‘Spider-Man 3’ Theory: Peter Parker Will Go on an ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Journey

Marvel is moving full steam ahead with its fourth phase of films and streaming series in the MCU. As part of that effort, they’re making a third Spider-Man movie. If the rumors about this film’s cast are to be believed, it will unite multiple generations of cinematic Spider-Man characters under one banner.

While fans can only speculate what that means right now, some fans think Peter Parker’s journey in this film will mirror another classic figure of cinema: that of George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life. 

Spider-Man’s portrayal in the MCU

Each cinematic version of Spider-Man has incorporated elements of the original Peter Parker character (even Into the Spider-Verse’s Miles Morales) though all have been unique in their own way. In the MCU, Spider-Man is once again a brilliant high school student.

His version of MJ is no longer Mary Jane Watson, but rather a classmate named Michelle Jones. He’s yet to encounter some of his most famous villains from the comics: the only ones he’s come up against thus far are the Vulture and Mysterio. 

The MCU has taken a different approach to Spider-Man never before seen on the big screen. While other cinematic Peter Parkers inhabited their own universes, this one is just one player in a world full of superheroes. His role as Iron Man’s protege is a big part of his character.

Each villain from the first two films has had a bigger issue with Tony Stark than they did with Spider-Man. Now that Stark is dead, it’s time for the MCU to establish Spider-Man as his own hero with his own rogues’ gallery. 

So what does that mean for the character going forward? It means he has plenty of room to grow and establish himself as his own hero. 

The rumored plans for ‘Spider-Man 3’

Marvel is reportedly bringing back a lot of Spider-Man movie veterans for its next iteration of the webslinger in the MCU. According to Newsweek, here are the actors who are rumored to return: 

  • The principles behind the current version (Tom Holland and Zendaya)
  • Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield reprising their roles as Peter
  • Jamie Foxx as Electro
  • Alfred Molina as Dr. Octopus
  • Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson
  • Emma Watson as Gwen Stacy

Avengers: Endgame, WandaVision, and Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness all point toward the MCU integrating the concept of a “multiverse” into its larger timeline. This film looks like it will play into that idea, incorporating characters across different iterations of the same property.

One ‘Spider-Man 3’ theory that compares the next film to ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Tom Holland
Tom Holland | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

‘Spider-Man 3’: Fans Want to See Peter Parker Finally Step Out of Tony Stark’s Shadow

A Reddit thread popped up recently discussing the next MCU Spider-Man film and the rumored appearances of characters and actors who have previously appeared in other Spider-Man films. 

“I don’t think mcu spider man will fight them. I think mcu Peter is wanting to quit but dr strange convinces him not to. He takes him on a journey across the multiverse to show him other spider man. Worlds where they quit,died or didn’t exist.” 

Another poster summarized what this meant: 

“So It’s A Wonderful Life but with Spider-Man?”

If the rumors are true, this is one possible approach Marvel could be taking to this version of Spider-Man. It would be an interesting way to combine all these existing actors into one film in a way that makes sense. 

It’s clear that Marvel has something big for its next Spider-Man film, and that it’s going to honor the other Spider-Man adaptations that came before it. If Marvel decides to go the It’s a Wonderful Life route, it could be a great way to guide the viewer through some older Spider-Man stories while relating it to the latest version.