As Disney actively pursues the cinematic rights for Spider-man, questions on how the role will change are abound. While many agree quick-tongued, neurotic Andrew Garfield is a great fit for the role, his studio’s mishandling of the web slinger puts his longevity in the role at risk. For all the campaigning and pleading that will be done to keep him in the role, we can comfortably predict that Andrew Garfield won’t return as Spider-man for a big reason: his story won’t fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Spider-Man Universe Yesterday and Tomorrow
Going back to the beginning of the first Amazing Spider-man, Peter Parker existed in a fairly normal world. While somewhat more advance that our reality, nothing too out of the norm occurred. Then two freak accidents occur that transform Peter into a spider-powered hero and Dr. Connors into a humongous lizard. The city is thrown into hysteria over the events.
Spider-man’s development was that much more amazing because he was learning how to handle abilities that no one else could possibly understand. He had to contend with an enemy that no one else could deal with. The inner character struggles made Peter Parker the endearing hero we could relate to—and outcast of sorts that had to put himself on the line for others.
Now if Disney-Marvel takes over that same plotline, they will have a hard time shoehorning the current Spider-man story into a world that has been twice attacked by inter-dimensional aliens (Avengers, Thor 2), robots galore (Iron-man 2, Avengers 2), an army of regenerating heat mutants (Iron Man 3), and a Hulk. Suddenly Spider-man’s troubles don’t seem so unique. In the Marvel world, someone who comes out as a superhuman can find help in a small-but-growing support group of heroes. Peter Parker would only need to swing down 5th Avenue to have a chat with any of them.
In order to avoid this faux-paux, Disney can simply reboot Spider-man. Fortunately for them, it will require little effort in way of a back story. We have now seen Spider-man get bit by a spider and see his uncle die twice on film. Disney doesn’t have to reintroduce that. Instead that can worm him into Phase 3 through a series of Easter eggs and cameos.
Ant-man will be a perfect start. Just one little line on a TV news report can start the ball rolling: “Accident at OsCorp.” Then follow that up with his appearance in Civil War. Perhaps he can seek advice from Captain America. Or maybe Spidey’s antics as a superhero (and the negative press that comes with them) are what prompt Iron Man to pursue superhero registration.
Spider-Man In Marvel Cinematic Universe
Not that Marvel as made sense 100% of the time. All of these heroes exist in the world together, yet they avoid each other in solo movies. Else Cap and Iron-Man could have helped Thor out in London. Hulk could have taken down a heli-carrier in DC and Iron-Man wouldn’t have had to destroy all his Iron Man suits in IM3. So while the point that the Amazing Spider-man movies developed outside of these fantastic events is true, it can be completely disregarded like the logic in all of the other Phase 2 movies was.
Lastly, the one shred of hope for Andrew Garfield fans would be that Disney decides to retcon the whole backstory like James Bond did with Judi Dench as M. Although that series rebooted, that held on to the actress who played the part superbly. Disney could do the same with Garfield, but as some rumors have indicated, they are going back to the high school years again.