The name explains it all. Since Marvel sold him to Sony, Spider-Man as a character is returning after a long time to his home i.e. Marvel Studios. The name Homecoming not only gives a shout out to the character inside the fictional world but also in the real one. While the creative control and distribution rights still remain with Sony, Marvel has managed to get permission to produce a set of standalone Spider-Man movies to integrate him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). After mixed stints of the Spider-Man movie franchise involving Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield, it’ll be highly imperative to combine the prized possession of Marvel with the 14 movies strong MCU. But before officially entering the Marvel Universe, Spider-Man will have to prove that he’s worthy enough to be associated with such a successful franchise. That seems to be the prime motive behind this standalone movie, alongwith the fact that Spider-Man is one of the most popular superhero characters, all over the world.
“This is the chance to prove myself.”
The trailer kick-starts with a 15-year-old Spider-Man reciting this line aloud and jumping face-first into an ongoing robbery. I think this line pretty much sums up the movie itself. The first thing that needs to be covered with this spinoff is to prove that 15-year-old Peter Parker can withstand the trials and tribulations of being a superhero. After the embarrassment that he suffered at the hands of Captain America in Captain America: Civil War (2016) –the second last entry in the Marvel franchise before Dr. Strange (2016)- he’ll clearly want to show that he’s ready to become an Avenger. And as Tony Stark or Iron Man was the one who introduced Spider-Man to his fellow Avengers in Civil War as part of Team Iron Man, it is but natural for Spider-Man to use Iron Man to gain a sort of permanent entry into the team. The movie seems to present him with a perfect opportunity to do so, by pitching him against one of the most famous villains of Spider-Man franchise: The Vulture. After playing the role of Birdman last year (no jokes there), Michael Keaton has donned the character of Vulture who is sure to create some problems for young Peter. The fact that Vulture is one of the first and most formidable villains of Spider-Man in Marvel comics proves that Marvel Studios is banking on every content treasure that they have, to make this movie a crowd favorite. Michael Keaton who is a phenomenal actor will no doubt be fabulous in this role, while Tom Holland will have to stand up to his adversary not only physically but intellectually. How Tom Holland deals with acting alongside two actors of such great stature, Michael Keaton and Robert Downey Junior, is something I am quite eager to see. Judging by the high-rise action promised by the trailer, Spidey like a true teenager will surely try to deal with the problem in his own way, inspite of being out of his depth. Before things go out of hand and Iron Man interferes, of course.
Iron Man – The Guardian Angel
It would be interesting to see how Tony Stark guides Peter Parker in his journey because at the age of fifteen Tony too was a boy genius and a confused teenager like Peter. Inspite of having Iron Man as an entertainment savior in almost all of the Avengers movies, the fact is that he is starting to grow old, cliché, and dangerous (remember Ultron?). The introduction of Spidey alongside his mentor would certainly be a welcome comical relief for the audience. Of course, we as the audience wouldn’t want him ending up exactly like Iron Man because it would be nothing but boring and repetitive. Spider-Man would have to carve a niche amongst the other Avengers, many of whom have a successful standalone series of their own. In my opinion, there is a high chance that the character of Iron Man gets replaced by Spider-Man in the future of Marvel Movie Universe. So it would be imperative that as Avengers: Infinity Wars approaches, Tom Holland gets familiar with the large tin boots that he’d be filling in case Robert Downey Junior gets cut.
The trailer also gives us a look at the well-exploited (cinematically) romantic life of Peter Parker, introducing a new love interest for him. A waft of freshness is brought by the much-needed focus on Spidey’s teenage life. The high-school phase of Peter Parker’s life is something which has been quite an important stage for the character in the comics but completely glossed over as far as the movies are concerned. It would be interesting to see if there is an adolescence and high-school angle, to give the 17-25 year age group some extra motivation to watch the movie. Unfulfilled love stories and woes of being a teenager are things that always attract the younger generation, while the action and an attractive character appeal to the older bracket. A healthy kick-start to the franchise is essential for a successful and most importantly money-making integration for Marvel Studios. I predict that Spider-Man will fulfill this objective, and make MCU even more successful than it already is. I reckon it’ll have a double impact for Marvel: an increase in Box-office earnings and greater attraction for hardcore as well as borderline fans of the franchise. A younger Peter Parker will not only be different than all other characters of MCU but also be around for a lot more movies than other actors like Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth will be. They can’t very well continue their characters for a long time and will have to retire. The younger age of Tom Holland leaves a lot of room for the producers to think of a more long-term role of Spider-Man in the MCU, with quite a lot of improvisations.
Towards the end, the trailer turns towards an ominous path with a chilling threat from Michael Keaton/Vulture (goosebumps), and a subtle hint of the character of Shocker. It ends with a scene where Spidey is holding a splitting ship with nothing but his webs, trying to stop it from breaking and killing the people aboard. Anybody remember a strikingly similar scene from Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man 2, where he attempts to stop a speeding train using his webbing? All I can say is that they had to go from a train to something bigger (pun intended). The movie will no doubt end up in an epic boss battle, with Iron Man joining hands with Spider-Man in his quest against Vulture and possibly Shocker, all but guaranteeing his claim to a seat on the team. All in all, a predictable but necessary addition to the Marvel franchise that looks quite promising in the entertainment department.