Spider-Man: Homecoming - What to Expect (So Far)

With nearly a whole year until we finally get to see the newest version of the superhero teen Spider-Man grace the screen once more on July 7th, 2017, I thought it was the perfect time to comb through some of the massive intel (and rumors!) we've gotten so far on the project. From speculations of who's playing who and where the film fits into the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe, to the newest heroes and villains we might finally see on-screen, Spider-Man: Homecoming has retained a gracious amount of secrecy, even as filming kicks off. While much of what I say may be later dubbed as pure rumor or just plain false, here's what we might expect from our third cinematic webhead.

As we saw in May's superhero blockbuster Captain America: Civil War, we find Spider-Man's alter-ego, Peter Parker, in a place we've now come to expect him to be -- high school. Following the 15-year-old's early adventures as both a student and his red-and-blue spandex wall-crawling alter ego, Spidey's newest shot at the big screen promises a much more awkward, fresh -- and age-appropriate -- Peter Parker than we've seen in past incarnations. Rather than a 30-year-old Andrew Garfield or a much-older Tobey Maguire donning the tights, we've got the definition of a fresh-faced kid smack-dab in the middle of his high school experience (well, at least by his looks). Whether you're a fan of Mr. Tom Holland or not, my opinion on the actor was radically altered as I saw just the kind of Spider-Man he intends to bring to his solo film. Offering one of the mouthiest Spideys we've gotten so far, all in less than 20 minutes of screen time, the first thing to expect from Homecoming is a radical new star ready to make his mark on the famous character. Let's just hope his supporting cast provides a similar sense of spunk.

Continuing with the central focus of Peter Parker's formative years in high school, much of the supporting characters in the film are confirmed to be Parker's classmates and teachers. From potential love interest Liz Allan (played by Laura Harrier) and renowned bully to Parker, Flash Thompson (supposedly played by Tony Revolori), it's no surprise that much of the cast ranges in age from 15 to 20 years old. Aiming to bolster some decent performances from the young actors, Homecoming looks to deliver a much more authentic approach to the primary characters associated with young Parker. While this authentic approach may end up surprising us or leaving us scratching our heads, the fact that the film is going down this road -- wanting to set these characters in their own category compared to the gods, soldiers, and genius billionaires we've met so far -- is something I find both intuitive and fascinating. A very unique cast indeed -- which also includes comedian Hannibal Buress, Donald Glover (no, not as Miles Morales), and Kenneth Choi -- it'll be interesting to see who these characters are and how they mature into the comic-book roles they're supposed to be playing. 

While I too am excited to see if actress Zendaya really plays Mary Jane Watson or not (probably not), something much more anticipating has to be the potential villains of the film. While much speculation has circled around the antagonists of the film, we just recently got word that a certain "shocking" foe might appear against Tom Holland's Spider-Man. With a handful of set photos making their way onto the internet, featuring a masked man engulfed in an almost urban yellow Power Ranger-type suit, we've since learned that this is meant to be the classic Spider-Man villain, Shocker. Shocker, aka high-school-dropout-turned-expert-thief Herman Schultz, is a villain I've honestly been dying to see brought to the screen. A favorite of mine from the 1994 Spider-Man TV series, it's something very exciting to see that he might end up being a major player in the upcoming film.

But who else will Spidey be taking on? While it might not be officially confirmed as of now, the rest of the villainous roster for the upcoming Spidey flick may include the likes of Adrian Toomes aka the winged foe The Vulture (allegedly played by Birdman and Batman actor Michael Keaton), genius engineer Phineas Mason aka Tinkerer (played by Michael Chernus) and actor Logan Marshall-Green as another unspecified villain. Also on the roster is Fargo actor Bokeem Woodbine, who I assume may be under that murky yellow mask of the Shocker. While this path of the trio (or more) of villains may be a hesitant step for the new film -- as the last two Spidey franchises faltered after tossing in a second or third baddie -- there's still only heavy speculation clouding the true gauntlet of foes facing the new webhead in his first film. Still, the anticipation of having actors like Keaton in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is more than enough to get fans of Beetlejuice on-board.

Another highly-anticipated aspect of the film's cast has to be Marisa Tomei as Peter's aunt, May Parker. Set to deliver a much more spunky and naturalistic character -- also age-appropriate when you  look at 15-year-old Peter -- Tomei's unique sense of wit could be the perfect recipe to bring a much more interesting Aunt May to Peter Parker's story. Also, the comical sexual tension between Peter's aunt and a certain genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist teased in Civil War most definitely could add a new layer of awkwardness to young Parker's life.

Yes, while the most compelling reason for most fans to see this film might be the promise of Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark palling around even more with Tom Holland's Spidey, one of the biggest things drawing me into the film is that fact that it won't be another origin story. Set to toss us right in the middle of Parker's new super-powered life, after having his powers for a good six months, I believe one of the most intriguing elements of this film will be just how the Marvel Cinematic Universe may integrate a matured -- yet highly-immature -- super-powered being like Spider-Man into their world of gods, super-soldiers, and aliens. Yes, while having Spidey mingle with the Avengers once more will be a sight to see, I'm really interested to see just how the MCU will set Spidey and his world apart from it all -- and subsequently how it will reel him into their own. Without the burden of drawing out the 'how' and 'why' Peter Parker got his abilities -- and the subsequent events that unfold afterwards (believe it or not, seeing Uncle Ben's death wouldn't kill the film for me completely) -- Marvel can draw from Spidey's intense and extensive history to deliver a whole new story we've never seen before.

While a lot may still be heavily under wraps from the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming, and our first peek at what our new Spidey may look like in action might not come till Christmas, much remains in the shadows from the newest take on the famous comic-book hero. With a diverse and ever-intriguing cast set to portray some of the most influential characters in the wall-crawler's life, and an up-and-coming director ready to display his unique filmmaking style in the superhero genre, the most anticipated Marvel Studios film of 2017 already has a lot going for it to become one of the best incarnations of the snarky webhead we ever might see on the big screen.

What do you hope to see from Spider-Man: Homecoming? Would you prefer another origin tale, or are you sick and tired of seeing ole' Ben Parker die and Peter going from a nerd to a nerd who can climb walls? Let me know your thoughts on the latest Spider-Man reboot in the comments below, and stay tuned for more exciting info on the film as it unfolds!   

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