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Disney+ Spider-Man: Freshman Year (1 Viewer)

Adam Lenhardt

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Spider-Man: Freshman Year
When we met the MCU's version of Spider-Man in Civil War, he had already been at it a while. The Homecoming trilogy of movies covers his sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school. This new animated series fills in the gaps, covering the origin story of the MCU's Spider-Man from getting bit through the end of his freshman year of high school.

From Marvel: "The animated series follows Peter Parker on his way to becoming Spider-Man in the MCU, with a journey unlike we've ever seen and a style that celebrates the character’s early comic book roots. Written by Executive Producer Jeff Trammel."

No voice casting has been announced as of yet. Still an open question whether Tom Holland or Hudson Thames will voice Peter/Spidey. The art style will apparently be very reminiscent of Steve Ditko's early work on the comics.
 

Jake Lipson

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If this is the MCU version of Spider-Man, I'm surprised Disney can do this without Sony. I'm not sure how the contractual stuff between the two of them works.

I would almost certainly be more interested if it is Tom Holland doing the voice, but he wasn't in What If so I wouldn't be surprised if it's not.
 

Josh Steinberg

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If this is the MCU version of Spider-Man, I'm surprised Disney can do this without Sony. I'm not sure how the contractual stuff between the two of them works.

They renegotiated the deal after the release of Far From Home during that whole “leaving the MCU” brouhaha. I don’t think the exact terms were disclosed but the gist of it was that Sony would potentially be allowed to include the Holland Spider-Man in what they were calling their “MCU adjacent” series of films (Venom, etc) and that Marvel would get to use Spider-Man in additional MCU properties.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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The TV rights for Spider-Man are very messy. The contractual status as of 2014 leaked back when everything else was leaking out of Sony. Sony had the rights to:
  • Develop and produce live action or animated theatrical motion pictures
  • Live-action television series
  • Animated television series with episodes longer than 44 minutes
Marvel had the rights to make animated television series with episodes shorter than 44 minutes, which this will presumably be.

Whether that is still the status quo or not, I'm not sure. Given how intertangled Marvel and Sony are with the current state of affairs for the character, I can't imagine either side is making moves that the other side isn't okay with.
 

Jake Lipson

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Well, this makes no sense at all.

This was announced as being an origin story for Peter in the MCU prior to Homecoming. But Doctor Octopus can't have been an early villain for Peter in the MCU. In No Way Home, Peter doesn't recognize Doc Ock at all. He has to ask what his name is. I understand that Alfred Molina's version from Spider-Man 2 won't be the same version as in this series, but clearly Peter would have a memory of the MCU version of Ock if they had fought before.

Also, how can Norman Osborn and Harry Osborn appear in the series? No Way Home makes perfectly clear that those characters don't exist in the main MCU timeline.

There was also no indication that Spider-Man and Daredevil had met before in No Way Home when Matt Murdock is Peter's lawyer.

And, Peter's sophomore year is Homecoming.

Here is more detail from Variety.

Variety said:
“Spider-Man: Freshman Year” will follow the early days of Peter Parker learning to become the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man we see first in “Captain America: Civil War” and Jon Watts’ “Spider-Man” trilogy. Stills from the series, which was described as “bringing the heart and charm of Peter Parker,” were shown, including a new Peter, who is young and looks comic book-inspired with bright colors and a homemade suit with backpack, goggles, sneakers and a jacket. Also shown were Nico Minoru, a comic character in the Runaways team; a new crush; Amadeus Cho, who becomes Hulk; a Wakandan student and Harry Osborn. It will feature all new characters and villains, with no MJ, Gwen or Ned from the movies. Also joining are Unicorn, Chameleon, Scorpion, Speed Demon, Tarantula, Rhino, Butane, Doc Ock and Doctor Strange — all different from the films. Charlie Cox will return to voice Daredevil, while Norman Osborn will be a mentor for Peter and Paul F. Tomkins will voice new character Bentley Witman. Also shown were new suits, including the classic red and blue, the white and blue Oscorp suit, and a black desk suit.


If Marvel wants to do an animated series about the origin story of Spider-Man, it should either exist outside of MCU continuity or make sure that it connects properly to what has been established in the films. Either option is acceptable, but they can't have it both ways.
 
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Sean Bryan

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Also, how can Norman Osborn and Harry Osborn appear in the series? No Way Home makes perfectly clear that those characters don't exist in the main MCU timeline.
Actually, that’s not correct.

When they meet at FEAST, all May says is “Norman, this is my nephew.” Peter then says “Norman Osborne? I thought you were…”

So Peter clearly knows the name Norman Osborne. He also seems to recognize him since all May called him was Norman. And there is some reason in the history of the MCU for why Peter would be surprised/confused about why Norman Osborne is here.

So, “I thought you were…”. What? What did Peter think Norman Osborne was?Dead? In prison? Mayor of Chicago (or whatever random city)?

