Three Is A Magic Number

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) welcomed a new addition to its superhero franchise with “Spider-Man: No Way Home” directed by Jon Watts. The third movie in the series premiered in theaters on Dec. 17, 2021 featuring Tom Holland as Peter Parker.  

After his identity was revealed in the last movie, “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” Parker turns to Doctor Strange to help make the world forget who is behind the mask. Misfortune strikes, however, and the “multiverse” is destroyed, bringing back villains unfamiliar to the MCU. 

With a lull in recent movie releases and the overwhelming support of Marvel fans even before its release, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has topped box office numbers with Variety calling it “the box office juggernaut that can’t be caught.” 

Forbes reported the movie’s domestic income was an impressive $736.5 million after its seventh week and, as of Jan. 30, it is “the fourth-biggest domestic cume ever, behind ‘Avatar’ ($760 million), ‘Avengers: Endgame’ ($858 million) and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’” 

“One of the reasons I went to see ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ when it came out was because of the hype on social media with possible crossovers and Tom Holland reprising his role,” said junior Noah Vargoshe. 

However, Holland’s version of the nerdy web-slinging high schooler turned friendly neighborhood superhero is not the only Spider-Man to be seen on the silver screen. 

Tobey Maguire first gave life to this Stan Lee comic book character in May 2002 with the release of “Spider-Man” directed by Sam Raimi. Andrew Garfield took up the role in July 2012 with two reboot films known as “The Amazing Spider-Man” directed by Marc Webb. Both versions saw a high school student gain spider-like abilities after getting bitten by a genetically modified spider. 

With the release of multiple films about the same superhero, disagreement about which actor and series reigns supreme is expected.  

“Maguire plays a good Spider-Man, Garfield plays a good Peter Parker, and Holland is able to play a mix of both,” said Vargoshe. 

However, some members of the Sacred Heart University community believe this debate is being blown out of proportion. 

“I don’t think this debate was as heated after the remake of the first film because there are those who, like myself, were late to the game and had never seen a Spider-Man film prior to the Andrew Garfield remake or knew a whole lot about the character of Peter Parker,” said Film Club President, senior Luke Mallory. 

“On the other hand, I think no one was particularly heated in debate following the first remake because the Sam Raimi trilogy with Tobey Maguire was seen to be this ‘holy grail’ of cinematic excellence for its time,” said Mallory. 

If what Mallory says holds true, then is there really any problem with having multiple versions of the same character and storyline? 

Prof. Brian Hogan, program coordinator for the Film & Television Master’s Program (FTMA), does not seem to think so. 

“When it is an adaptation, no matter how you slice it, there is no reason there cannot be more than one way to interpret and adapt the work. Look how many times and ways we’ve adapted Sherlock Holmes, some better than others, but all a worthy artistic pursuit for the creator of that remake or sequel,” says Hogan. 

It seems that even if fans have their preference over which Spider-Man they prefer, there is enough room in the film industry for multiple actors and movie adaptations of this classic comic. 

Even “Spider-Man” director Sam Raimi told Variety that watching “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was “so much fun” and “refreshing.” 

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