I do not have the words to adequately express how much I love this.
In news that clearly came from the farthest depths of left field, Tom Hardy has been cast as the lead in Venom, Sony’s upcoming film about the famous Spider-Man villain. That’s not all: Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer will direct the movie, which is reportedly not a spinoff from Spider-Man: Homecoming, but a standalone project of sorts. Oh, and that’s still not all: Sony has shared an official announcement photo featuring Hardy in one of his classic Hardy-selfie poses, sporting a Venom t-shirt — in case you missed the point.
One of the things that will (hopefully) set Spider-Man: Homecoming apart from Sony’s previous reboot is the stronger emphasis on Peter Parker’s high school experience — something the filmmakers have touted from the beginning with comparisons to the classic teen films of John Hughes. Most of the trailers and photos we’ve seen so far have shown Tom Holland’s protagonist in Spidey-mode, but a new batch of images have surfaced that give us a better look at Peter Parker as a totally normal high school kid.
The MTV Movie & TV Awards have always been kind to our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. In 2003, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man took home awards for Kirsten Dunst and Best Kiss — seriously, who can forget that upside down kiss in the rain? — as well as nominations for Best Actor, Best Villain, and Best Movie. So with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming on its way into theaters this summer, what better place to premiere a brand new trailer? Odds are MTV’s voters will have Tom Holland on the stage next year for Best Hero in the upcoming film. Man, I wish all award shows had categories this fun.
One of the peculiar things about the current slate of superhero movies it how thoroughly they nail the big moments and sometimes slip on the small ones. Take Iron Man, for example. The films have routinely nailed Tony Stark’s arrogance and desire to protect the world from all threats foreign and domestic, but some of the underlying reasoning behind that drive — Stark’s history as an alcoholic and addict — have routinely been shoved to the background of the movies. The same could be said of Spider-Man. While the last five films have given us epic moments of slingin’ webs, they’ve often lost the high-school camaraderie that explains so much of Peter Parker’s superhero worldview.
Strange but true: There are many more Marvel post-credits scenes than there are Marvel movies. By a wide margin. And the margin gets even wider with this weekend’s release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which has a whopping total of five different stingers strewn throughout its credits. The movie is like eight percent post-credits scenes.
The calendar may have four seasons, but Hollywood’s calendar only really has two at this point: summer and awards, and summer seems to last longer and longer ever year. Though the start of May has long been the unofficial kickoff of the S.M.S., 2017 has already seen a King Kong movie, a ghost in a shell, and the fate of Fast & Furious franchise. The change from April to May is something of a formality in 2017. Once the Oscars are over, the summer begins.
Spider-Man is simultaneously the closest and furthest from Marvel’s Netflix Defenders; a street-level New York hero, but one whose relationship with the MCU is tied with another studio. Iron Fist seems least of all the Marvel hero to meet the wall-crawler, yet a curious change in Netflix’s Italian dub makes reference to Spidey.
After failing to capture audiences with their last Spider-Man reboot, Sony found a surefire way to win us back by teaming up with Marvel. Thanks to that deal, not only do we get to see Tom Holland’s Peter Parker swing over to the MCU to play with the Avengers, we also get to Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark pal around with everyone’s favorite high school hero in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. And, as teased at the end of Civil War, being friends with a billionaire inventor / superhero has some serious benefits, like a free super-suit upgrade.
Marvel has adopted a practice first used by the producers of the James Bond franchise, who’ve ended every 007 adventure for decades with the phrase “James Bond Will Return” in the credits. (For many years, they even specified which novel the series would adapt next; when they ran out of Ian Fleming books and stories, they shortened it.) Just last night I saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, and sure enough it concludes with the words “The Guardians of the Galaxy Will Return. (I think we can all agree this is not a spoiler.)