Why Marvel's Spider-Man Will Definitely Be Peter Parker

Since it was announced that Spider-Man is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe there has been a swirl of rumor and speculation surrounding the latest revamp of the webslinger. The initial press release used the name Peter Parker, Spidey’s civilian alter ego, but reports hinted that the studio could go another direction. Now, however, Marvel’s president confirmed that they’re sticking with tradition and it will in fact be Peter Parker we see next on screen.

Talking to Collider, Marvel BMOC Kevin Feige discussed why they want to go with Peter Parker, and how they’re going to approach the character now that they have creative control. He says:

Some of my favorite Spider-Man arcs and Spider-Man stories, he’s in high school for a lot of it. We want to explore that. That also makes him very, very different from any of our other characters in the MCU, which is something else we want to explore: how unique he is when now put against all these other characters.

Peter Parker certainly adds a new wrinkle to the MCU that they haven’t had before. Up to this point, all of their superheroes have been grown ass men (and Black Widow). Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron are youngish, but not like this. A big part Spider-Man’s character has been his brash, youthful energy. He’s a wise ass who banters with villains as he swings through the concrete canyons of Manhattan; he’s a kid who thinks being a superhero is awesome.

This means he comes from a drastically different place than all of the rest of the heroes he’ll encounter. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and the rest, they all have their own things going on. Contrasting Peter and his youth with his colleagues has the potential to pay off with some cool, interesting dividends. If nothing else, he brings a different perspective.

Knowing that we’re going to get Peter Parker also effectively quashes the idea that we could see an African American or Latino Spider-Man. In the comics, after Spidey is killed (you probably know this much, but death in comics is not always quite as permanent as elsewhere in the world), the half-black, half-Latino Miles Morales, who also just so happens to have been bitten by a radioactive spider, takes over the blue and red mantle. Many out there thought and hoped that we could see something similar go down onscreen, but that is no longer a possibility.

Coming home to Marvel, Spider-Man is going to make his first appearance next year in Captain America: Civil War. In this arc in the comics, he has at least one super powerful moment that we can’t wait to see on screen. While that doesn’t hit theaters until 2016, production is slated to begin before too awful long, so as far as casting goes, they’re under something of a time crunch. We’ve heard that tons of young actors have read for the role, and there are likely others we haven’t heard, but it seems likely they’ll make their choice relatively soon.

Captain America: Civil War opens May 6, 2016, while the solo Spider-Man drops July 28, 2017.

Brent McKnight