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We never saw Spider-Man get bit in the MCU – here’s why

Published Nov 2nd, 2022 8:32PM EDT
Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home ending scene
Image: Sony

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We all know the origin of Spider-Man’s powers. Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, and he turned into, well, Spider-Man. But unlike Sony’s movies, Marvel’s Spider-Man franchise never showed how Tom Holland’s Peter got that spider bite.

It’s not like it was something we needed to see, considering that we are more than familiar with the story from the previous reboots. It happened to Tobey Maguire’s Spidey in 2002, and a decade later, we saw the same story in Andrew Garfield’s first movie. We didn’t need to get on it again for Tom Holland’s Homecoming in 2017. And Jon Watts went on record to explain Marvel’s spider-bite choice. Spoilers can’t possibly follow unless you haven’t seen any Spider-Man movie.

Watts helmed all three MCU Spider-Man movies, with No Way Home being the latest and greatest of the bunch Maguire and Garfield helped cement its legacy.

That’s to say that Watts has intimate knowledge of the MCU’s Spider-Man saga, the development of the story, and what went into bringing this Peter Parker reboot to the big screen so soon after Garfield’s films.

As a reminder, we met Tom Holland after he became Spider-Man, long after the original spider bite. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) recruited him during Captain America: Civil War. And the MCU’s first Spider-Man movies followed after that.

Not only did Peter Parker have his powers by then, but this Spider-Man variant got Tony Stark-made suits. These gave Holland’s Spidey powers well beyond what the Maguire and Garfield versions could do. But the spider bite is still important.

How the MCU Spider-Man got the spider bite

According to The Direct, the question came up during an interview. Sean O’Connell talked to Christopher Markus while writing his Spider-Man book, With Great Power. Markus wrote Civil War, so he’s clearly in the know about the MCU’s Spider-Man.

Markus told O’Connell that he “think[s] [Peter] was bitten by a radioactive spider on a field trip.” But they never really 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.

Separately, Watts said in an interview that he had “a couple sort of vague ideas” about the MCU’s spider bite for Spider-Man. But he appreciated not having to deal with that moment in this Spidey’s story:

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.

Will we ever see the spider bite in the MCU?

Disney and Sony are reportedly close to inking a new deal for the popular superhero, which means we’ll soon get a Spider-Man 4 announcement. However, that’s unlikely to be the place where we’ll see Tom Holland’s MCU go through that spider bite experience.

However, there is one place where Marvel might tackle it. The studio has already announced the Spider-Man: Freshman Year animation. The story will explore Peter Parker’s early days as Spider-Man. The problem is that it’s not Tom Holland playing this Spider-Man variant. And the story might be a multiverse adventure.

Nevertheless, some universes might deliver developments that are close to what’s happening in the MCU. The Freshman Year spider bite might resemble Tom Holland’s Spider-Man experience, assuming Marvel features that pivotal moment in the animated series.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.