When it comes to Spider-Man movies, the titular hero’s backstory almost always plays a part – unless you are Tom Holland, that is. Despite Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and Andrew Garfield’s outing in The Amazing Spider-Man showing audiences how Peter Parker got his web-slinging abilities, Marvel’s latest iteration of the beloved superhero skipped the MCU character‘s origin story. This fact has always puzzled fans, and now Jon Watts, the director of Spider-Man: Homecoming, has opened up about the decision.
As mentioned above, prior to the MCU, almost every Spider-Man movie showed a scene where Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider – triggering his abilities. However, in the 2017 superhero movie Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is the first of the MCU and Tom Holland’s take on the character, we only hear passing comments about this event. The Marvel movie starts with Peter, already powered up, trying to figure out the whole hero thing instead.
In the book With Great Power: How Spider-Man Conquered Hollywood during the Golden Age of Comic Book Blockbusters by Sean O’Connell (via Screenrant), Watts revealed the reasoning behind his choice for Homecoming’s script, saying that he wanted to show more of the aftermath of the event instead of the origin story itself.
“It was just so nice to skip past it and just deal with more with the repercussions,” he said. “And just explore it from the perspective of someone else finding out about it and having a lot of questions.”
Watts’ choice relies on the fact that he expected audiences to already know Spider-Man’s backstory. And with countless action movies and animated series under the character’s belt, luckily, Spider-Man was well-known enough to pull this feat off.
However, this gap in storytelling still brings up concerns regarding accessibility for new and young fans who may have never encountered the comics, or films in the past. While figures who are pop culture icons like Spider-Man may be the exception to the rule, origin stories still play an important part in building long-running fanbases and bringing new people into the fold.
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