Spider-Man: No Way Home isn’t out for a few more weeks, but Sony producer Amy Pascal has already confirmed another Spider-Man trilogy with Tom Holland is planned. This is great news for MCU fans now that all the original Avengers are either finished, dead, or wrapping up their own stories. It’s nice to know we'll still have a heavy-hitter like Spider-Man as more and more unknown characters like Shang-Chi and the Eternals take the spotlight, and it will hopefully present some opportunities to explore parts of the character that have never been seen before. But if it were up to me, Tom Holland and Peter Parker would take a nice long break from the MCU and return when Holland is old enough to show us Spidey in his adult years.
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All three cinematic iterations of Spider-Man have taken place during the earliest days of Peter Parker’s superhero career, but there’s so much more to Peter’s life than his high school days and early career as a photographer. In the comics, Peter was a brilliant scientist and inventor who developed world-changing technology at both Alchemax and his own company, Parker Industries. He’s had long-term relationships with a lot of people other than Gwen Stacy and MJ, like Black Cat and Silver Sable. He also has a long history with clones – some good and some bad – and his Spider-Family has grown to include dozens of other Spider-People in his universe and hundreds throughout the Spider-Verse. Characters like Ben Reily, Jessica Drew, and Kaine have all played important roles in Peter’s life, but not until long after Peter left high school.
We’ve seen young Spidey eight times now, and I’m ready to meet an older Spider-Man with some years behind him, some new relationships, and – most importantly – a pile of regrets. Spider-Man’s guilt over the people he’s lost, the mistakes he’s made, and the choices he can’t take back fuel him as a hero, a husband, and sometimes as a father. We’ll get to see a taste of that in No Way Home when Peter makes his One More Day bargain and causes the multiverse to crack wide open, but even after eight movies we’ve just barely scratched the surface of who Spider-Man is.
We already have proof that an older Spider-Man is viable too. Into the Spider-Verse featured Chris Pine and Jake Johnson as Spider-Men in their prime (or in Johnson’s case, just past it), showing sides of Spider-Man we never get to see. And while No Way Home is set to retread the Spider-Verse, there are plenty of other major storylines from Spider-Man history you can really only tell once Spidey has established himself. The aforementioned Clone Saga might be a controversial choice, but I’d love to see the next trilogy tap into the body-horror side of Spider-Man and tell a really off-the-wall-story, such as Spider-Island, a 2011 crossover event where everyone in Manhattan got transformed into giant spider monsters.
There’s a good chance Miles Morales will make his MCU debut in No Way Home, and if that’s the case we can expect the next Spider-Man trilogy to feature both Spider-Men fighting side-by-side. Rather than continue Peter’s story right away, it would be so much more satisfying if Miles was given his own stand-alone series first so that Peter could be reintroduced 5-7 years from now when he’s older and has more interesting relationships than Ned and MJ. I recognize this would never happen for logistical and financial reasons – Sony would never leave Holland on the bench when he’s currently one of the biggest stars in the world – but it would nevertheless be the boldest and most interesting thing it could do with the character. I appreciate that we have games, comics, and animated films that dive into different periods of Spider-Man's life, but I’d still be disappointed to see the movies trapped in the same era for another decade.
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