As with any reboot of a franchise, the new Spider-Man movie has a lot to do to distinguish itself from the Web-Slinger’s previous movie series. With less than two years to go until the movie’s release, it’s frequently been described as a "coming of age story," as Peter Parker will be the youngest he’s ever been on the big screen. Now director Jon Watts has highlighted a few of the movies that may end up influencing his take on the MCU’s Spider-Man.
When asked by IGN what some of his favorite superhero movies, Watts opted not to share anything specific so as not "give away any of the things" he likes, but he did share three of his favorite "coming of age" tales. In his words:
I’m not really thinking about it in those terms. I’m thinking about it more as my favourite coming-of-age movies. … I love Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything and Almost Famous, I think those are really great coming-of-age movies. Can’t Buy Me Love is a really great one.
While none of the films Watts mentioned are "superheroic," they certainly are highlights in the "coming of age" genre. Say Anything followed the relationship between a high school valedictorian and her average student boyfriend right after graduation, while Steve Rash’s Can’t Buy Me Love was about a guy who paid a cheerleader to be his girlfriend. Crowe’s other movie Almost Famous, which came out 11 years after Say Anything, followed a teen reporter trying to get a cover story published in Rolling Stone during the 1970s. However, we’ll have to wait and see whether there are any direct or indirect references to Watts’ favorites in his Spider-Man movie.
This isn’t the first time that comparisons have been made to the new Spider-Man movie and hit ‘80s classics. This past summer, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige also described Spider-Man’s next cinematic adventure as being a "John Hughes-type" movie, referring to the director of other iconic '80s teen comedies. So if you’re a fan of classics like The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, expect something in the same vein for Marvel’s Wall-Crawler.
Although the new Spider-Man movie won’t be another origin story, it will feature Peter Parker still in high school and only a year into his crimefighting career. So moviegoers will see plenty of exploration of Peter’s growth as a new superhero, while still dealing with everyday teen problems -- and those are on top of him battling colorful villains.
Written by Vacation duo John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, and starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Spidey’s next solo feature will swing into theaters on July 28, 2017. But before that, you can catch his MCU debut next year in Captain America: Civil War.