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Five ways in which this year's Spider-Man will feel like a homecoming


We've had Sam Raimi's trilogy with Tobey Maguire and Marc Webb's films with Andrew Garfield. Now web-spinning superhero Spider-Man is about to get his third reboot this millennium with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Why are we so excited? Here are five reasons why the new movie looks as though it's got everything right...

1. Tom Holland

No disrespect to his cinematic predecessors, but Tom Holland has all the makings of a definitive screen Spider-Man. At just 21, the young Englishman has taken plenty of cues from Maguire and Garfield, but also succeeds in making the role his own by portraying Peter Parker as an authentically ordinary, gauche teenager.

So ordinary, in fact, that few people suspect he could be capable of web-spinning superheroics. The In the Heart of the Sea and The Impossible actor won plenty of plaudits after introducing his incarnation in the mega-hit Captain America: Civil War, with Variety noting approvingly that he dons "the nervous, nerdy mien of Peter Parker to terrifically scene-stealing effect".

As if to underline this acclaim, Holland was nominated for the Scene Stealer gong at the 2106 Teen Choice Awards and won this year's Rising Star Award at the BAFTAs. Now he's about to make good on that promise with his first leading role in a stand-alone Spider-Man movie.

2. We're Back in High School

In previous Spider-Man movies, Peter Parker has grown up very quickly. But the USP of the character, and much of his charm, arises from the fact that he's a 15-year-old kid whose extraordinary abilities exacerbate the pressures and anxieties of adolescence.

Marvel President Kevin Feige is keen to get back to these unique defining traits and has hinted that Holland's Spider-Man will be in no hurry to become an adult, in order to explore some of those great high school storylines.

3. Iron Man's on board!

You don't need us to tell you that this is Spidey's first standalone outing as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, right? This introduces a fresh new dynamic that gives the writers plenty to explore.

Teenage Parker takes an awed kids' eye view of the Avengers, which - let's face it - is the perspective we'd all have if the likes of Hulk, Thor and Iron Man actually popped up among us. In Captain America: Civil War, Tony Stark plucked young Peter from obscurity to become part of an incredible adventure. So what happens now? Will Stark become Spidey's mentor figure? Is he really cut out for that level of responsibility? And how will Parker find his place among the complex Avengers factions?

"Suddenly this goes from being a third reincarnation and a sixth movie to a first," Kevin Feige told The Hollywood Reporter recently. "It's the first time Spider-Man gets to interact with the world in which he belongs."

4. Michael Keaton plays Vulture

The great Michael Keaton has something of a fascinating superhero movie history. He was, of course the title character in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie and its sequel. Later, he appeared to send the whole genre up with his Oscar-nominated Birdman performance as the former star of an avian superhero franchise who bailed after the third instalment in the hope of being taken seriously in a highbrow Broadway production - only to be dismissed by a snooty theatre critic as "a Hollywood clown in a lycra bird suit".

Now Keaton has gone over to the dark side as Homecoming's everyman villain Adrian Toomes/Vulture, whose wings are high-tech rather than feathery. It's Vulture's first time on screen and charismatic Keaton is certain to make him a memorable antagonist.

5. Diversity alert!

Let's be honest: previous Spidey flicks have been a little on the white side. Homecoming makes more effort to be reflective of the modern world, which chimes nicely with Parker's grounding in real life. His love interest, Liz, is played by model Laura Harrier, while singer-actress Zendaya is cast as an intellectual classmate.

Tony Revolori, who made such a great impression in The Grand Budapest Hotel, is Peter's rival Flash Thompson and Fargo star Bokeem Woodbine bags the role of Vulture's henchman, Shocker.

In a reminder that not all aunts are stereotypical white-haired little old ladies, Marisa Tomei plays May Parker. News of this casting decision caused the internet to explode, but there is of course no reason why 52-year-old Tomei shouldn't play the aunt of 21-year-old Holland.

Spider-Man: Homecoming lands at Cineworld on 5 July