Spider-Man is a big deal in the Marvel comic book universe. With the licensing split between Marvel Studios and Sony, though, it’s been hard to tell just how big a role he would play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite being a core part of Marvel’s past and present, that licensing could’ve kept him relegated to bit parts in Marvel movies at best. But it seems Marvel considers him crucial. Tom Holland’s second solo outing as Peter Parker will kick off Phase 4 of the MCU.

Spidey will be integral to the MCU

The MCU is in its third phase right now. The first phase ended with the first Avengers film, while the second phase ended with Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. The current phase was kicked off by Captain America: Civil War, and we’re right in the middle of it right now. Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok are keeping things rolling this summer, but the fourth phase will finally end in May of 2019 with the fourth, currently untitled, Avengers film.

When the fourth phase of the MCU kicks off, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige says we’ll need a bit of grounding.

“So much happens in [the 3rd and 4th Avengers movies], as you can imagine, and so much is affected that we felt what better person to hold your hand and lead you into the next incarnation of the MCU in a grounded, realistic manner than Peter Parker?” Feige said in an interview with io9. “So, coming out two months after untitled Avengers, [that’s what] much of what the next Spider-Man film will be about.”

Unlike the rest of the heroes in the MCU, Peter Parker is still a kid. He’s in high school, and he has a dual identity to maintain.

“It was done purposefully like this,” Feige continued. “Like how the events of Captain America: Civil War impacted Peter as he was dropped off by Tony and expected to continue his sophomore year, how the hell are the events of Infinity War and [the next Avengers film] going to affect him as he – yes – goes back to his junior year?”

All of this seems to deeply integrate both the MCU into Spidey’s world and Spidey into the MCU. The events of one are integral to the other. I have my worries about how Sony is going to handle the greater Spiderverse they’re creating, but it seems like Marvel is helping them take good care of ol’ web-head himself, at the very least.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is just a bit less than 2 weeks away, releasing on July 7, 2017, and its sequel (which I hope isn’t just called Spider-Man: Homecoming 2) is currently set to release on July 5, 2019.