After the disappointing The Amazing Spider-Man reboot films, the web-slinging hero is back and better than ever. Tom Holland’s and Marvel Studios’ take on the character is, for many, the best big screen interpretation of Spidey yet. Spider-Man: Homecoming is a critical and commercial hit, and offers a surprisingly refreshing take on a hero who’s had countless reboots and big-budget movies over the past 15 years. But with everything that transpires in Homecoming, along with the uncertain future of the Spiderverse Sony is trying to build, what’s next for Peter Parker? Quite honestly, as it stands, things seem a bit complicated.
It’s already been confirmed that Spider-Man will indeed show up, in some capacity, in at least one of the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movies. What role he’ll play and just how big and important a presence he’ll have in the war against Thanos remains to be seen. He might just show up at the last minute to help out Iron Man then leave. Or, he’ll actually duke it out with Thanos and his baddies.
The reason why it can go either way is because Spidey’s future with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is unclear right now. Reports came out that Peter Parker won’t have much a role in the MCU after Infinity War, and the deal between Marvel and Sony is complicated. But then again, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige spoke on the plans for Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 just a few weeks ago, discussing what he and the creative team at Marvel already have planned for the inevitable sequel. So, who knows? But there are directions Spider-Man should definitely go in terms of the sequel, and his roles both in the MCU and Spiderverse.
Firstly, Spider-Man should not be heavily involved in the MCU. This might be a controversial opinion, but he should just have a small cameo role in the first Infinity War movie, then leave. One of the main reasons why Spider-Man: Homecoming worked so well—and it’s comparable to Logan and Deadpool—is that the story feels personal and grounded.
Homecoming isn’t about Peter Parker trying to save the world from imminent destruction. He simply wants to stop a relatable blue-collar criminal while also trying to just be a teenager. That’s it, and it works so well. Throwing this small kid, who can barely control his Spidey suit, into the biggest battle the Avengers are going to fight won’t work for the character. He’ll feel out of place and won’t stand a chance against an opponent like Thanos.
As for the Spiderverse, Sony has come out and said that Spider-Man might not even show up in the recently announced solo Venom movie. Now that is definitely the wrong move. What makes the character of Venom work so well is Eddie Brock’s relationship with Peter Parker. Eddie is what Peter would become if pushed to his wits end. You understand both characters and their battle against each other. Telling Eddie Brock’s/Venom’s story without Spider-Man would be a huge missed opportunity.
In terms of Spider-Man: Homecoming 2, or whatever it’ll eventually be called, Marvel and Sony should continue keeping Spider-Man’s story small and personal. Michael Keaton’s Vulture is a fantastic villain and arguably the best baddie in the MCU besides Loki. This is because Vulture isn’t a maniacal, evil monster that just wants to kill everyone. Instead, Homecoming focuses on making viewers understand why Vulture is committing crimes.
The sequel needs to continue this type of storytelling and there are few characters to choose from. The after-credits scene already teases a certain villain and, without spoiling the story, he’ll play a great choice. The most important thing Marvel and Sony need to do is avoid the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. The former has already been used too many times, and as for the latter, you simply can’t do any better than Alfred Molina’s interpretation of Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2.
Whichever direction Marvel and Sony decide to take Spider-Man next, the most important thing is to keep his future stories on a smaller, more personal scale while also being entertaining, just like in Spider-Man: Homecoming.