Perhaps even more so than the titular smackdown itself, one of the most eagerly anticipated moments of Captain America: Civil War is the first appearance of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Played here by Tom Holland, he’s a more youthful incarnation of the wall-crawler than we’ve seen before, and apparently what you see is what you get.
“He is, certainly as he sounds in the trailer, a young guy, and he is very fresh to the superhero scene, which makes it a ton of fun to bring him into this bunch of pretty grizzled people now,” says co-writer Christopher Markus. “They’ve been through two Avengers movies and all their own movies, and they’re pretty jaded, except for maybe Ant-Man, and to bring in this kid, who is still so excited about being a superhero as opposed to laden down with burdens, which is what this whole movie is about: burdens of this power, it’s the perfect time to bring in this counter theme of the genuine childish excitement of superheroism – and Tom is great!”
As Markus explains, Spider-Man’s inclusion wasn’t a straightforward process. “He kind of came and went as the corporate wheels turned, so there was a time when you put Civil War on the table, you think, ‘Okay, we’re going to need a good amount of superheroes. Who have we got, and who can we get?’ Spider-Man was Sony obviously, when we started planning this movie, Amazing Spider-Man 2 hadn’t come out yet, so they were still holding on to him, so we didn’t entertain the idea that we could get him.
“Then when that came out to not the most rapturous reception, things started to loosen up and people began to wonder, ‘Well maybe that’s a thing that could happen’, and plotted out where he might fit, then he went away [laughs], and that actually allowed room to bring Black Panther in a completely different storyline – at no point were they doing the same thing – but with one really exciting hero gone, it was fun to bring in a new person, who else could we bring in, and Panther grew out of that discussion, then he became such an essential part of the machinery of the plot that once Spider-Man did come back in, no one talked about getting rid of Panther, so it all worked out.”
Captain America: Civil War is in UK cinemas on 29 April 2016. Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the film with the new issue of SciFiNow.