‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Sequels Could Borrow the ‘Harry Potter’ Timeline
One of the big selling points for Spider-Man: Homecoming was that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be returning Peter Parker to his roots as a high school science nerd. While the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield movies, by the nature of their casting decisions, focused a bit more on Parker’s college and post-college experiences, the Tom Holland-led reboot of the Spider-Man franchise would set out to tell a true superhero coming of age story.
There’s only one problem: casting actors to play high school students is an approach that can only work for so long (ask the showrunners of Game of Thrones how much they enjoy answering questions about the ages of their characters). If Spider-Man: Homecoming wants to keep the focus on high school Peter Parker, the folks at Marvel need to have a plan in mind for exactly how far they can go with these versions of the characters. Thankfully, it sounds like they do. At Comic-Con International this past weekend, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige spoke with Collider about the challenges of movie Peter Parker and his friends into the future and compared his own movies to another franchise populated by young actors.
This is sophomore year, is the next one junior year? Is the next one senior year? Is there a summer break between each of those? I don’t know what, but it was sort of how do we do a journey for Peter not dissimilar for what the students of Hogwarts would go through each of their years, which was one of the early ideas we had for the movies.
The Harry Potter approach could be a good template for the Spider-Man films. If we assume that Peter Parker is a freshman or a sophomore in Spider-Man: Homecoming, then that would give Feige and company two or three different movies before the cast gets a little too old to play characters still not old enough to vote. This decision also gives Marvel a little bit of flexibility when it comes to handling the next phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Eventually, actors like Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson will want to retire from the superhero business, and this timeline would allow Marvel to bump Spider-Man up to a leadership position in the next wave of Avengers if the company so chooses.
I’ve always had a hunch that the younger version of Spider-Man was as much about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole as it was about the success of the individual character; if Spider-Man: Homecoming is a hit, we’ll expect to see more (rather than less) of our favorite super-powered high schooler.