In Depth

Spider-Man Homecoming: First trailers reveal Avengers mentor

Tom Holland's Peter Parker tackles the challenges of high school while learning to be a superhero in new teasers

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The first trailer has been released for Marvel's upcoming Spider-Man Homecoming, giving fans their first look at Tom Holland as Peter Parker since his appearance in 2016's Captain America: Civil War. 

In fact there are two trailers - a teaser for US audiences and a shorter one for international audiences, revealing the webbed wonder's high school life, his superhero mentor and the enemies he will face.

Director Jon Watts's Spider-Man Homecoming is Sony's attempt to revive its dormant franchise after two films starring Andrew Garfield in the title role failed to achieve box office expectations.

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It takes Peter Parker back to being a teenage misfit, but with some new elements and twists, including a Marvel Avengers crossover and a new love interest in the form of singer-actress Zendaya.

In the trailers, Peter is seen navigating both the challenges of school, along with his best friend Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), and his unrequited crush on a girl called Michelle (Zendaya).

Homecoming also charts new territory for Sony and Marvel as Spider-Man usually lives in a different cinematic universe from Marvel's Avengers due to film rights. However, last year Sony struck a deal with Marvel that allows Spidey to appear in its films - hence Holland's appearance in Captain America - and Marvel characters in Spider-Man.

That's why the new trailer features a sequence in which Peter meets Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) for some well-meaning but cryptic advice on how to be a superhero.

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The clips also reveal Michael Keaton as Vulture, who makes dire threats to the young Spider-Man about what he risks by getting into the superhero game.  

The film's creators have previously suggested Vulture will act as a sort of mirror to Peter - an ordinary guy who develops superpowers but turns evil. He certainly seems to have crossed to the dark side in the trailer, where he warns Peter he will kill everyone he cares about if he crosses him.

Vulture isn't the only villain in Homecoming, however. Spidey will also have to contend with Shocker (Bokeem Woodbine), who harnesses electrical energy to zap his enemies, and the Tinkerer (Michael Chernus), a minor villain who makes weapons and gear for bad guys.

Spiderman: Homecoming is due out in cinemas July 2017.

Spider-Man: What will the forthcoming spin-off be about? 

11 October

Spidey fans were sent into paroxysms of excitement yesterday when the chairman of Sony Pictures chairman confirmed that "before too long" he would be able to offer "real news" on the long-rumoured Spider-Man universe spin-off film.

"We're working on lots of that stuff [spin-offs] and there's a concerted effort now. I think there will be real news, as opposed to speculative news, before too long," Tom Rothman told Collider.

So if it is in the works, what will the Spider-Man spin-off be about?

Speculation is mounting that it will focus on Marvel Comics' villain-turned-antihero Venom.

The Hollywood Reporter has already said he would get his own film, saying independent filmmaker Dante Harper has been given the job of writing a script.

Since then, the rumour has become so concrete that Harper is now credited as the writer of a film called Venom on his IMDb page.

"It's not known which iteration of Venom that Sony Pictures is looking at," says ComicBook.com, "but fans believe the spin-off will stand alone from [the forthcoming film] Homecoming."

Spider-Man: Homecoming – who are Vulture and Shocker?

9 September

Marvel villains Vulture and Shocker are due to feature in Spider-Man: Homecoming. But who are they, what role will they play in the upcoming movie – and what about the Tinkerer?

Spider-Man: Homecoming, currently in production, is a Marvel-Sony film intended to reboot the superhero franchise. It stars Tom Holland as the young web-slinger doing battle with various baddies including Vulture.

New on-set images posted on Instagram have revealed that Spidey will also be facing another adversary, Shocker, and given us a first glimpse of the villain.

This summer, Marvel Studios treated fans at Comic-Con to some scenes from Jon Watts' upcoming Spider-Man film. The preview included the news that the movie will feature Vulture, says Den of Geek. And although it's yet to be officially confirmed, Michael Keaton (who starred in Birdman, Beetlejuice and a 1990s version of Batman) will apparently play the role.

Vulture, aka Adrian Toomes, first appeared in the Marvel comics back in 1963 and was the second villain Spider-Man fought. In the comic backstory, Toomes is a scientist who loses his job, but adapts his last project – a set of hi-tech wings that give the user super-strength and flight capabilities – to wreak revenge on his boss. 

In the comics, Spider-Man first encounters Vulture when he is robbing a bank. Spidey attempts to photograph the villain for the Daily Bugle, which is offering a reward, but ends up being overpowered by the villain who traps him in a water tank.

