Spider-Man veteran "confirms" he won't be back for fourth movie; discusses replacement

A staple of Marvel Studios and Sony's Spider-Man: Homecoming film series has seemingly confirmed that he won't return in Spider-Man 4.
Tom Holland is Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME.
Tom Holland is Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME. /

Over the course of the past decade, Spider-Man has become a fixture of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having first appeared in Captain America: Civil War the iconic webslinger is portrayed by Tom Holland, and he went on to star in his own trilogy of movies - all of which were incredibly successful for Marvel Studios' monster franchise.

Jon Watts was the man who brought that trilogy to the screen, directing Spider-Man: Homecoming, Far From Home, and No Way Home. But despite the ending of the last movie in that trio of films having a pretty definitive ending, the stories will continue for Spidey as Sony and Marvel Studios are going to collaborate on a brand new trilogy that will bring Tom Holland's wall-crawler back. One person that won't be back it seems is director Jon Watts.

Jon Watts seemingly confirms he won't return to direct Spider-Man 4

There had been much speculation about whether Jon Watts would return to direct Spider-Man 4 or not, but now a recent interview seems to have confirmed as much. Speaking to Collider, the director offered advice to whoever takes the helm for the fourth Spidey outing, discussing what he called "a very practical bit of advice" that "every Spider-Man director goes through". He then commented:

""It doesn't look good when someone is just swinging on a rope. You think you're gonna go in there, you're like, 'we're gonna do it all practical. We're gonna get a stuntman. We're gonna be swinging around.' It's boring. It looks dumb.""

Watts' comments have prompted some commentary from fans who have been comparing the scenes of Spider-Man swinging in his movies to the ones from previous franchises. Both Sam Raimi's Spider-Man series and Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man saga were well-known for their iconic webslinging moments, while the MCU films had considerably less. The logistics of them might explain why.

The bigger talking point, however, is that Watts' comments appear to confirm that he won't be back to direct Spider-Man 4. He more directly alluded to this himself when he said that his advice was specifically for "the next Spider-Man director".

This comes after years of speculation about Watts' future with the franchise. Reports earlier this year reignited that conversation, suggesting that he wouldn't be back for the fourth movie. Ever since then, there have been rumors and reports about who could take over the reins of the next film (or even trilogy).

A new era for the Spider-Man franchise

In a way, Jon Watts' reported departure as director from the Spider-Man franchise does make sense. He told a complete story in his Homecoming trilogy, showcasing how Peter evolved from a Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man hoping to prove himself as an Avenger to a universe-saving hero who was considered one of the most beloved Avengers. The young hero struggled with loss, grief, and trauma, growing from all of them and channelling it into his life as Spider-Man. He was no longer a boy, but a man.

The Homecoming part of Peter's life is over. He's now living alone in New York City, having erased his own existence from the memory of those he loves. He has a new neighborhood now in need of saving, and one that will undoubtedly present him with new opportunities for growth and evolution. While the MCU's Spider-Man sidestepped some of the more familiar on-screen Spidey stories to slot him into the wider universe, this next trilogy is expected to tell a more straightforward, recognizable Spider-Man story. And that is a very exciting prospect.

The question is: Who will be stepping behind the camera to bring this new chapter in Peter Parker's life to the big screen. Since the rumors of Watts' departure started swirling, a number of names have come up via the various rumors and reports, including the director of the original Tobey Maguire-led Spider-Man movies, Sam Raimi. Other names that have come up in reported discussions are Justin Lin, James Wan, and Drew Goddard. However, it sounds like the favorites could be Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, who actually co-wrote the script of Spider-Man: Homecoming, so they would have a good relationship with Marvel Studios and Sony already (and it would be safe to say they understand the character well).

With Watts now seemingly confirming that he won't be back to direct Spider-Man 4, it's undoubtedly the end of an era for the MCU's webslinger, but it also allows us the opportunity to reflect on the incredible work Watts did in his iconic Homecoming trilogy.

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