Last week, we learned that Marvel had cast Tom Holland (THE IMPOSSIBLE) for the new SPIDER-MAN. One the studio’s big selling points on their new Spidey is that they would be taking the character back to high school and really exploring that aspect of his life rather than making it a blip on his way to college. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN went slightly more into Peter’s high school life, but not with any real depth. That may finally change with the SPIDER-MAN reboot, and with a very particular vision in mind.
At the recent press day for ANT-MAN, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige spoke to Birth.Movies.Death. about what we can expect in terms of tone:
“It’s the soap opera in high school, and those supporting characters, that are interesting,” said Feige. “Just as we hadn’t seen a heist movie in a long time, or a shrinking movie in a long time, we haven’t seen a John Hughes movie in a long time. Not that we can make a John Hughes movie – only John Hughes could – but we’re inspired by him, and merging that with the superhero genre in a way we haven’t done before excites us.”
Feige went on to explain that the film will not only have the standard life-and-death stakes that come from a superhero fighting a supervillain, but those that come from the personal drama of high school life.
“Particularly at that age, in high school, everything feels like life or death. The tests feel like life or death,” says Feige. “Coming home from being out with your friends seemed like life or death.”
If Marvel and director Jon Watts (COP CAR) really stick to this tone, it will help set SPIDER-MAN apart from not only the previous Spidey films, but all other superhero movies as well. Part of what makes Peter Parker’s life so hard is that he’s trying to balance the rigors of a normal high school life while fighting crime and trying to keep it a secret. I hope that getting to see more of Peter’s high school life will help flesh out the character and give him a distinct presence in the MCU.
But no matter how bad things get in high school, there will still be supervillains to make the wall-crawler’s life more miserable. Thankfully, Spider-Man has a rich rogues gallery, and Feige says, “Right now we’re interested in seeing villains we haven’t seen before.”