Norman said that Oscorp doesn’t exist. And then he said “My son…” and again that is left open. The way he said it implies something very sad for Norman. Could mean that the Harry Osborne of the MCU is dead. Or he could be in prison for terrible crimes. Or he may not exist like Oscorp didn’t exist. But Norman Osborne definitely did exist in the MCU and the movie deliberately left his situation very vague.

That being said, I agree that this show doesn’t seem to fit with being an origin for the MCU Spider-Man. The Presence of Octavious being the most significant factor.
 

Jake Lipson

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So Peter clearly knows the name Norman Osborne.
Peter knows the name Norman Osborn before they meet because Doc Ock told it to him first in Strange's basement. He thought that Norman was a villain because he had already seen him wreaking havoc in the Green Goblin gear on the bridge.
 

Sean Bryan

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Peter knows the name Norman Osborn before they meet because Doc Ock told it to him first in Strange's basement. He thought that Norman was a villain because he had already seen him wreaking havoc in the Green Goblin gear on the bridge.
Right you are. I forgot that he mentioned the name to Peter.

However that doesn’t mean Osborne doesn’t exist (or never existed) in the MCU. It just means that if he does exist he isn’t someone Peter is aware of. They could always do something with the character in the future if they wanted. But obviously he shouldn’t be a factor in an MCU Spider-Man origin story.
 

Jake Lipson

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But obviously he shouldn’t be a factor in an MCU Spider-Man origin story.
Right. You said it better than I did. No Way Home does not preclude an MCU Osborn from being introduced in the future, but it does preclude Peter from having had any previous experience with him or being a public figure that Peter would recognize. So I'm not really sure how they can say "This is before Civil War" and say "Peter knows Norman and Harry Osborn and Doctor Octopus."
 

Joe Wong

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I'm a little torn about this direction (being MCU canon). I really liked Peter's (Holland) "origin" story being told over the 3 solo films so far in the MCU.

And I'm not a fan of going back in time to tell the prior stories of MCU Peter (in general, I'm not a fan of going back in time to tell stories involving characters we know the current fate of).

Would have preferred it not being canon, rather than it being in the MCU and potentially "retconning" some elements.

One question it raises is what role Park Seo-Joon plays in The Marvels, since he was confirmed as a member of the cast:


There was some early rumour/chatter that he could be playing Amadeus Cho (son of Dr Cho from Age of Ultron), but if Freshman Year is canon, and Amadeus Cho is already in it, then it points to him maybe playing a different character. Of course, there may be some way Marvel can have him play Amadeus... I'm just curious given he's in Freshman Year. :)
 

Jake Lipson

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I'm a little torn about this direction (being MCU canon). I really liked Peter's (Holland) "origin" story being told over the 3 solo films so far in the MCU.
I agree with your assessment, and the show stretching the rules of canon makes me flatly uninterested in watching it. The drawings don't even really look like Tom Holland. It would be so easy for Marvel to produce this show exactly as it is for Disney+ and just say that it has nothing to do with the MCU. I don't understand why they want to claim connectivity without actually respecting the films' canon.

But at the end of the day, I tend to feel like nothing in this show is actually going to matter. If a fourth MCU Spider-Man movie occurs, it will obviously be set after No Way Home where no one remembers Peter anyway. I highly doubt that anything from this show will ever come back around the next time we see Tom Holland.
 

Jake Lipson

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Any prequel to Homecoming would also by necessity have to include Ned, MJ, Betty and Liz among Peter's classmates. The fact that they're not doing that also seems to indicate this is removed from the MCU 616 continuity.

Marvel Animation is also doing X-Men '97 which, as far as I understand it, functions as a continuation of the previous X-Men animated series from the '90s. That is obviously not going to be connected to the MCU timeline, where they will be introducing their own mutants. So it isn't unprecedented for them to say, "This particular Disney+ animated show is not connected to the MCU." They should just do that here. It would be a much easier sell.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Any prequel to Homecoming would also by necessity have to include Ned, MJ, Betty and Liz among Peter's classmates. The fact that they're not doing that also seems to indicate this is removed from the MCU 616 continuity.
I don't get the sense that Peter or Ned knew Zendaya's MJ before Homecoming. But definitely Ned, Betty, and Liz should be in the mix.

There's probably an interesting story to be told covering the period from when the MCU Peter gets bit by the spider through when his Spider-Man comes onto Tony Stark's radar.

But a Steve Ditko-style adventure show isn't it.
 

Jake Lipson

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I don't get the sense that Peter or Ned knew Zendaya's MJ before Homecoming.
I think he knew her. They were in the same school in the same classes and on the same debate team. I think you're right that they weren't particularly close. But she would be around.
 
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Sam Favate

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I’d be fine with this not being in the same continuity as the films.

Stupid question, but is Tom Holland doing the voice?
 

Sean Bryan

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IF this tweet is true, then it confirms that this is NOT prime MCU. Would seem to be a multiverse/What If? universe.

 

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