Everyone seems Down about Spider-Man leaving the MCU. Could the deal still be re-brokered? Doubtful. So Here are some Reasons to still be optimistic..
It’s a FILM. About a boy with SPIDER POWERS. GROW UP. Life is not THAT bad! Having said that, entertainment DOES enhance life and is in our hierarchy of needs. And this MCU iteration of Peter Parker had soul, warmth and wit. So it IS sad to see that sacrificed at the altar of corporate politics.
Spider-Man can Meet VENOM!
You MIGHT think that’s a bad thing, given how bad Spider-Man 3 was back in 2007 and that featured the black suited Spider-villain. But the Tom Hardy version of Venom is FUN! As in the first IRON MAN kind of FUN. Whilst avoiding the epic pretension of an ENDGAME or the inter-twined complex tonal coding of most Marvel universe counterparts, this was a film that dared to be simple, sleek, different! It had a wildly shameless sense of adolescent abandon, rarely seen since the 1990s. It had Michelle Williams looking divine. And a sense of decency, beneath the face eating. Seriously, it’s a thought provoking and heart-warming piece in places. Frankly, that’s a universe that could sustain itself even without Spider-Man’s involvement. But together? Both characters can benefit, perhaps with an initially antagonistic relationship giving way to the inevitable team-up?
The Gallery of Rogues:
Spider-Man has a back catalogue of baddies that is second only to DC/Warner’s BATMAN in terms of rich pickings. You don’t need the MCU to generate interesting character dynamics here and indeed, might just be able to access certain villains unfettered by the need to relate everything back to some bigger picture in a dozen other franchises? Doc Ock, Sandman, Lizard, Rhino, Green Goblin, HobGoblin..and so on. There’s enough there for a solid bad guy mash up in one movie or a more drawn out affair /arc stretching to multiple episodes. Yes, those plans stalled before. But Sony now know how to do this ‘right’ and it’s an opportune moment to seize the cinematic day, as Marvel /Disney move toward television and adopt ‘WOKE’ politics as both means and end, rather than simply having a pervasive sense of heart through fun. Our hero can now face these villains on his own terms, with a greater sense of threat, too, as he is now unprotected by Stark tech!
The Ways Around:
You can pretend the imminent Sony Spidey is a dream / multi-verse iteration. Marvel themselves could, theoretically, retain fidelity to the web-slinging universe they created, in the hopes of its resurrection. Have Happy Hogan cameo and take a call from a girlfriend we assume to be Aunt May. Heck, be REALLY ballsy and, once Tom Holland’s Sony contract is up..cast him as a literal, IRON MAN JUNIOR..never referencing either Sony or Marvel Spider-Man films that went before, whilst allowing the continuities to co-exist. In any event, one can pretend /assume that Holland IS playing the same character in ALL versions, even if it’s never spelled out explicitly. A franchise is what YOU make it and the choppy corporate politics CAN be navigated in your imagination. Always.
In short? Fear not. This is an opportunity, a beginning and not and end. Chin up: from your friendly, neighbourhood, Spider-Man!