overrides a threat to reality itself. And I think Spider-Man straddles that line in a fun way in his comics. What we wanted was a movie where the stakes could be as high as ‘This bad person is going to do this bad thing, and a lot of people could die’ OR ‘You don’t get home in time and your aunt is going to figure this out, and your whole life is going to change.’
Particularly at that age, in high school, everything feels like life or death. The tests feel like life or death. Coming home from being out with your friends seemed like life or death. The stakes are high at that age, for the same reason you talk about in Inside Out.
We knew previously that the new film was going to center more on a teenage high school student Peter Parker. Feige’s comment certainly reinforces that idea while clarifying it a bit in a rather interesting and exciting way. Over the years, comics stories that explored Peter’s high school years have built up some interesting supporting characters in his school classmates. Unfortunately, they have barely been in any of the previous films. While both Sam Raimi and Marc Webb’s first Spider-Man films were set while Peter was still in high school, they never really delved into the story potential there too deeply. But their failure to explore that shouldn’t be a reason to not try again and hopefully Feige, Watts and company will be to be on target this time.
As for who Spider-Man will be facing off against in the film, Feige says that there won’t be any familiar faces returning for a rematch any time soon.
Right now we’re interested in seeing villains we haven’t seen before.
So that takes Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, Doc Octopus, Sandman, Venom, Electro, the Rhino and the Lizard off the table. So who does that leave? Raimi was looking at possibly bringing in the Vulture and the Black Cat for his aborted fourth Spider-Man film and the Vulture was again teased in Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 as a possible villain if his iteration of the franchise had continued. There’s plenty of other popular bad guys available including Kraven the Hunter, Chameleon, Mysterio, Man-Wolf and the Shocker.