Spider-Man fans have had a rough go of it the past few years. Many who loved Sam Raimi’s depiction of the web-slinging wall-crawler weren’t keen on seeing Tobey Maguire retired after only three films. Those who appreciated Marc Webb’s efforts on the rebooted Amazing Spider-Man series – typically due to the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone – had to watch that series’ mythology get flushed away, with plans of a Sinister Six feature getting shipped to the film equivalent of the Island of Misfit Toys. Even if you found things to like in both franchises, it has been frustrating to see Sony repeatedly shift gears… particularly while heroes like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and even Wolverine were enjoying success that comes with continuity.

But today is a day that Spider-Man fans can celebrate. The casting of Tom Holland as the third on-screen iteration of Peter Parker and his masked alter ego, the spectacular Spider-Man, brings our first step toward stability. A longer-term plan is taking shape behind the scenes, and today’s casting announcements – as well as the addition of director Jon Watts behind the camera – helps establish the foundation on which a new franchise can be built. There are so many reasons why it’s OK to be very excited about Spider-Man’s on-screen future today. Let me run through a few of my thoughts, but please share yours in the comments sections below.

Spidey Has A Blank Slate, And Marvel’s Writing On It Now
"Reboot" is a dirty word, so let’s simply call this move a fresh start on the part of Marvel and Sony. By casting young Tom Holland, they are reestablishing a high-school-aged Peter Parker, and resetting everything that comes with the hero’s universe. Putting Peter back in high school (I’ve heard he’ll be a freshman when he first appears in Captain America: Civil War) means we can get new versions of classic, vital characters like Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn, Flash Thomson and, eventually, Mary Jane Watson (unless the films are influenced by the Ultimates or the recent animated Spider-Man adventures). It means villains who have been used before by either Raimi or Webb are fair game once again.

But this time, Marvel is assisting Sony in the creative process because Spider-Man’s swinging over to the MCU where he belongs. So while you may cringe at having to see another Gwen or Harry, we are finally (FINALLY) getting to see Marvel’s versions of these iconic characters. And based on the decisions Marvel Studios has made in developing their film series over the course of 11 films, it’s clear that they want to bring the right elements from the pages of the comic books to the big screen. They won’t have to answer to points that have been established in previous Spider-Man films. It’s a hard reboot. It’s tough, asking audiences to start over. But with Marvel at the creative helm of a blank Spidey slate, I’m dying to see what ideas they start to bring to the table.

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