Spider-Man has a new face as of this week with the selection of British actor Tom Holland. Holland, who is 19, is being plucked out of relative obscurity to play one of the most recognizable superheroes of all time.
With the selection of Holland, the Spider-Man movie franchise will be rebooted for the third time in nearly a decade. The difference this time is that Spider-Man is poised to overcome the setbacks it incurred during the Sam Raimi trilogy as well as the most recent Amazing Spider-Man movies.
Sony and Marvel announced earlier this month that they would be sharing the rights to the longtime Marvel character in an agreement that will allow him to appear in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. Though Marvel created the character, it sold the movie rights to Spider-Man when it was desperate for money some years back.
This agreement with Sony allows both partners to make money off of Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe while simultaneously fulfilling comic book fans dreams of having him fight alongside the other Avengers. The rights will be staying with Sony but in this current setup allows Marvel at least a little creative control over one of its most popular heroes.
The importance of this new Spider-Man is three-fold. He will be appearing in current movie continuity, a feat that no one would have thought possible months ago, he will actually be a teenager playing Peter Parker, and finally there will be no need for an origin story with this incarnation.
Since his first film donning the suit will be in the middle of Civil War, the audience shouldn’t have a need to understand who he is or where he came from. Drawing from the history of the Sony Spider-Man movies and adding a few twists of their own Marvel will be able to smartly introduce him without drilling the audience with another tale of his origin.
Being in the hands of Marvel Studios for any amount of time drastically helps the character moving forward. This is a rehab stint that will provide fans an opportunity to see Spider-Man ready for action instead of having to learn about how his powers work.
Marvel has a vested interest in the fate of their hero and will put as much effort as they can into making him a big deal for the fans. In their hands, nothing touched has failed to become gold and don’t expect Spider-Man to be the first.
Finally, Holland is a teenager himself, as is Peter Parker. This is a personal gripe from each of the previous films that Parker was never believably a high school student.
Holland at least provides a bit more realism in that department. The optimism is running high for Spider-Man fans as it now appears the hero is in Marvel Studios very capable hands for the near future.