Marvel Studios’ Hall H panel tonight consistently crushed it in a breakneck pace of reveals and first looks but the hands-down winner of the event was the first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, sadly a comic-con exclusive at the moment, that lives up to all the hype as well as the promises from the film’s producers that it will be, first and foremost, a high school movie. The co-production of Sony and Marvel stars Tom Holland and is directed by Jon Watts and both were onstage, along with other members of the cast (but no Michael Keaton) to give the first glimpse at the film which has a July 7, 2017 release date.
Watts called it “a straight up high school movie” and he wasn’t lying: The scenes shown in the teaser feel straight out of a John Hughes film or, as others have noted, Freaks and Geeks, if those productions had super hero stuff obviously. Starting with a montage that shows the high school yearbook photos of the Avengers set to Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation”, it transitions to Holland’s Peter Parker and a day in his life at fictional Midtown High School. An affable nerd — and no luck with girls, the teaser makes it clear how much work he puts in to balance high school with being a super hero on the side (including surreptitiously making web fluid in chemistry and trying to watch Youtube clips of his battle from Captain America: Civil War in Math.)
One great moment: a group of high school girls playing F*uck, Marry, Kill with superheroes, only for one of them to ask “what about Spider-Man”, which causes Peter, doing situps nearby, to blush. Another great moment: Peter Parker and his friend played by Jacob Batalon are staring at girls nervously, stopping before it gets creepy only to be told by the character played by Zendaya that it’s “too late.” The trailer is full of moments like that making it clear that as Marvel gets more confident dominating movie theaters, it’s getting more confident with allowing actual humanity into its stories. Mundane things like money worries or, you know, being desperate to have sex and the like. It’s great stuff and I can’t wait to see how the final film bridges the gap between teen sexual angst and worries about popularity and the future, and battling supervillains on the side.
Speaking of, after a scene showing just how te demands of being a hero mess with what passes for Peter’s social life as he’s forced to leave a study group, the clip moves on to several examples of Spider-Man doing Spider-Man things, then ends with a shot of The Vulture, confirming him as the main villain ((Michael Keaton is in talks to take on the role). Overall it’s consistently fun and funny and most importantly, demonstrates that “grounding” a fantasy story isn’t a matter of making things tragic or dark, it just requires that the characters feel real. Mission accomplished.
As soon as Marvel makes the trailer available you’ll be able to watch it here.