I am not a big fan of adaptations of comic books into movies, so it should come as no surprise that I am not thrilled by the idea of Sony Pictures rebooting the Spider-Man franchise. While everyone was excited to see the trailer release, I will admit that Tom Holland’s introduction into the Marvel Universe as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, had made me curious. In case you haven’t had a chance to see the trailer yet, you can find it below.
There is no doubt at all that casting Holland to play Peter Parker and agreeing to cooperate with Marvel Studios were both smart moves on the part of Sony Pictures. After the poor showing of Sam Raimi’s campy Spider-Man 3, it was pretty clear that Sony had lost control of the franchise and needed new ideas. Integrating Spider-Man into Civil War led to a charming cameo and a great marketing device for the upcoming reboot.
While I am glad that the series is going to be rebooted and see new life, I am not as optimistic as others that the movie will be the Spider-Man movie that we have been hoping for. To begin with, the trailer is riddled with clichés. A huge part of Spider-Man’s appeal is Peter Parker’s struggles to balance the troubles of high school with his super powers; but this trailer highlights things like petty criminals with high-tech gadgets, the villainous Vulture, and a remarkably familiar scene in which Spider-Man is holding a ship together with his webbing (remember the subway scene in Spider-Man 2?)
Overall, while the movie is well cast, and Sony’s new found partnership with Marvel is bound to bring many charming cameos of Avengers and other characters, it still looks to be falling victim to the tired superhero tropes that make so many comic book adaptations lacklustre. To really create the movie that fans want to see, Sony needs to focus on Peter Parker, and not his alter ego; they need to focus on telling a human story without the superpower elements. That is what Spider-Man is all about.