Marvel Boss Explains How Harry Potter Movies Influenced the New Spider-Man

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Spider-Man Harry Potter MCU

Marvel Studios recently completed its third solo trilogy in MCU history with the theatrical debut of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Tom Holland's sixth MCU movie and the last movie in his first solo Spider-Man story continues making waves across the movie landscape, becoming one of Marvel's best-reviewed movies ever as well as one of its most successful financially.

Part of what sets Peter Parker apart from many of his Avengers teammates is the fact that he's still only a kid in the grand scheme of the story the MCU is providing. Tom Holland himself is only 25 years old with half a dozen Marvel movies on his resume while his MCU hero legally isn't old enough to drink, even having saved the universe and Multiverse on multiple occasions.

From his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War to his most recent solo movie Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans have seen Holland and his hero grow from an inexperienced boy to something of a powerful young man.

Recently, Marvel Studios' top executive shared how his journey resembled that of another famous youngster in Hollywood history.

Feige Compares Spider-Man to Harry Potter

Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker

Speaking with the FilmIsNow Movie Bloopers & Extras YouTube channel, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige shared the reasoning behind making Tom Holland's Spider-Man so young in the MCU.

Feige explained that this was done so that the story could explore as much of his "high school years" as possible, even comparing it to the eight-movie Harry Potter franchise. This had been the plan regarding the MCU's Spider-Man since the very beginning, with Marvel Studios and Sony looking to emulate the Harry Potter movies with Peter Parker's new solo franchise.

Feige specifically touched on the idea of "each book (being) a year in school," which is similar to how Peter Parker's story has come through thus far in the MCU.

"One of the reasons we wanted him to be as young as possible is so that we could explore the high school years, and very much like the Harry Potter franchise did, each book is a year in school."

As Peter goes through each year of school, it all leads to the young man trying to "(figure) out what he wants to do with his life" alongside his girlfriend and best friend when No Way Home comes around:

"So initial ideas were, yes, we have sophomore year and junior year and senior year, and we’ve stuck to that, of sorts. He’s had amazing adventures in between those years, Far From Home ended up being sort of over summer of that, and No Way Home very much is his senior year, and just as his senior year is starting, when he’s figuring out what he wants to do with his life and where he and MJ and Ned want to go off to college together, of course, coincides exactly when Mysterio outs his identity, and the worst possible thing happens to Peter Parker, that his identity is revealed, he’s being framed for all the terrible things that happened in Far From Home, and all he really wants to do is start his senior year and have a normal kid experience and that push-and-pull between being a hero and being a regular kid."

Harry Potter's Influence on the MCU

Warner Bros' Harry Potter franchise has seen plenty of success since it first came to fruition 20 years ago, now boasting the third-highest box office gross of all-time behind only Star Wars and the MCU. 

With the exception of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows being separated into two movies, all of the Harry Potter films focused on a single year of the young wizard's time in school as he learned his magical skills. The case has been exactly the same for Peter Parker with Spider-Man: Homecoming covering 10th grade, Far From Home coming right after 11th, and No Way Home kicking off 12th.

Now, with the MCU's Spider-Man leaving high school behind and going for his GED as he takes on a new life as Spider-Man, Marvel will have a new challenge ahead of it to tell the youngster's future stories post-Phase 4. Particularly with Tom Holland moving past his mid-20s, Marvel Studios and Sony have plenty of options with where to take his adventures in the upcoming Spider-Man 4 and beyond.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters worldwide.

- In This Article: Spider-Man: No Way Home
Release Date
December 17, 2021
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.