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Civil War: What Would Have Happened If Spider-Man Couldn't Appear In The MCU

Captain America: Civil War has now been in theaters for over a week, and moviegoers are still reeling from the epic, fun, and heartfelt journey that the newest MCU movie brought them on. Aside from the glorious airport fight sequence which dazzled the audience midway through the movie, one aspect of Civil War has been universally loved: Tom Holland’s performance as Peter Parker/ Spider-Man. This new version of Spidey gave all of the youth, naivety, and humor that the character requires, while also kicking some ass when battling the rest of The Avengers. Of course, the negotiations to introduce Spider-Man into the MCU happened rather late in the development process, so the team behind the movie needed to line up some backup plans.

In a recent interview with Creative Screening, Captain America: Civil War’s writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely spoke to the struggle and process of attempting Spider-Man’s introduction into the universe,

We had him in, and sometimes a month or two later Kevin would come back and say, 'No, negotiations are not going quite as well. Don’t plan on him!' I don’t know the exact date when corporate signed contracts with Sony, but it eventually led to some hard and fast choices later on. In that regard, it was very good that he was in a section where the script would’ve called for somebody there, but there wasn’t necessarily a tremendous amount of quantum mechanics riding on that it had to be Spider-Man. So if we finally didn’t get him, the whole house of cards wouldn’t fall down. It would just mean we would have to come up with a different character to play that function.

This certainly sounds exhausting. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely already had the daunting task of balancing the large ensemble cast, and making their various introductions seem organic. But to have one of the many puzzle pieces be so unpredictable must have caused some sleepless nights.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this statement is the idea that another Marvel character could have functioned in Civil War the same way that Spider-Man did. Surely, Tony Stark would have had to recruit another enhanced human in order to keep each team even and comparable to each other. But who in the Marvel Universe would provide a similar tone to the movie, as well as have enough physical strength that they could replace Spidey?

While we would have all loved to see some of the Netflix Marvel heroes like Daredevil enter the fray, both sides have made it clear that this likely won’t be happening anytime soon. Additionally, the X-Men are off the table, so it doesn’t leave a ton of instantly recognizable characters. My money's on Captain Marvel as being the one who would have replaced Spider-Man. She could have been introduced similar to the way Peter Parker was, giving audiences a sneak peek and reason to be excited for her solo film. Plus, who doesn’t want another strong female character?

What do you think? Who would have taken Spider-Man’s spot in Civil War if negotiations failed? Sound off in the comments below.

Captain America: Civil War is currently in theaters.

Corey Chichizola
Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.