spider-man footage

In a few days, audiences will greet the new Spider-Man (Tom Holland). A few years ago another reboot of the character didn’t sound particularly appealing, especially after The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but when Marvel and Sony joined forces to get the character back on track, things started looking up for the teenage hero. After seeing Spidey in action during Captain America: Civil War, now another Spider-Man reboot doesn’t sound half-bad.

When we spoke with Captain America: Civil War screenwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, they discussed the experience of waiting to hear if Spider-Man would have a role in the film, and how that impacted their work. Read what they said about the new Spider-Man below.

This Spider-Man is a bit younger, much funnier, and slightly nerdier than the last time we saw the character. His role in the film isn’t shoehorned in, either. The inclusion of Spider-Man doesn’t disrupt the pace of Captain America: Civil War or come across as nothing more than a narrative tangent to tease future films, which is something Marvel keeps improving on.

Fitting Spider-Man into the story, however, took plenty of work. During the back-and-forth between Marvel and Sony, Markus and McFeely were working on drafts of Civil War that included the character, before a deal was even signed. When negotiations weren’t going smoothly, they’d have to rework the script and remove Spider-Man.

Here’s Markus and McFeely told us about writing the new Spider-Man and the collaboration between Marvel and Sony:

When in the writing process did you learn Spider-Man would have a part in the film?

McFeely: He was always possible, not necessarily always realistic. From the very beginning, we knew it would be great if we could get him. [Marvel’s] Kevin Feige gave us reason to believe that there were some ongoing negotiations and maybe it’s possible. So we did versions where he was in it and then he came back in and went, “Not going that well,” as any normal negotiations would. And then we moved pieces around and strengthened Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) as a character. We knew we were definitely going to use him, because we definitely wanted that splash panel [airport sequence] to have as many earned participants as we could get.

Eventually, when the deal was done, it was bittersweet because we had a really tight thing going. Kevin said, “We got him.” And we said, “Great. That’s a lot more work for us. OK. Let’s figure it out.” [Laughs.]

Did you only have to work with Marvel on the character?

Markus: We only had to deal with Marvel. Marvel dealt with Sony.

McFeely: Well, I think they sent the scenes…

Markus: Yeah, they sent the scenes and then they came to set when we were shooting those scenes. It felt very free, I have to say. They knew, 12 movies in, we weren’t going to screw them up. Marvel wasn’t going to trash them. They were made comfortable and then they were enthusiastic.

Since Marvel made the character fun again, it seems doubtful Sony would be unenthusiastic about the character’s future. The teenage hero probably wouldn’t have been able to survive another hit if Marvel, Sony, and all involved didn’t deliver with the new Spider-Man. You can only hit the do-over button so many times, but thankfully, the course has been corrected.

When we spoke with Kevin Feige, he told us they wanted to embrace what made the Marvel character special in the first place:

We wanted to show a much younger Spidey, in contrast to our other heroes, a Spidey who — as was he was in the early ’60s, when he was first created in the Marvel bullpen — was totally different from the Marvel heroes. The other heroes don’t have to worry about homework. They don’t have to worry about being home at a certain time. That’s what makes Spider-Man Spider-Man. We also wanted to let audiences know he’s already Spider-Man; he’s been Spider-Man for a little while when we meet him. There wasn’t the expectation we’d tell an origin, I think, everybody in the world already knows.

Captain America: Civil War will probably prove Feige right, that audiences know who this character is by now and that there’s no reason to show his origin story or “the untold story” again. Probably nobody is going to leave Civil War disappointed because they didn’t see young Peter Parker get bit by a radioactive spider. Spider-Man: Homecoming, thankfully, won’t show his origin story, either. This weekend, not only will audiences become acquainted with the new Spider-Man, but they’ll also receive, once again, another Spider-Man worth rooting for and laughing with.

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