9:00am PT by Aaron Couch
The Case for Spider-Man to Sit Out 'Avengers: Infinity War'
Oh, the places Spider-Man will go.
Tom Holland has revealed that his Marvel deal calls for him to appear in six films — three solo Spider-Man movies and three appearances in other Marvel Cinematic Universe projects. Holland's wall-crawler has already debuted Captain America: Civil War, leaving two films left in that mysterious "other projects" category.
Actors' deals have always been a fascinating part of being an MCU observer, with contracts making or breaking (sorry Terrence Howard and Edward Norton) moviegoers' chances to develop long-term relationships with an actor's take on a hero.
At 20, Holland is by far the youngest actor ever cast as an MCU hero and he could presumably have more than six films in him. But if we only do get six, what's the best use of those two non-solo movie appearances? Here are two ideas:
So far, Spider-Man has not been confirmed for 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, with neither studio head Kevin Feige nor Holland giving definitive answers. Everyone from Doctor Strange to members of the Guardians of the Galaxy are confirmed to appear, and the film will see the Avengers go up against Thanos (Josh Brolin) — who will surely gain possession of the all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet.
So why should Spidey be held back until the fourth Avengers film, which is due out a year after Infinity War?
In an interview with THR, Holland emphasized that his version of Parker is "the kid" of the MCU. He adds another flavor to the universe by looking at these fantastical events through the eyes of a child. That's why pitting him against a character who wants to rule and/or destroy the Universe like Thanos is too much, too fast for a fledgling Spider-Man, who is still grappling with great power and great responsibility.
We also don't want him to be part of a team too fast. Part of what makes Spider-Man, Spider-Man is that for most of his history he's been a loner — unable to score a permanent spot with teams like the Fantastic Four or the Avengers (though in more recent years, he's joined iterations of both teams in the comics).
The best recent example of a young Spider-Man is Ultimate Spider-Man by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley — and this provides a guide the Holland's Spider-Man could follow. In that incarnation, Spider-Man crossed paths with plenty of heroes. He was best pals with Johnny Storm, Nick Fury knew his secret identity and he'd team with the the Ultimates from time to time, but for the most part he dealt with his own problems and his own battles. In the MCU, he needs the same time to fight them on largely his own (with perhaps a little help from Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming.)
But by the time Avengers 4 comes out, he'll have clocked three years in the suit. That's the perfect time to throw him back in with the Avengers following his Civil War airport battle (because come on, we do want to see him with all the Avengers again).
And if we keep him out of the third Avengers film, then there would be time in Holland's contract for ...
A Team-Up movie
After Infinity War, Feige has said Marvel may take things down a notch and have some fun mixing and matching characters (akin to Thor and Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok) for smaller stories. Avengers films give characters just a limited amount of time to shine, so we'd get more bang for our buck by instead teaming him up with an unexpected hero for a shared adventure.
This is part of Spider-Man tradition in the comics (look no further than Marvel Team-Up of the 70s and 80s). How about Nick Fury enlisting Spider-Man, Ant-Man and Falcon for a covert mission? Or Peter playing third wheel to Vision and Scarlett Witch? He and fellow New Yorker Captain America have good chemistry.The possibilities are (almost) endless.
Who would you most want to see Spidey in a team-up movie with? Weigh in below: