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After experiencing a series of highs and lows in the realm of film over the last two decades, Spider-Man has moved from Tobey Maguire to Andrew Garfield, and now he lies in the capable hands of Tom Holland in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Most of the DNA of the character appears intact ahead of the upcoming release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, but certain aspects of Peter Parker's personality have changed as he moves into the MCU. Specifically, Holland recently opened up about how his version of the Web Head differs from previous incarnations, explaining that the existence of The Avengers has given him a sense of direction and a goal to become a full-time hero, saying:
I think the difference now is that Peter Parker finally has an all-time goal, and his goal is to become an Avenger. Everything he does, even though he's doing it for the right reasons, is done so that maybe one day he can become an Avenger and prove himself to Tony Stark. And I think we've never really seen Spider-Man with that kind of motivation before.
In every prior incarnation of the hero on the big screen, Peter Parker has been the lone protector of New York City. Bringing him into a sprawling cinematic universe full of other colorful Marvel characters gives him an even greater sense of purpose and a goal to achieve. All he wants to do is prove himself to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), so he can graduate to the status of bonafide Avenger. Remember being a high schooler and trying to pack extracurricular activities that would make you look good on a college application? It's the same concept here, only with superheroes.
Of course, we can pretty much already assume that Peter will at least be partially successful in his mission to prove himself to Tony and the rest of Earth's mightiest heroes. Tom Holland's friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is already attached to the behemoth cast of The Russo Brothers' The Avengers: Infinity War, which means the young hero will find himself called into action once more to stand alongside his mentor in some capacity. With Thanos (Josh Brolin) coming to Earth next year, a face-off against Vulture (Michael Keaton) seems like a solid warm up.
Despite the fact that Spider-Man: Homecoming will certainly veer into new territory for the character, it still sounds like the franchise is going to maintain everything that we love about Peter Parker. Specifically, Tom Holland mentioned in his chat with Yahoo! Movies that it's still all about a kid coping with his extraordinary circumstances. The actor continued:
But it's also nice to really see a kid with superpowers. We've seen the scientist, the billionaire, the god. Now it's time to see what would happen if a kid was given those responsibilities. And it's fun, it makes it more funny because he doesn't really know what to do with them, how to use them, when to use them, and it's just a very different, grounded version of what I think superhero movies are.
When we combine all of those qualities together, it's clear that Spider-Man: Homecoming is going to rely heavily on the beats of a classic coming-of-age tale. Drawing as much inspiration from the work of John Hughes as he has from the work of Stan Lee, Homecoming director Jon Watts has crafted a movie that seems to take very precise aim at the (humorous AND dramatic) insecurities we all feel as adolescents. That's something that the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn't tapped into yet, and it promises something fresh for this comic book world.