Vulture pops up regularly in the comics, sometimes leading a gang of winged child accomplices. Vulture's chief weakness is that his wings rely on a power supply. When it's switched off, his powers are disabled. Whether or not these plot elements will appear in the upcoming film is unknown.

But while the focus has been on Vulture, new photos posted on Instagram suggest that another villain, Shocker, might play an even more important role in the Homecoming film.  

Back in June, Hollywood Reporter announced that Fargo actor Bokeem Woodbine was joining the cast. Soon after, Spidey watchers became convinced that he would be playing the role of Shocker.

In the comics, Herman Schultz aka Shocker is an electrical engineer-turned-criminal who uses vibro-shock weapons to electrocute his enemies. Their force is so powerful he must wear a heavily insulated suit to protect himself (the suit also conceals his identity).

Despite the set images on Instagram only showing a mystery man clad in a yellow rubber costume, fans believe they show Woodbine as the Shocker.

There's one more villain set to appear in the movie, if reports are to be believed. In July, Screenrant noted that Diamond Select Toys, the company producing merchandise for the Spider-Man film, casually mentioned one of its figures would include the Tinkerer.

In the comics, the Tinkerer is a deranged inventor-turned-criminal, but little is known about who will play the Tinkerer in the movie, or what his role might be.

Spider-Man: Homecoming filming gets underway

21 June

Buoyed by the success of the Avengers franchise, Marvel Studios has accelerated its production of superhero films, wrapping up Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2 this week and simultaneously beginning work on Spider-Man: Homecoming.

James Gunn, the writer and director of the Guardians films tweeted yesterday: "Many blessings today to the star of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tom Holland, and the film’s director, Jon Watts, I don’t think we could pass the Marvel baton to two nicer, better guys who care more about what they’re doing. Kill it!”

Photos of cast members at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, have already begun leaking online, says Collider. Wolf Hall star Holland has been "spotted in a V-neck sweater and plaid shirt as Peter Parker, Nickelodeon star Zendaya as the female lead Michelle, and The Grand Budapest Hotel star Tony Revolori serving some double-polo action as Manuel", it says.

Spider-Man is being "rebooted" after only two films in the previous series. The most recent, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, was widely regarded as a flop so Sony Studios, which owns the rights to the character, is now partnering with Marvel to try to get more value out of the teenage web-slinger.

While the new Spider-Man made his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Homecoming will be Holland's first solo outing as Peter Parker.

The film also stars Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, with one-time Batman Michael Keaton stepping into the villain's shoes.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is scheduled for release in July 2017.

Spider-Man: Has Sony revealed title of new solo film?

6 April

Rumours are spinning across the web that the upcoming solo Spider-Man film finally has a title, after Sony registered the domain name SpiderManHomecomingTheMovie.com.

"Sound the Spidey speculation siren," says the BBC, which first spotted the link. It notes that clicking on the link redirects to Sony's site, which is registered with the same company as its main website.

Supposition and speculation maybe, says Phil de Semlyen in Empire, but there's plenty of precedent for film titles to be domain-named long in advance of an official title announcement. After all, he says, this is how Skyfall's title was revealed.

Then again, he adds, "eight domains were registered for the latest Warner Bros/DC Superman, none of which involved the words 'dawn' or 'justice'".

But if this is the title of the film, does it give us any clues about the upcoming movie?

There's one theory that the title could be a tie-in to an old Spider-Man storyline from the 1980s of the same name, says the Radio Times. The Homecoming comic-book plot saw the Webbed Wonder return from a massive battle on another planet and included cameos from characters such as Captain America and Iron Man. It also saw Spidey bring home a new costume.

Indeed, says Adam Holmes on Cinemablend, hardcore comic-book fans will remember that Spider-Man #252 in 1984, dubbed "Homecoming", was the first time he was publicly seen wearing his new black suit around New York.

Of course, Holmes notes, the "suit" turned out to be an evil alien symbiote and after Spidey's alter-ego Peter Parker managed to get if off him, it attached itself to Eddie Brock, turning him into Venom.

If Spider-Man Homecoming is indeed what the new film is called, he adds, perhaps it's the Marvel cinematic universe's attempt at adapting that story.

Speculation aside, we do know that Spidey is set to be played by Tom Holland, who we'll get to see in action later this month in Captain America: Civil War, following the agreement in February 2015 between Sony, Walt Disney Motion Pictures and Marvel Studios to share the Spider-Man film rights.

We also know that the new solo film will see Peter going back to high school as a 15-year-old, says Metro, which quotes director Jon Watts from a recent interview.

"I love the idea of making a coming-of-age high school movie," he said. "We're really going to see Peter Parker in high school and get deeper into that side of it. He's just 15 now."

The solo Spider-Man movie is set for release in July 2017.

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