The new year is here! With a slew of upcoming cinematic magic around the corner, there is a great deal to be excited about. While there are a good number of Marvel films to anticipate, none truly stand on a more tense ground of expectations than SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING.

Ohhhh, how this is exciting. After leaving two previous silver screen iterations of this character with bad tastes in our mouths, we have truly been awaiting the day when the Webslinger makes a triumphant return to his true home among the Marvel echelon of crusaders. To sum up our excitement and unending hype, let’s dig into the biggest and sweetest things to look forward to in this upcoming SPIDER-MAN adaptation!

5. TOM HOLLAND AS PETER PARKER/SPIDERMAN

Just yes. This is a very pleasing sight.

CIVIL WAR was an explosive mesh of comic book fun and crossovers that fans were waiting for a long time. Part of the excitement came from the late announcement of Sony and Marvel joining forces to bring forth a new edition of Spidey in the already jam-packed cinematic universe. Questions were raised and theories were conspired up as fans tried to come up with the perfect candidate to portray the famed hero. When relative newcomer Tom Holland entered the fray, many were unfamiliar with his prior body of work.

Known only in the West End scene with his depiction of Billy Elliot in the eponymous musical, Holland was a true underdog in a cast of mega-ultra-awesome-dudebro-f**k yeah superstars. None could have predicted, however, that he would completely blow everyone away. Combining the best elements of Tobey Maguire’s honorable innocence and, dare I say it, Andrew Garfield’s devil-may-care charm and sarcasm, Holland proved that the new Spider-Man was here to stay. And we hope, with the predicted success of this new film, he won’t be going anywhere.

READ: OUTLAWED FAITH Interview with Ron Newcomb

4. MICHAEL KEATON TAKES TO THE SKIES AGAIN

BATMAN fans out there will know the significance behind this pointer. Not only is Michael Keaton known for his turn as the original silver screen Caped Crusader, but his magnificence in the ironic BIRDMAN proves that the man knows how to don a winged suit (no matter the art house film symbolism, shush). Known for being an impassioned performer willing to truly take his craft to the next level with every role he takes, Michael Keaton is the undisputed choice for Adrian Tomines’ Vulture. His dark, yet energetic edge is perfect for the deranged villain. Hopefully, the empathetic humor and wit that usually accompanies Keaton in his roles will also give a three-dimensional likeability to the villain.

While Vulture is considered a classic Spidey villain, he has fallen below the tier of recurring audience favorites due to his hokey nature. Keaton being on board, however, connotes that Marvel is truly recruiting a man of talent to bring an otherwise bland antagonist into a more quirk-filled framework. That will certainly separate his interpretation from the bland cardboard villains of the recent Marvel films. While he has claimed he did not take on the role for initial artistic merit (who does really), Keaton has recently expressed excitement at the production process and his take on the character. The hype building is real, my friends. Mike, I just wanna tell you: good luck, we’re all counting on you.

Marvel’s answer to the ever popular DC villain Firefly? Wait, is that sarcasm? Or are you talking about the FIREFLY reboot? False hopes are bad.

3. JONATHAN M. GOLDSTEIN AND JOHN FRANCIS DALEY HEAD THE SCRIPT

While this screenwriting pair is known for their run-of-the-mill comedies (HORRIBLE BOSSES, VACATION, THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE), you cannot deny that their dialogue is full of some world-class wit. If their previous films are any proof, the fact stands that good casting paired with smartly timed and crafted dialogue is a recipe for success. What makes this combination such a great perk for a SPIDER-MAN film is the potential for some comedic light-heartedness that is true to the character.

True, you could argue that Sam Raimi’s and, dare I even venture, Marc Webb’s franchises had a great deal of levity in their films. However, there’s something reassuring knowing a duo of comedy writers are taking their turn to helm a superhero flick. Look at the hype that built once people were told that Edgar Wright was potentially directing the ANT-MAN adaptation. Audiences understand that a superhero film combining intense emotion and action with a sense of not taking itself too seriously is a top shelf item worth the buy. Deservedly so.

READ: The People VS Captain America: Or How Not To Use Satire

2. MICHAEL GIACCHINO: COMPOSER EXTRAORDINAIRE

Arguably the most sought-out modern film composer of his era, Giacchino has proven time and again that he can produce a compelling score in a short period of time. From STAR TREK straight unto UP, all of Giacchino’s scores yield a sense of retrospective epic and voyeuristic adventure, constantly shifting emotions. All of it, however, is beautifully grandiose, no matter the quality of the film.

His recent hand in the Star Wars franchise with ROGUE ONE proved both emotionally empowering and toweringly bombastic. One would not be remiss to describe this mensch as the already existent reincarnation of the still-alive John Williams (knock on all the wood that exists in the entire world ever). To learn that Giacchino will be turning his talents towards SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is an exciting prospect.

“Plastics,” he wrote, expecting people to understand that THE GRADUATE reference right off the bat.

1.  TONY STARK, WORLD’S GREATEST FAKE-DAD

Another wonderful thing CIVIL WAR subtly hinted at in between its countless punches was the relationship brewing between young Peter Parker and war-torn Tony Stark. While not exactly “dad material,” Stark seems to be the perfect Mr. Miyagi for Parker’s Daniel-son. Already, Stark is showing Parker the ropes of being a proper superhero and keeping a jerkish-swag amidst constant terror.

Thus, it seems with Downey’s role in this upcoming film we have a great deal to look forward to watching these two characters develop and grow towards each other. While the absence of Uncle Ben has yet to be mentioned or factored into the story, it’s clear that Tony has some role to play in filling those fatherly shoes. It might end up being the only Marvel inter-universe crossover that won’t end up obnoxiously disrupting the flow of the film, considering its earlier significance within the franchise. One can only fear this might lead to some emotional moments that may take place during INFINITY WAR. However, that is a list for another time. *wink emoji*

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