Is your Peter Tingle kicking in? Because it sure as hell sounds like Tom Holland is about to come back as Spider-Man/Peter Parker in a big way!
I was digging through various leaks and I hesitate to gas those people up because it just kinda sucks when they shotgun spoilers all over the Internet. THANKFULLY, on a livestream with John Rocha that went up not long ago, veteran entertainment journalist Jeff Sneider said (~13-14 minutes into the above video) he'd heard Tom Holland "has closed a deal" for a new Spider-Man trilogy and multiple smaller appearances in other Marvel films. Sneider emphasized he called Marvel, didn't get confirmation about it, but he wouldn't just put this out there for shits and giggles. Almost 100% chance it's true.
So while there was obvious credibility to the leaks I went down the rabbit holes of, I'm going to take Sneider's intel at face value here. It's just great that Holland is back, and that he's reportedly getting his own standalone series of three films.
Although No Way Home was a beautiful culmination of the Home trilogy and even enhanced the legacies of the live-action Spider-Men and their villains who came before him, there was always a strain on Jon Watts' trilogy to connect Holland's Peter Parker to the larger MCU. Part of the brilliance of No Way Home was where it left Peter Parker off. No more Tony Stark nanotechnology-grade plot armor. No friends. No family. A true return to his roots as the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.
That last scene in the coffee shop, man. Damn...
Whether Zendaya and Jacob Batalon are coming back to play MJ and Ned Leeds respectively is unclear. I imagine a big push will be made for Zendaya given how high her star has shot in recent years. Part of me wants to see that trio reunited and for Peter to explain everything. I don't think it'd undercut the ending of the last movie, but I totally get the argument for the opposite, too.
I'm so pumped to see this street-level Spider-Man and how Marvel handles that. What I don't want to see is them having to do a bunch of crossovers with, say, Jared Leto's Morbius or Tom Hardy's Venom. The Morbius movie didn't work, and Hardy's couple of off-kilter symbiote dual performances have been super uneven. Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe is hurtling toward their Multiverse Saga anyway, why even bother with that shit? Let some other actors and Spidey rogues get a crack at him.
Speaking of the Multiverse Saga, one of the movies Holland is indubitably going to appear in is Avengers: Secret Wars. That's the obvious stage for a reunion between Holland, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, or so I'd think. Marvel is planning sort a similar culminating duology in the vein of Infinity War/Endgame with Kang Dynasty and then Secret Wars. So I suppose Holland could cameo in that, too.
As for the villains I want to see Spider-Man take on, here are my top five preferences in order:
- Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin
- Jake Gylenhaal's Mysterio
- Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Kraven the Hunter
- Black Cat
- Kaine Parker, a clone (!!) of Peter Parker
With the Daredevil: Born Again series arriving on Disney+ in early 2024 or thereabouts, and Charlie Cox popping up as Matt Murdock in No Way Home, it'd be sinful for Spidey and Daredevil not to cross paths. I'm sure there are plans for some sort of team-up. Vincent D'Onofrio's performance as Kingpin in Seasons 1 and 3 of Daredevil in the Netflix era is one of the best, most nuanced, physically imposing and overall menacing villains I've ever seen in TV or film. He's such a fantastic actor and it's so dope he, Cox, and several other Daredevil alums are in the MCU.
Given my point about the shadow Tony Stark cast over Holland's Spidey tenure to date, you'd think someone whose entire motivation was fueled by Iron Man wouldn't be someone I'd want to see again. But Jake Gylenhaal was so damn good in Far From Home and catalyzed Peter Parker's reckoning that pushed him to such an interesting place now. It'd be awesome to see him resurface after faking his death, which is a concept that I do believe has been explored in the comics!
Kraven the Hunter is a Sony movie dropping in 2023 and I know I said I didn't want Holland to have anything to do with the studio's current Morbius and Venom adventures. That said, Aaron Taylor-Johnson going all-out as Kraven in a cat-and-mouse sort of suspense thriller across New York City would be remarkable. Like a more feral version of Dirty Harry or something.
Black Cat was loosely teased in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. She's a sort of Catwoman-esque antihero/villain whose darker/wild side could throw Holland's Peter Parker into disarray, especially if he meets her early in his trilogy at such a volatile, watershed moment in his life after all that's happened to him.
Finally, the wild card CLONING idea. We've seen all kinds of crazy science shit in the MCU. Imagine if, leading up to the Multiverse Saga's finale, somewhere in there, beyond all the variants we see of our favorite superheroes, we get an actual-ass clone of Spider-Man who's much darker, has no issue killing fools as his brand of vigilante justice and gets our beloved Web Slinger in serious trouble. Could be a fun experiment and acting exercise for Holland to really mess with our heads as a warped, twisted version of Spidey.
Suffice it to say even if Marvel goes in totally different directions than any of the ones I'm suggesting, the dramatic potential is there, and Holland's deep understanding of the character — along with his continued growth and inevitable maturity as an actor — will keep adding new layers to Spider-Man.
Just one thing for our guy to keep working on and remain diligent about in particular…