“Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option” – Tobey Maguire as “Peter Parker” in 2002’s Spider-Man
What are those numbers? They are the ages that Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and now Tom Holland were when they first portrayed “Peter Parker/Spider-Man” on the big screen. It is one of several reasons why Spider-Man: Homecoming is so good. Hollywood continues to insist on casting actors long past their teen years to play characters of high school age. Remember a 33 year old Stockard Channing in 1978’s Grease?
But in choosing Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), director Jon Watts (and producers Kevin Fighe and Amy Pascal) made it much easier to believe that “Peter Parker” is indeed the awkward teen trying to adjust to being endowed with incredible superpowers. It adds an element that was missing from the two prior translations of the comic-book hero to the big screen.
The movie opens in New York City after the events of the Battle of New York as shown in 2012’s The Avengers. “Adrian Toomes” (Michael Keaton – The Founder) runs a salvage company and his crew is cleaning up battle sites. Without warning, “Anne Marie Hoag” (Tyne Daly – Hello, My Name is Doris) shows up and tells Toomes that the Department of Damage Control (which she runs) is taking over by order of the federal government. He manages to hang on to a few alien artifacts, defying an edict to turn over everything his company had recovered.