Replacing Tom Holland Will Save Spider-Man

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

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When people think of Spider-Man, they think of the high-school/college student who’s struggling to pay his bills, keeping his identity a secret from Aunt May, and bemoaning the “Parker Luck” while dating his super-model girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson. In the last 60 years, Marvel’s most popular character hasn’t changed much in Hollywood, but in the pages of Marvel Comics, he’s a former Fortune 500 CEO, J. Jonah Jameson knows he’s Spider-Man, and MJ ditched him for Paul. It’s about time the MCU took the bold step of letting Spider-Man move forward with his life.

We’ve Seen Too Much Of Teenage Spider-Man

From the original Sam Raimi trilogy to the conclusion of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker has been a teenager or college student for over 20 years. Each set of films hit familiar beats, with a small twist each time, but it would be great for the fourth MCU film to take advantage of the multiverse and make a major change. No one again needs to see a young Parker dealing with homework or an internship and starting his relationship with Mary Jane.

Fans Want Adult Peter Parker

After years of poor treatment in the comics, culminating with the introduction of Paul, a new character that is now dating Mary Jane, Spider-Man is finally being shown leading the life fans have wanted to see since the mid-90s: married, with children. Ultimate Spider-Man #1, written by Jonathan Hickman, does just that by holding off on Peter becoming Spider-Man until he’s middle-aged.

The result is one of the best-selling comics in years, the freshest storyline in decades (and that’s without spoiling the major change Hickman made to his origin), and a whole new world of potential stories for Peter Parker.

Marvel Editorial Keeps Sabotaging Spider-Man

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Why Spider-Man, of all heroes, has to be preserved at one exact moment in his life is a mystery. A few years ago, a major Amazing Spider-Man storyline was set to undo the horrible “One More Day” storyline (in which Peter sells his marriage to the devil in order to save Aunt May), but again, Marvel editors stepped in, and plans changed.

Granted, the change was to retcon the storyline in which Gwen Stacey gave birth to Norman Osborn’s twins, which we’re grateful for, but the shadow of former Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada and “One More Day” has lingered for decades over Spider-Man.

Marvel Needs To Use The Multiverse

So far, the Multiverse Saga has been an excuse to bring back past stars, get away with fan-casting, and give fans Jeffrey Wright as the Watcher in What If?, but their answer to DC’s Elseworlds could be used for much more. Let Jake Johnson be a live-action adult Peter Parker trying to raise his daughter May, or make it a Spider-Girl film set in the M2 universe. There’s an endless sea of possible Spider-Man variants to use, even beyond those that are part of Into the Spider-Verse.

Spider-Man Versus Venom Is Not The Answer


Spider-Man 3 already did it, Spider-Man 2, the video game did it, and every animated series has done it; there is no need to see Venom and Spider-Man throw down again. Using marriage or fatherhood as a springboard can give us something different, something new, something that hasn’t been done to death already. Tom Holland was a spectacular Spider-Man, but he’s been in six movies; he’s still able to convincingly play a student, and Marvel should move on to someone who looks like Black Cat won’t retch over the thought of kissing.

Let Miles Morales Be Teenage Spider-Man

In the comic universe, Marvel used Secret Wars to bring Miles Morales from the Ultimate Universe to the 616 mainline universe, so why not pull the same trick? With the clear intention of the Multiverse Saga to reset the MCU, bring in a live-action Miles (we humbly suggest Stranger Things Caleb McLaughlin), and have Adam Brody as an adult Spider-Man. Miles is already a huge character, and this one change could be the shot in the arm that the flagging MCU needs.