Wednesday 11 February 2015

Spider-Man movies version 3.0

It seems, and by “seems” I mean “has been officially confirmed” that Marvel and Sony have finally agreed to shared custody of the Spider-Man film license.

When I read the news the phrase that struck out to me was “Andrew Garfield will likely be recast”. I did a bit of a double take at that, to be honest, not because I'm particularly fond of his version of Peter Parker but because it sounded harsher than they meant. I mean, recasting Spider-Man I can understand, but to go so far as to recast Andrew Garfield? That's just plain cruel, the lad doesn't deserve that.

As an unabashed Marvel Studios fanboy and a not being fond of the Amazing Spider-Man reboot I'm looking forward to this. It seems the deal is that Sony will continue to make solo Spider-Man projects and Marvel will then use that Spider-Man in crossover projects.

There were rumours a while back that Spider-Man would be the post-credits teaser in Captain America: Civil War, so maybe that's on again. Spider-Man turning up in an Avengers movie is a stone cold bonker certainty just because of the amount of money that would make (an amount of money that has been enough just in theory to make Sony not want to lose the license).

Another reboot, then, and in my own humble opinion I just want to put this out there:

Do we really need another origin? I'm not saying the Andrew Garfield version should continue, that project is pretty much damned by its own critical and financial failure, but that story's been told twice in recent memory and it was hardly obscure to begin with. Uncle Ben is almost as famous an origin as Krypton blowing up or the Waynes being gunned down in the street. Spider-Man is one of the few superheroes where the filmmakers can rely on the audience having a genuine working knowledge of the character.

So maybe this time let's just get on with things? Cover the origin in a flashback or a montage and dive straight into the adventure. One of the problems with Amazing Spider-Man 1 was the creators trying to redo the origin in a way that was markedly different from Raimi's Spider-Man, hence the incoherent speech Michael Sheen rambles his way through instead of saying “With great power comes great responsibility” and the painfully C-list villain.

Of course, this could all go wrong. Marvel will have an exec on the Sony projects so two studios that don't exactly have a history of getting on will be working together closely, pursuing their own projects with the same property simultaneously.

Maybe this will finally be the moment when Marvel Studios finally over-reaches itself. And I'd like to be clear: this prophecy of doom isn't motivated by Sony's involvement, it isn't like I believe them to be completely incapable, depending on my mood I credit them with either two or three decent Spider-Man movies. Rather, I think that what might sink Spider-Man 3.0 is what sunk Spider-Man 2.0 and even the final instalment of Spider-Man 1.0: design by committee. Two companies, two sets of execs reporting to two sets of bean-counters on a multi-billion dollar property.

Maybe tomorrow nothing will have been announced and I can get back to whimsical fun about comics or sexual politics. I keep meaning to write something about the sexual morals of Saved By The Bell (no, seriously) but people will insist on announcing things, its most inconvenient. 

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