Why Spider-Man 4 should be a grounded story

The MCU's fourth Spider-Man movie could be a grounded story or another multiverse story. Marvel reportedly wants the former, and that might be for the best.

Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME
Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME /

Tom Holland's Spider-Man has been an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since his debut in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, appearing in a number of films including his own trilogy. After the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, both Marvel and Sony would both be quite eager to get to work on a fourth instalment.

However, according to insider Daniel Ritchman, the two studios are seemingly at odds over the plot for the fourth film (which has still not been officially announced). According to Ritchman, Sony want to bring back both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield for another team-up with Tom Holland's Spider-Man, while Marvel Studios does not.

Ritchman also mentions that the Kingpin (played by Vincent D'Onofrio) is set to appear in the fourth Spider-Man movie, even though the actor has not been spoken to about it. Having Kingpin play a part also supports Ritchman's claims that Kevin Feige and Marvel want the film "to be more grounded, while Sony wants it to be huge."

This is not the first time the two studios have had complications over the character, with Tom Holland's Spider-Man nearly removed from the MCU after disagreements back in 2019. That did not come to light, with a new deal being reached and the partnership producing some great Spider-Man content since then.

Fans will debate what the scale of the next film should be, with fair arguments for both sides. The best Spider-Man films of recent memory have benefitted from a large scale plot line, with multiverse featuring films such as No Way Home, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse all being massive hits.

However, many die-hard fans would love to see a more street level Spider-Man, especially with the rise of some street level content on Disney Plus including both Echo and the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again series, which set up a major Wilson Fisk storyline. The ending of No Way Home also set up a more grounded Spider-Man tale, with the character potentially heading back to his "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" roots.

Marvel would be wise to tone it back, with the past two Spider-Man films being very high stake. A more grounded storyline would allow Marvel Studios to develop their New York City and the street level aspect of the universe.

It could also lead to some interesting team-ups, with the appearance of Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock in No Way Home suggesting that Daredevil could appear as a future ally to Spidey. Seeing appearances from street level heroes such as The Punisher, Luke Cage or Iron Fist would certainly help the MCU bring their streaming and cinematic heroes together.

It would also allow more time to focus on Peter's character and his development as his own hero and finding his place, rather than have him be overshadowed by the other two big cinematic Spider-Men. While having both Garfield and Maguire back would be a treat, there can be too much of a good thing and their appearances should be saved for either one of the massive Avengers movies or Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.

A grounded story, taking a break from the massive scale multiverse storylines and focusing on a different corner of the MCU, would be beneficial for the Spider-Man franchise. Getting back to basics and having a very character focused story will allow Marvel to further develop Peter as a 'Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man' and develop his side of the MCU. Whether that is having him take on Wilson Fisk or focus on some members of his rogues gallery.

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