How Spider-Man Has Evolved On Screen

From Saturday Morning Cartoon to a place in the MCU, this is Spider-Man’s on-screen journey.
By  · Published on July 12th, 2017

2014: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

In the midst of his high school graduation, information about Peter’s past continues to unravel as he fights new villain Electro and tries to stay away from Gwen Stacy in order to keep the promise he made to her father. The film made about $202 million at the box office domestically and was met with decent reviews from critics, many of whom enjoyed Andrew Garfield’s refreshing portrayal of Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone’s performances and on-screen chemistry were probably the most remembered aspects of this film series overall.

2016: Appearance in Captain America: Civil War

We were first introduced to Tom Holland’s Spider-Man last year in his charming appearance during Captain America: Civil War, entering Spider-Man into the MCU. After watching him fight alongside the Avengers and make small talk with enemies during the battle scene, we were hooked and excited about his own film Spider-Man: Homecoming.

2017: Spider-Man: Homecoming

The newest and most recent addition to the world of Spider-Man on screen, Spider-Man Homecoming is a story about young sophomore Peter Parker under the wing of Tony Stark, exercising his abilities as Spider-Man, hoping he can possibly one day even become an Avenger. The film is cute and light-hearted, but very, very real at certain points. When faced with the decision between giving in and just being a kid, or following through and fighting crime, Peter chooses the latter, but in the most earnest and tasteful of ways. Directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland, this film differs from the previous cinematic portrayals of Spider-Man in that it is very much an internal and more youthful story with many plot points that audiences can consistently relate to. It is ultimately a coming of age story that is not as simplified or as neatly wrapped up as outward appearances would show. Tom Holland’s subtleness at certain points in the film says all that needs to be said about what Spider-Man’s feeling on the inside.

Over the years Spider-Man has been portrayed and adapted on the screen to everything from a high school kid and an adult, a sarcastic, witty cartoon character, and an angsty live-action reality. This is not including the various adaptations that were pitched, planned, etc. but never officially produced (including one from James Cameron). When thinking in terms of  Spider-Man: Homecoming though, it has thus far received critic and box office success, and a sequel is planned for 2019. What sets it apart, at least from the two film series’ that preceded it, is Spider-Man: Homecoming seems to find the right balance between the innocence and youth of Peter Parker and the courageousness and honorability of Spider-Man. The struggle to be a kid and to be a superhero in the footsteps of Iron Man is very prevalent in the film, with no real added teen angst or romance going any further more than a sophomore crush.  The film, however, does not take itself too seriously and lets the audience have fun with Peter on his journey to ultimately find himself.

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