Spider-Man In The Marvel Cinematic Universe Confirmed As A Teen

News of Spider-Man returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the more pleasant surprises to come out in the past few months. Sure, for the longest time, fans dreamed it would happen, but with the brand recognition that character had, it seemed like Sony was too proud to let the webslinger join the ranks of other scene-stealers like Iron Man and Captain America.

Now, months after the announcement the announcement, fans are still speculating on the specific details of MCU Spider-Man. Will the new Spider-Man be Miles Morales instead of Peter Parker? Will he be a much younger Spider-Man? Is Spider-Man already swinging around New York at this point in the Marvel Universe? Thanks to a recent set of interviews from Marvel head Kevin Feige—who was at a press junket promoting Avengers: Age Of Ultron–we finally have an answer to each of these questions.

Kevin Feige
Kevin Feige

The first bit of information comes courtesy of Collider.

“In terms of the age of what we believe Peter Parker is, I’d say 15-16 is right. We want to play with Spider-Man in the high school years because frankly…even though there’ve been five Spider-Man films, there are so many things from the comics that haven’t been done yet. Not just characters or villains or supporting characters, but sides to his character. The most obvious being the “young, doesn’t quite fit in’ kid before his powers, and then the fella that puts on a mask and swings around and fights bad guys and doesn’t shut up, which is something we want to play with and we’re excited about.”

Spider-Man being younger definitely plays perfectly into the majority of theories making their way around the web (pun intended). It’s a relatively unexplored arena on the big screen, and it gives Parker plenty of room to grow into whatever his Avengers role eventually becomes. Plus (and this is very important to Marvel and Sony), this will allow Spider-Man to be played by the same actors for the next 15-20 years. Peter Parker’s already been played by two actors within the same decade, and it’s unlikely that Sony wants to repeat that mistake.

One understated nugget of info from the quote is the fact that Feige made no mention of Miles Morales. No doubt in the eyes of many fans, Spider-Man is Peter Parker, and given Sony’s recent failed re-launch of the franchise, it’s clear they’d rather not try and fix something that isn’t broken.

The next big Feige quote comes from an interview with Crave Online, and it had to do with the fact that we’ve already had two (very similar) origin stories of the character. Given how popular and ubiquitous Spider-Man is in pop culture, do audiences need to see Uncle Ben croak for a third time?

“It will not be an origin story,“ Feige flat-out said, no doubt to the collective sigh of relief from fans. “But, with great power comes great responsibility. It is inherent to who his character is. But we want to reveal it in different ways and spend much more time focusing on this young high school kid in the MCU dealing with his powers.”

It’s important to note that while Feige did say it wouldn’t be an origin story, he did also mention his past could be revealed in different ways. In other words, don’t expect to get little to no real introduction to the character. It’s very possible that in the first standalone Spidey-flick we’ll get some glimpses into his past.

Who knows, we may be treated to an origin story akin to what Marvel did with The Incredible Hulk, where they told the origin in an opening credits sequence. They may even show series of flashbacks throughout the first film, and how they relate to the character now (a la the more recent Daredevil television series).

But if this won’t be an origin story for Peter Parker, exactly how long has he had his powers in the Marvel world?

“There is a young kid [already] running around New York City in a homemade version of the Spider-Man costume in the MCU, you just don’t know it yet.”

That does nothing to explain what Spider-Man could’ve possibly been doing during the first Avengers movie, or even the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. But we’ll just have to trust that Marvel will come up with a great reason. Let’s just hope that when it’s revealed, that it’ll be enough to buy over hardcore fans.