Up until the Marvel Cinematic Universe came along, Harry Potter held the title of being cinema’s highest-grossing franchise ever, with the eight-film saga following the Boy Who Lived turning a literary phenomenon into a cultural one.
Of course, Kevin Feige’s monolithic series of interconnected comic book adaptations have since built up an unassailable lead at the head of the pack, with Spider-Man: No Way Home taking the MCU’s cumulative earnings within touching distance of the $25 billion mark.
Even though Daniel Radcliffe’s wizard and Tom Holland’s web-slinger couldn’t be more different from each other on almost every conceivable level, the company’s chief creative officer revealed in an interview with FilmIsNow that he deliberately sought to emulate Harry Potter when he was planning the MCU’s rebooted Spider-Man.
“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. 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.”
Holland became the first live-action Spider-Man to debut when they were still actually a teenager in Captain America: Civil War, with the 25 year-old’s next solo outing set to follow Peter Parker into college.
Based on the rapturous reception to No Way Home and the massive commercial gains it’s made, fans will be dying to find out what comes next as soon as possible, but it’s going to be a huge ask for Marvel Studios and Sony to top what they’ve just delivered.