Tom Holland's Spider-Man 4 is seemingly going to be a more 'grounded' story for the MCU's web-slinger, but what sort of plot points could be present to live up to this super-powered superlative?
A fourth MCU Spidey flick has yet to be officially announced, but with a new deal for Tom Holland seemingly "comin' right up," another adventure for the webhead looks to be on the horizon.
Marvel Studios' Spider-Man 4 has been teased to have more of a focus on "quality and emotion," rather than spectacle. This means that the Symbiote storyline will take a seat on the bench for a while and the Multiverse might not come into play in any capacity.
So with the focus for the fourth MCU Spider-Man film reportedly being more a "grounded-level one similar to Homecoming," here are some plot points that audiences can likely expect the blockbuster to tackle.
1.) Peter's Lost Identity
The biggest plot point fans can expect Spider-Man 4 to tackle has to be Peter's lost identity seen at the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, in which Peter erased himself from the minds of everyone including his loved ones.
With this erasure came a myriad of questions, something that Marvel Studios will have to address. One way in which they could tackle a bunch of these in one swift wave of the hand would be in a similar fashion to the beginning of Spider-Man: Homecoming, showing new home videos with Peter dealing with the smaller ramifications of this universal mind wipe (i.e. figuring out social security).
2.) Spidey Takes College
As Tom Holland said in the lead-up to No Way Home, Peter Parker is "finally heading off to college." Getting into college was such a major part of Spider-Man: No Way Home, so going to college will surely be intrinsic to the proceedings of Spider-Man 4. Assuming Holland's Peter will follow in his comic book footsteps, he will find himself at Empire State University (ESU).
What will be fascinating to see is just who Parker will meet during his time at ESU. Could one Gwen Stacy make an appearance? Or perhaps Miles Morales? Surely there will be some familiar faces popping up, potentially with wide-reaching ramifications for the future of Spidey in the MCU.
3.) Help Wanted: Daily Bugle Photographer
Part of Spidey's new 'grounded' story will be him slumming it a bit, having to pick up a job to pay for his newly acquired ratty New York apartment. So, the obvious vocation for this Peter Parker to pick up would be his signature Daily Bugle photographer position.
The Bugle has already played a big part in Holland's Spider-Man trilogy with J. Jonah Jameson using it to reveal Peter's identity, so for the young hero to take up a post at the online outlet would make a lot of sense. There is no way for this newly-dubbed "street-level" hero to keep his ears to the streets than covering them for the Daily Bugle.
4.) Remembering Aunt May
As is the case with most Spider-Man stories, the death of Uncle Ben is something that resonates with the hero for years. So, it seems likely that much of Spider-Man 4 will see Peter further grapple with the death of Aunt May. Surely fans will hear "with great power comes great responsibility" resonate in the head of Holland's young Avenger at some point in this sequel.
But will her death play a bigger part in Spider-Man 4? Perhaps the next Spidey flick could see its titular hero seeing a therapist or seeking help of some sort in an attempt to tackle the internal strife caused by May's death.
5.) A Spider-Man/Daredevil Team-Up
Now that Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock is back a Spider-Man team-up with Daredevil feels like it's a given. There has been plenty of talk regarding Spidey showing up in 2024's Daredevil: Born Again, but will Cox's Man Without Fear reciprocate the favor?
At this point, Holland's young hero knows how Matt Murdock is, but all he knows is that he is a "really good lawyer." But after the mostly dialogue-focused cameo from Cox's Murdock in No Way Home, Spider-Man 4 feels like the perfect place for an action scene (or scenes) for the pair of heroes.
6.) Peter Reunites with MJ and Ned
Despite questions surrounding the return of Zendaya's MJ and Jacob Batalon's Ned, the pair seemingly have to appear in Spider-Man 4 at some point. There is so much meat on the bone left to chew after the final moments of No Way Home saw Peter chicken out in telling his former friends who he was.
Spider-Man 4 (or its sequels) will need to address this at some point. The trio of Peter, MJ, and Ned are iconic within the MCU, so seeing them back on screen together would be something special. But the big question remains, will Peter reveal his identity to them this time around?
7.) A More Personal Villain
After the Multiversal shenanigans in No Way Home, Spider-Man 4 will get back to the ground level, something that will have to be immediately apparent in its villains. This throws out the likes of Madame Web and Venom, with names like Kingpin, Hobgoblin, or Black Cat possibly taking the spotlight.
Of course, there are the hanging threads of Aaron Davis/Prowler (played by Donald Glover in Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Mac Gargan/Scorpion (who was last seen in Homecoming's post-credit stinger), so those feel like the most likely candidates. With Prowler usually being a Miles Morales Villain, that leaves Mac Gargan as the most bankable to appear.
Spinning a Web in Spider-Man 4
As the points above show, just because Spider-Man is coming back down to earth for Spider-Man 4 does not mean there will be any lack of narrative threads to tug upon. Some of Spidey's best stories have been his 'grounded' ones.
Fans have been itching to see this version of Marvel's Webhead be a hero of the people, swinging the streets of New York City, and Spider-Man 4 is sure to deliver on that front.
The sequel will be as much about ushering in a new era for the hero, as it will answering questions about what has come before. Sure, it won't deal with that sneaky little Symbiote popping up in the MCU or any of the vast Marvel Multiverse, but Spider-Man 4 has all the makings of being something special.
Spider-Man 4 is rumored to release in theaters on July 12, 2024, although the movie is still waiting to be officially announced.