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Sure, Captain America: Civil War will see Tony Stark and Steve Rogers coming to blows over Bucky Barnes’ past, the Sokovia Accords, and all that great stuff, but let’s not forget one of the film’s biggest selling points: Spider-Man. After years of solely being in the hands of Sony, our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man will finally make his way home and join The Avengers on screen. The problem here is a simple one: Spider-Man is well-tread territory, so how does one make this version different? As it turns out directors Anthony and Joe Russo have a plan.
ComicBook.com reports that during an exclusive interview, Joe Russo explained what it takes to make their version of the web-head stand out against prior iterations:
We had thought back to the things that excited us about him as a character when we were younger, and one of the most important components of that was that he's a high schooler burdened with incredible powers and responsibility. That really differentiates him from every other character in the Marvel universe as opposed to other superheroes. For us, it was extremely important that we cast somebody very close to the age of a high school student. The previous films had adults playing a high schooler. We wanted more of an authenticity to the casting. We were very specific about that. We wanted an energy and charisma from the character, an energy, but also an insecurity that would make him fun to watch in contrast to the confident superheroes.
So to put it in basic terms: Tom Holland’s version of Spider-Man will feel like a kid because he actually is the closest thing they could get to a kid. At only 19-years-old, Holland actually has the sort of pubescent look and mentality to sell the character as immature and inexperienced when compared to the seasoned heroes he will find himself interacting with. He has already proven himself physically capable of inhabiting the wiry, manic energy of the character, and – if the directors are to be believed – he will be able to sell the character’s insecurities as well. In all honesty, the actor's inexperience and youthful optimism has made itself apparent just in the way he talks about being involved in the film, so we have a feeling that translated into his portrayal of the character.
It was a fundamentally important decision for the filmmakers to make, because it’s something previous versions of the wall crawling hero have failed to capitalize on. Admit it, you always found it a little weird watching Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield try to portray Peter Parker as he stumbled through the mundane life of an American teenager; both of those actors were full-fledged adults the first time they even donned the red and blue costume. Although Spidey has a rich history as an adult, Sony previously only felt comfortable giving older actors his high school material. Marvel clearly wants to keep using a young Peter, but decided their casting should reflect that desire a bit more accurately.
Despite these revelations, the Russos still refused to acknowledge when exactly we will be seeing Spider-Man – or how much we will see him if we do – so real answers to these questions remains a long way off. Captain America: Civil War will hit theaters on May 6, 2016 and Spider-Man's solo adventure is expected sometime in 2017.