SO YOU’RE MAK­ING the sixth Spi­der-man movie in 14 years. Not only that, you’re restart­ing with the third ac­tor to slip their lim­ber limbs into the red-and-blue skintights. How do you freshen up the most cin­e­mat­i­cally fa­mil­iar Mar­vel char­ac­ter and serve the au­di­ence some­thing new? The an­swer, it seems, is to do a Rod­ney Danger­field and… go back to school!

Though our hero again faces a sci­en­tif­i­cally en­hanced threat, in the form of Michael Keaton’s winged me­nace The Vul­ture, Home­com­ing is as much high-school movie as su­per­hero ad­ven­ture, hark­ing back to the ear­li­est Spi­der-man comics in which Peter Parker’s school life was cen­tral to sto­ry­lines with a dis­tinct teen-soap flavour.

It’s a point of dif­fer­ence em­pha­sised by the fact Spi­der-man is now, fi­nally, shar­ing a uni­verse with other Mar­vel he­roes. “All the other [Spi­der­man] movies ex­isted with him in this su­per­hero vac­uum,” says di­rec­tor Jon Watts. “So it opens up a com­pletely new world of pos­si­bil­i­ties when you place him in a world where the Avengers ex­ist, and where you’re able to have him be what he was orig­i­nally in the comics — the kid.”

That is cer­tainly what ap­pealed to 20-yearold Tom Hol­land, the youngest ac­tor to take on the role. “This movie is like ev­ery kid’s dream,” he beams. “To see a kid do what you would do if you were given these crazy pow­ers...”

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