We analyze what to expect from Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War.
Marvel Studios released the Captain America: Civil War trailer this week, and it was just as impressive as you would expect from the long-awaited clash of Marvel’s biggest heroes. The trailer features appearances from almost every major Marvel character to show up on the big screen in recent years, including Iron Man, The Falcon, The Scarlet Witch. The Black Panther even makes his on-screen debut in it.
But there was one glaring omission: Spider-Man, who will finally be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Civil War, was nowhere to be found. Well, maybe he’s in the trailer, according to one theory. That could also just be an extra in red, or maybe a guy with a really bad sun burn.
It’s been repeatedly confirmed that a teenage Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, will be appearing in the film, and possibly even wearing two costumes, but the size of his role is anyone’s guess. In the Civil War comics, Spider-Man played a huge part, first joining with Tony Stark’s pro-registration side, and revealing his secret identity to the world, before defecting to Captain America’s team. Putting Spider-Man in that large of a role wouldn’t make much sense in his first Marvel Studios movie. No one is going to care about the secret identity of someone with only an hour of screen time, and Marvel has taken a lot of liberties in translating its stories to the big screen. So based on the trailer, here are three theories for Spider-Man’s role in Civil War and why he didn’t show up in this first look at the film.
3. Spider-Man Just Has a Cameo
This would be the most disappointing answer, by far. It could very well be that Marvel has promised us Spider-Man, and they will deliver, but with only a couple scenes of him swinging in to help out Iron Man or Captain America, mentioning he has problems back home to deal with, and that’s it. If you want more Marvel Spider-Man, come back to the theater in 2017. Marvel never said that the movie would focus on Spider-Man, and it would certainly whet the public’s appetite for the new movie. This would also explain why there’s no sign of Spider-Man in the trailer: He’s just not in many scenes, so it’s easy to pick ones that don’t feature him.
2. Spider-Man Spends Most of the Movie on Tony Stark’s Side
The trailer for Civil War unsurprisingly features a lot of Chris Evans’ Captain America. His name is in the movie title after all. But beyond him, the trailer also focuses quite a bit on Falcon and the Winter Soldier, two characters that we know will stand with him in his fight against superhero registration. While the trailer did feature Iron Man, and the Black Panther who will apparently fight by his side, it didn’t give them nearly as much screen time. It could be that Spidey appears quite a bit throughout the movie, but sticks with Tony Stark most of the time (or possibly through the whole film), so he just didn’t fit into this trailer and will be featured in advertising closer to release.
1. Spider-Man is Actually in the Movie a Lot, Marvel Just Doesn’t Want to Reveal Him Yet
Movie marketing is a funny thing. We know Mark Hamill will reprise his role as Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens next month, but Disney (which owns both Star Wars and Marvel now) has gone to great lengths to ensure no one gets a look at Luke’s new look until the movie opens. Part of this has to do with the plot, which is rumored to revolve around a search for Luke. The other part of it is that fans really want to see what 60-year-old Luke Skywalker looks like and will spend good money at the theater to see him now.
Similarly, the last couple Spider-Man movies performed well at the box office, but didn’t have nearly as much buzz around them as the average Marvel movie. Fans only started to get excited about Spider-Man again when Marvel and Sony announced the deal to bring him into the MCU, and now everyone is clamoring to see his first appearance. Will he have the classic red and blue costume? The typical Spider-Man sense of humor? All of Spider-Man’s usual abilities? We have no idea at this point. Spider-Man could be in every other scene in Civil War, but it could be that Marvel is now going to commit to a marketing strategy that makes you go to the theater and see the movie if you really want to check out their take on the character.