Ever since Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment made a deal to share the film rights over Spider-Man, we have pretty much known that everyone’s favourite web-slinger would be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now 19 year-old Tom Holland has been officially cast as the one who is to don the costume in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and later to star in his own solo movie in 2017. He will be the third actor to play Spider-Man since Tobey Maguire first brought the character to our screens in 2002. By now we are all pretty much aware of how Peter Parker gains his powers and chooses to become the masked superhero, so that brings us to question whether or not we are tired of seeing Spider-Man rebooted?
A simple look at what films are currently in production is more than enough to show that, nowadays, we’re no strangers to the idea of returning to concepts that have been previously proven to be successful. It seems that everything you ever once loved is making, or has already made, a comeback to the silver screen. Most recently, we had the opening weekend of Jurassic World breaking box office records by earning an estimated $524.1 million worldwide; making it the best debut in the entire Jurassic Park franchise. So people clearly like to see the things they once loved being brought to life once again, right? Surely that means good things for ol’ Spidey?
Well, not necessarily. There are two key differences between Jurassic World and the new Spider-Man reboot that will most definitely make a world of difference. Firstly, the former isn’t technically a reboot as such, since it doesn’t discard all of the previous iterations and instead just picks up 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park. It is much more of a revitalisation of a series rather than a reboot. Secondly, fans had been waiting 14 years since their last instalment of the Jurassic Park series, whereas we last saw Spider-Man be played by Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014. The Spider-Man reboot will just not be able to bank on the power of nostalgia to fill seats in the same way that Jurassic World did.
While we’re on the subject of the box office, it is useful to look at how successful the Spider-Man movies have been so far. The original trilogy starring Tobey Maguire received, on an average between the three films, around $832 million per iteration, whereas Andrew Garfield’s films only received $733 million each. Despite the fact that the box office intake of the latter is still a respectable amount, it does show that those movies never did live up to the heights of the Maguire years. Although these figures don’t necessarily give much indication as to the quality of the films themselves, after all the critically slated Spider-Man 3 (2007) did gross the highest of them all with around $891 million, they do show a decline in audience numbers once Garfield put on the suit. If the initial reboot fell in viewership so badly with five years difference since the last version, what hope does this second reboot have after only three?
This is where Spidey’s fate is left in the hands of Marvel Studios. They’re going to have to do something really special to breathe some more life back into this declining franchise and it is likely that they hope Spider-Man’s cameo in Captain America: Civil War will be just that something. Without spoiling too much from the comic book storyline, it is enough to say that Spider-Man does play a pretty significant role in Civil War. As Tom Holland will be introduced as baddie-busting hero before his own standalone movie, here’s to hoping that we can avoid having to sit through Spider-Man’s origin story for a third time. By appearing in Captain America: Civil War alongside some already well-established figures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man will hopefully be given the much needed head start in finding his own place among this cast of superheroes, before he needs to go it alone in his own movie.
The fall in popularity between Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man doesn’t exactly spell good things for this second reboot, but if anybody can bring Peter Parker back to the true heights that he deserves, it’s Marvel Studios. A lot of people were sceptical about the commercial success of a Guardians of the Galaxy movie and just look how well that did! I can’t say that I’m not a little disappointed that they chose to have the hero be Peter Parker again (I’m totally holding out for there to be a Miles Morales or a Spider-Gwen movie one day), but after all it does make the most sense for it to be him. They have definitely made the right decision to cast a much younger actor to play Parker, especially since it instantly separates him from the Maguire and Garfield renditions. In the end, I know that I could never grow tired of ol’ Spidey myself, but only time will tell how the general public will find him swinging onto the scene once again!