Spider-Verse: Marvel’s third Spider-Man film could bring the fans together

Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Sony Pictures Animation's SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.
Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Sony Pictures Animation's SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. /

Web-heads and fans unite in the Spider-Verse.

We may just be starting the new year, but movies wait for no man. It seems no one knows that better than Marvel, who are still hard at work preparing a fresh slate of superhero flicks for viewers to eat up. One of these is the third film starring Tom Holland as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, which many believe is about the Spider-Verse.

This speculation stems from the reported involvement of past Spider-Man movie alumni. Examples are Jamie Foxx, Alfred Molina, Tobey Maguire, and Andrew Garfield.

This concept essentially takes the web-heads from various parallel universes and puts them together to tackle a common threat. It’s shown up in several works throughout the years, such as the video game, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.

Its most famous appearance, however, was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, an animated action-comedy where Miles Morales, a new Spider-Man, works with an older Peter Parker to save the collapsing dimensions.

What Marvel’s Spider-Verse film would presumably offer is a team-up of all three live-action versions of the web-slinger that have come and gone over the years. It wouldn’t just be another villain-of-the-week tale. Rather, it would be a colossal piece of fan service, bringing three cinematic eras of Spider-Man together. Perhaps it could do the same for three generations of viewers.

Three heroes make one Spider-Verse.

The web-head first came to the big screen in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, which lasted from 2002 to 2007 and helped put comic book movies on the map. These films embraced the high-flying adventure, heavy drama, and zaniness of the early Spider-Man comics.

As such, Tobey Maguire played Peter Parker as a quiet, corny outcast and Spider-Man as a confident, reassuring hero.

Then came The Amazing Spider-Man, a pair of flicks released in 2012 and 2014. A third entry, along with several spinoffs, was planned but ultimately canceled due to underperformance. These went for a more modern approach, infusing more teen angst, hipster swagger, and corporate conspiracy into the superhero tale.

Andrew Garfield’s Peter was a twitchy, neurotic, and occasionally smoldering dude while his Spider-Man is a trash-talking, cocksure clown with a seemingly endless amount of energy.

Finally, we come to the most recent era of films, encompassing 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, 2019’s Spider-Man: Far from Home, and the upcoming third entry. Not only do these lean much more into wacky teen comedy, but they often tie into the exploits of other superheroes, existing within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Tom Holland’s rendition of Peter is a hyper, goofy kid, and his Spider-Man is green around the gills, prone to clumsiness and uncertainty yet always trying to get a leg up on his enemies.

As you can see, these three versions are radically different, offering various takes on the web-slinger for multiple generations. Each one has its fans: people who assert that theirs is the definitive Spider-Man. More importantly, they must convince their peers that the other two versions are inferior. That debate rages to this day.

That could change if these three heroes come together for a Spider-Verse movie. Provided the filmmakers understand why each version resonates with people, they could show viewers that it doesn’t need to be a competition. Every Spider-Man would have something valuable to contribute.

Rather than trying to prove their superiority, they would embrace their differences and work together in the never-ending battle against evil. This, in turn, might bring the fans together. It sends a message that they don’t have to worry about their Spider-Man being the best. All that matters is what makes him unique and heroic.

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Is this just wishful, optimistic thinking? Would you be excited about a live-action Spider-Verse movie? Which Spider-Man is your favorite?

You can watch the original Spider-Man trilogy and the Amazing Spider-Man duology through STARZ. Marvel’s Spider-Man films are available on Disney Plus.