Of the three actors to have played Spider-Man in live-action, each of them has brought their own distinct set of traits, characteristics and foibles to the role, and the debate over who made the best Peter Parker isn’t one that can be resolved in unanimous agreement.
Tobey Maguire played it straight from the heart across the Sam Raimi trilogy, Andrew Garfield was arguably the most comic-accurate in terms of his demeanor under the costume, while Tom Holland’s tenure has largely been defined by having Peter’s youthful enthusiasm continually trip him up to cause serious mistakes with major repercussions.
Unlike his predecessors, though, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spidey had a billionaire benefactor and father figure who set him on the path to superheroism, something that wasn’t lost on writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers as they spoke to The Hollywood Reporter.
“They are different. They are not the same person. They are born of the same experience and the same spider-bite. They are like brothers. No one knows the heaven and hell of what it is to be in an experience quite like your sibling. No one knows what this family is like. At least they got a sense of, ‘You’re not alone. There’s a community. You guys have each suffered in your own way.’ And then to get to help heal each other, it was wonderful to be a part of getting there. Hopefully you start seeing this is a different Peter Parker.
They are all different. They have had different origins. They have had different contexts and this Peter is the only one of these three who has had a Tony Stark in his life. So he chases the fame. He chases this father figure and approval from this billionaire, philanthropist playboy. Then he realizes, ‘I don’t want to be an Avenger. I’m chasing the wrong thing.’ And the next movie was, ‘I can’t be Iron Man. I can only be Spider-Man.’”
Some longtime comic book fans have criticized the way the MCU’s Peter Parker has had everything handed to him on a plate by either Tony Stark, Nick Fury or Doctor Strange, but it’s not as though the friendly neighborhood superhero hasn’t faced some significant obstacles on his way to finally mastering the art of saving the day, the city, the world or even the entire universe, depending on what’s required of him.