As Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7, Marvel and Sony are already looking forward to the future of the new Spidey franchise. The studios have already confirmed that Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, won’t return for the Spider-Man sequel, but Sony has the option to bring in another character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to team-up with the web crawler.
As part of the contract between the film studios that integrates Spider-Man into films like Infinity War, Sony will get a to-be-determined Marvel character in the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel. The scope of the role could range from Falcon’s glorified fight scene cameo in Ant-Man to Iron Man’s paternal authority figure in Homecoming, all pending Marvel’s approval, of course.
The Homecoming sequel will kick off the MCU’s Phase Four two months after the fourth Avengers movie debuts on May 3, 2019.
Here are the (not-so-sinister) six heroes in the MCU that would be great partners with Spidey for the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming:
Sam Wilson / Falcon
Anthony Mackie’s Falcon was a welcome inclusion in Ant-Man when the two squared off during one of Scott’s early missions. In addition to being fun, the fight helped pave a way for Ant-Man to logically join the party in Captain America: Civil War, but Falcon has proven to be a reliable supporting character in the MCU in his own right.
Sam Wilson’s banter with Spider-Man during the Airport fight scene of Civil War was top-notch, and seeing the two characters interact again would be a welcome sight. The two of them coming together in another movie might not make narrative sense, but hey, Falcon getting shoved into Ant-Man didn’t make much sense either.
Matt Murdock / Daredevil
Marvel’s Kevin Feige has a long history of saying that Marvel’s street-level Defenders will never cross over into the “cinematic” part of the MCU, but at this point, Spider-Man shares a city with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. Considering Feige’s comments this past May, some kind of crossover feels like it should be inevitable, and Spider-Man would look good alongside the Defenders.
Spider-Man occupies a curious position in Marvel comics as an incredibly powerful street-level hero occupying the murky area between the Defenders and Avengers. He typically has a close professional relationship with New York city-based heroes like Daredevil.
If Spider-Man or Peter find themselves in need of some kind of legal representation, then the practical choice would be to bring in Matt Murdock or even Jeri Hogarth. Though it’s hard to picture Spider-Man fighting members of the Hand and entering the mystical world of ninja warfare, it’s even harder to resist how great it would be to see Matt’s grave tone contrasted with Peter’s lightheartedness.
Bruce Banner (but please not the Hulk)
Bruce Banner — but probably and hopefully not the Hulk — would make a great addition to a movie set at a high school for brilliant science nerds where a headshot of Bruce Banner is plastered alongside the likes of Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla on the wall of a classroom.
The events of Age of Ultron turned public opinion heavily against the Hulk when he destroyed much of Johannesburg and fought Iron Man in the Hulkbuster armor. While the last thing the world needs is Hulk wreaking havoc in New York City, it’d be great to see Bruce Banner’s jittery, brilliant scientist interact with Peter Parker. Banner probably couldn’t show up as a guest speaker or teacher at Peter’s school or anything like that, but including Banner as a mentor figure to Peter and his science nerd friends would be fun.
Steve Rogers / Captain America
In a movie that was heavy on the bromance, Civil War also delivered a touching moment of New York patriotism when Cap and Spidey fought one-on-one:
Captain America: You got heart, kid, where are you from?
Spider-Man: [Straining] Queens!
Captain America: [Chuckles in mild disbelief] Brooklyn!
Though it’s uncertain where Chris Evans and his version of Steve Rogers and Captain America might be when Phase Four of the MCU rolls around, Peter getting to know Steve while hanging out in their mutually beloved New York City — maybe fighting some crime together — sounds like a dream come true.
Having a film where Peter can get to know Steve Rogers after spending so much time with Tony Stark could expose him to a very different kind of heroism. Spider-Man was firmly Team Iron Man in Civil War, but mainly because he was a Stark fanboy and he bribed the teen with a shiny new suit. If the situation had been different, maybe Peter would have sided with Captain America instead?
Scott Lang / Ant-Man
If there are any two characters from Captain America: Civil War that were literally just dragged into the fight for the sake of bombast without really having any stakes in the core conflict, it was Ant-Man and Spider-Man.
Scott Lang was a fan of Cap and Peter Parker was obsessed with Tony Stark. As a result, both Ant-Man and Spider-Man — two of the MCU heavy hitters when it comes to comedy — were thrown into the ring against each other at the much-praised Airport Fight Scene pretty much just for the sake of spectacle. To see them awkwardly apologize to one another for their fight would be worth Ant-Man’s inclusion in the follow-up to Homecoming.
It helps that actor Tom Holland, Peter Parker himself, has said that he wants Spider-Man and Ant-Man to bury the hatchet and become “bug bros.” But, we’ll see if Marvel agrees.
Doctor Stephen Strange
A Doctor Strange post-credits scene already teased the character’s inclusion in Thor: Ragnarok, but that wouldn’t interfere with the easy slam dunk that would be including Stephen Strange in a Spider-Man movie.
By the end of Doctor Strange, the magician is tasked with defending the Sanctum Sanctorum, a super-important three-story townhouse in Greenwich Village. That means that he spends virtually all of his time in lower Manhattan less than 8 miles from where Peter goes to high school. And, unlike the Defenders, Doctor Strange isn’t burdened by the overwhelming cosmic powers of shooting schedules and awkward entertainment industry contracts.
Though Strange’s brand of science had more to do with biological medicine and less to do with developing gadgets, Peter would no doubt be in fascinated awe of Strange’s magic just like he was of Bucky’s robot arm in Civil War. (“You have a METAL arm! That is awesome, dude!”)
It’s also hard to not want Spider-Man to try Strange’s cape on like he did in the Cloak & Dagger animated series, if only for the comedic combination of a sentient piece of cloth messing around with a manic teenager in spandex.
Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters on July 7, 2017 with its currently untitled sequel due out around July 2019.