Marvel‘s new Spider-Man debuted earlier this year in Captain America: Civil War, and fans were instantly excited to see more. This time around, after two web-slinging franchises have already died off, Spidey is uniting with the likes of Iron Man and Co., free at last from Sony’s exclusive ownership and able to join the ranks of Marvel Studios‘ The Avengers. But while seeing this legendary hero swinging into action in Civil War, a lot of us are just eager to see where the studio takes his independent story.
We won’t have too long to wait. Spider-Man: Homecoming is set to arrive in U.S. theaters in July of next year, In fact, it’s the next Marvel movie in line after this November’s Doctor Strange and May’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2. It’s in the studio’s interest to keep this project shrouded in mystery, for the most part, but here are a few important things we do know about it.
1) It’s Based At Least Somewhat On A Comic
Superhero movies tend to draw inspiration from one or more specific stories from comic lore, and this case appears to be no different. According to this report, the title, Spider-Man: Homecoming, is the same as a 1984 comic, which was officially Amazing Spider-Man issue 252. There’s no confirmation that the whole of the film’s story will come from that comic (which concerns Spider-Man returning home to New York from the Secret Wars), but some tie-ins seem very likely. The idea, according to Marvel executives, is that Homecoming has a high school connotation, and there’s a determination to keep this iteration of Peter Parker younger than the last two we’ve seen on screen. But it could also be that Parker’s return home from Civil War takes that place of the return from the Secret Wars and the story takes a similar shape.
2) We’re Retiring The Green Goblin
For about a decade and a half, the Green Goblin has been just about everywhere Spider-Man goes. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen any Spider-Man film, and yet this platform is still featuring an “Attack of the Green Goblin” video game, where most of the other film-related titles concern specific movies. It’s not uncommon for Marvel heroes to adorn online slot machines or jackpots like this one, but villains tend to make less frequent appearances. It just goes to show the firm link between the two characters. The Goblin was in both the Sam Raimi and Marc Webb-directed film franchises, and has appeared in a number of video games along the way as well. At least for now, Marvel Studios is doing away with the villain in favor of trying something new. It’s a little bit like Batman without the Joker, but it should be an exciting new direction.
3) We’re Welcoming the Vulture
If the Goblin is out, it stands to reason that a new major villain will be brought in, and all signs point to the Vulture. In comic lore, the Vulture is essentially a grumpy, murderous old man who happens to deeply detest Spider-Man. He also happens to be a brilliant scientist and manages to create a suit that lends him the ability to fly as well as unnatural strength. You can read a little bit more about the character’s background here, but where the film is concerned the most important information at hand is that the role will be played by Michael Keaton. The veteran actor is on a pretty ridiculous hot streak of late (particularly with his performance in Birdman, which is somewhat ironic given this role), and should bring a strong dose of professionalism to the budding franchise.
4) It’s (Kind Of) An ’80s Story?
This is probably the strangest things we’ve heard about the new Spider-Man film, but it might also be the most exciting. According to a strange collection of quotes from Marvel executives, there are numerous classic coming-of-age stories that are being used as inspiration for the new Peter Parker. These films include Almost Famous, The Breakfast Club, Say Anything, and even Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This is a very different idea, but it goes with the most consistent thing Marvel has maintained about this project, which is that it won’t be rolling out another Spider-Man superhero origin tale. If it truly winds up with an atmosphere reminiscent of those ’80s movies, this will wind up being a very unique hero flick.
5) The Iron Man Team Is Back Together
If you’ve been paying attention to the Spider-Man: Homecoming news, or if you watched Civil War, you’ve probably grown used to the idea that Tony Stark and Peter Parker are going to be buddies in the MCU. Stark, it seems, is lining up as something of a mentor for young Spider-Man. But that’s not all, Homecoming will also bring about the return of Jon Favreau as Stark’s pal Happy Hogan. That means this one could feel a little bit like 2008’s Iron Man, which could be a little nostalgic for Marvel fans.