Why Marvel Avoided Tom Holland's Spider-Bite Scene, According to Jon Watts

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Tom Holland, spider, Marvel Studios

Despite Tom Holland having been part of the MCU for over six years now, fans still don't know if the hero was actually bit by a spider...until now. 

When his Spider-Man first entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the hero came in with no backstory. When he arrived at the airport in Captain America: Civil War, fans had no idea what exactly this iteration of the hero had been through.

Due to this, audiences don't know if he had his classic encounter with a radioactive spider like the hero does in his classic origins. Somehow, it’s not only never mentioned, but it hasn’t even been alluded to in any of his MCU appearances, including Jon Watts' recent No Way Home.

Does Marvel Studios want audiences to assume that those exact events still occurred for Holland’s Spidey, or might the specifics of how he got his powers be something to be expounded on in future adventures?

More importantly, does Marvel Studios even know the answer for itself?

Was Tom Holland’s Peter Parker Bit by a Spider?

Spider-Man, Tom Holland

In an interview with Sean O’Connell for his new Spider-Man-centric book, With Great Power, Captain America: Civil War, writer Christopher Markus was asked if he knew exactly how Tom Holland’s Peter Parker got his powers.

More specifically, did it happen during a class field trip like in the comics or something else entirely? Markus noted he “think[s] [Peter] was bitten by a radioactive spider on a field trip,” however, “[they] never talked about [it]:”

“I mean, God knows there would have to be something not unlike that, probably… But no, I wouldn’t say… I mean, I think he was bitten by a radioactive spider on a field trip. We never talked about that either, but I think that’s what happened.”

In a separate interview, Jon Watts, the director of all of Holland's solo Spidey outings, also admitted that he had “a couple sort of vague ideas” but nothing concrete.

For him, “it was just nice" to avoid the spider bite scene as it allowed Peter's origin story "deal with more with the repercussions:"

“It was just so nice to skip past it and just deal with more with the repercussions… and just explore it from the perspective of someone else finding out about it and having a lot of questions.”

The Direct was provided with a review copy of With Great Power for coverage. The book, which covers everything a fan should know about Spider-Man on the big screen, is now available to purchase online.

What's the Real Origin of the MCU's Spider-Man?

It’s safe to assume that Spider-Man was, in fact, bitten by a radioactive spider at some point and time—even if it’s never again touched upon in the MCU. But what are the specific details?

Was it on a class trip like in his origin comics and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, or was it more along the lines of Miles Morales' start in Into the Spider-Verse, where he’s bitten by a stray experimental arachnid?

Marvel Studios may never feel a need to answer these questions. It could also do the complete opposite and fill in those gaps with a connective story to whatever new threat Tom Holland’s hero will face in the upcoming fourth film.

As for when fans might be able to see that project hit theaters, rumors indicate Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures are eyeing a Summer 2024 release—which would easily make that year one of the biggest for comic book movies ever.

- In This Article: Spider-Man: No Way Home
Release Date
December 17, 2021
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.