Ever since Marvel and Sony announced they were integrating a new, post-Amazing Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the rumor mill has churned about the direction of the Spider-Man threeboot. Spidey will make some kind of debut in one of the upcoming Marvel movies—supposedly next year’s Captain America: Civil War—before toplining his own film in mid-2017. Some magical-thinking comic book fans have been pushing for a Spider-Man film starring the character Miles Morales, a newer version of Spider-Man who is of black and Hispanic descent, and who probably could not be played by a white dude named Chris.
A new interview with Kevin Feige at Collider would appear to scotch all those Morales rumors, though. Feige—who is working as a producer on the new Spider-Man along with his ongoing role as Marvel Studios’ head honcho—was asked about possible casting choices for the character. His response: “In terms of the age of what we believe Peter Parker is, I’d say 15-16 is right.” That means Spider-Man will indeed still be incarnated as lovable loser Peter “Puny” Parker, he of the perpetually dying uncle and the perpetually concerned aunt.
Although some people have expressed some concern about sending the character back to high school, Feige is bullish about keeping Spider-Man as a teenager. “Even though there have been five Spider-Man films, there are so many things from the comics that haven’t been done yet,” Feige says, “the most obvious being the ‘young, doesn’t quite fit in’ kid before his powers, and then the fella who puts on a mask and swings around and fights bad guys and doesn’t shut up.”
It sounds like Feige wants to specifically position Spider-Man as a different kind of hero for the MCU. The Avengers are all professional superheroes with relatively grown-up problems; Spidey will be the relatable new-blood everykid who has to learn how to play in a fantastical, dangerous universe. (He’s the Avengers equivalent of the kids in season 4 of The Wire. In this metaphor, Iron Man = McNulty, Captain America = Bunk, Nick Fury = Lester, Black Widow = Omar, and Hawkeye = Pryzbylewski.) No word on if Kevin Feige also wants to re-retell Spider-Man’s origin story. Maybe in a few decades, Tobey Maguire can play Unce Ben in the Spider-Man dodeca-boot.