Spider-Man: Homecoming was already a winner in fans' minds because it will officially bring Marvel's web-slinging hero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe fold. After the tepid response to Sony's Amazing Spider-Man 2, the studio did the smart thing and took some guidance from Marvel, in order to give Spider-Man his third (and hopefully greatest) shot at big box office stardom.
As the first Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer has now debuted, and fans have had time to digest, it's time to ask: Has director Jon Watts created the first real, true-blue (and red) Spider-Man movie?
Here's why we think he has!
The Characters Are Right
To be fair, aside from Tom Holland in the lead role (having already proven himself in Captain America: Civil War), most of Spider-Man: Homecoming's casting seemed strange.
We still have so much to learn about Liz Allan (Laura Harrier), Michelle (Zendaya), Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) and the rest of the ensemble - but already, it seems like the role of Spidey, his friends, foes, love interest, and parental figures (including Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark) are all spiritual (if not physical) embodiments of the characters and dynamics that make Spider-Man who he is.
Watts may be the best director yet to identify the core elements of the Spider-Man characters and translate that to the screen.
The World is Right
Spider-Man: Homecoming's trailer showed that Watts has pretty much nailed all the different elements of Spider-Man's world.
The robbery scene is classic Spidey action and banter; the high school portion looks strong enough to be its own teen coming of age movie; the team-up dynamic with Iron Man rings authentic to the comics - even Peter's desperate attempt to keep up with all his many responsibilities looks like it is worked into the story wonderfully.
In short: Homecoming is the first Spider-Man movie whose (first) trailer made us feel like 100% stepped into the pages of a Spider-Man comic book.
The Balance is Right
Spider-Man is a character whose story can go from incredibly lite, kitschy and funny, to incredibly serious and dramatic in the blink of an eye - with a nice John Hughes layer of teen angst as the icing on top.
Getting that mix right is a challenge for any two-hour feature film - but Watts seems to have done it!
The high school portions are classic Hughes style; the supervillain is menacing and scary, the comedy is actually funny (and prevalent), and there are hints of some serious dramatic moments, as well.
Raimi got some bits right (off-beat humor); Webb got other parts down (teen drama); Watts may be the first director to get it all done right - with some of the sickest action bits, to boot.
The Most Superheroic Yet
Spider-Man: Homecoming didn't give away the farm in terms of showing off its action sequences - but what it did show looked great!
Aside from the usual web-slinging and Spider-Man acrobatics, we got web-wing flight, fight sequences that are right on par with what you'd expect from Spidey, and also Michael Keaton's vulture, whose own flight and fight sequences look pretty great (like that Staten Island Ferry attack).
There have been hints of more stylistic flair to come (like POV sequences), but what we've seen of Spider-Man: Homecoming so far makes it seem more than worthy of carrying both the MCU and Spider-Man names.
That Team-Up Tho...
Simply put: No other Spider-Man movie has given us this bit of awesomeness (see below).
Spider-Man's team-ups with other Marvel characters are an important part of the character's history, and finally getting to see the Web-Slinger play with others automatically makes this a more authentic and complete Spider-Man experience than we've ever had before.
More Spider-Man: Homecoming
MORE: Tom Holland Describes Worst Day Filming Spider-Man: Homecoming / Tom Holland Says Wearing Spider-Man Suit The First Time Was Disappointing / Domestic Trailer / International Trailer / First Look at Shocker / Iron Man Cameo Revealed / Spider-Man Has Wings! / Tom Holland Looking Forward To The Batman movie
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
The cast features Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, with Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr.. It also includes Jon Favreau, Martin Starr, Kenneth Choi, Michael Mando, Selenis Leyva, Isabella Amara, Jorge Lendeborg, Jr., JJ Totah, Hannibal Buress, and Jacob Batalon.
The film is being directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car), based on a screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley (Vacation reboot) and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers.
The film is produced by Marvel boss Kevin Feige and former Sony boss Amy Pascal. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Jeremy Latcham, and Stan Lee are serving as Executive Producers.
Doctor Strange is now in theaters; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; and Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released on July 7, 2017.