Unless you’ve been hiding from the Internets over the past couple of days you’ve probably heard the Spider-Man movie franchise, at least as we know it right now, is over.
Sony Pictures and director Sam Raimi have parted ways over creative differences and the studio now plans to completely reboot the franchise by returning Peter Parker to high school.
Although there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about this new direction (please, please, please, please don’t aim strictly for the emo-Twilighters!), and I could easily make a list of those, I’ve decided to be optimistic and look instead at the positive possibilities a new Spider-Man franchise creates.
There are at least ten good reasons why this reboot might be good for the Web-Head in the long-run. Let’s take a look…
Raimi killed off the Green Goblin and Doc Ock, not to mentioning young Harry Osborne before he ever became interesting (nice job). So these characters return to the fold. In the realistic world the first franchise dumped our hero (a world apart from the rest of the Marvel Universe thanks to Sony having the rights for only Spidey) many of the Web-Head’s villains wouldn’t exactly fit. If Sony is looking for a lengthy franchise they should think long and hard what kind of world would best suit Spidey’s more colorful villains such as Electro, The Kingpin, Chamelon, Kraven, Jackyl, Scorpion, Mysterio, Hobgoblin, and (yes Sony) even the Vulture.
It killed the franchise. You saw it right? Other than the Sandman can you honestly name me one thing you liked about Raimi’s last Spidey flick? If this was foreshadowing about where the next films were headed it’s a good enough reason in and of itself to fire everyone involved.
I think we can all agree that Spider-Man 3 dropped the ball on the symbiote storyline. I don’t mind the new franchise taking a crack, but if they do I want the real black costume (not this piece o’ shit) to make an appearance. Or don’t even touch the symbiote, instead just write in a reason for Spidey to put on the cool black and white costume in one of the upcoming movies.
Maybe this time they can tell Peter’s origin without jamming “With Great Power comes great responsibility” down our throats. Yeah, I know it’s important. I get it. Move on. Raimi did a good job with most aspects of Spidey’s life but he sure hamfisted the fuck out of this one.
Maybe, just maybe, if the franchise takes the long-term approach and tackles the clone storyline one of my favorite Spidey characters could make and appearance near the end of the franchise’s run – the Scarlet Spider. Well, I can dream, can’t I?
I actually liked the casting of Tobey Maguire for Peter Parker. He wasn’t my first choice for the role, but I thought he made the most of the opportunity. However it seems obvious he had done everything he could with the role and it was time for him to move on. By moving Peter back to his high school roots (where he creates his web-shooters, please) a younger actor will fill his shoes, and I wouldn’t mind a fresh approach to the character.
There are quite a few characters surrounding Peter Parker who didn’t get fleshed out (or even make an appearance) under Raimi’s watch. You would think Flash Thompson, Liz Allen, Betty Brandt, and Joe “Robbie” Roberston would all be given a little more to do this time around. And if they can find a way to shoehorn Angelica Jones, Felicia Hardy, Glory Grant, Jessica Drew, and Jessica Jones in as well, so much the better.
I like Kirsten Dunst, I really do, but I was never in favor of her casting as Mary Jane. I am even less pleased with the decision to transform the vibrant MJ into nothing more than the girl next door. Mary Jane is larger than life (not blander than bland). A return to high school should put MJ on hold (for at least two movies) allowing the franchise to spend more time on Peter, and also to use…
Although Bryce Dallas Howard was fine in her performance there was nowhere for the character to go. Gwen Stacy was the early love of Peter Parker’s life and the tragedy of her death did as much to define the character as the death of Uncle Ben. It’s one of the seminal moments of Peter Parker’s life and I still haven’t forgiven Sony and Raimi for robbing audiences of those moments. I am hopeful (though equally doubtful) the new franchise will be able to mine this rich treasure trove of Spidey lore for some genuinely great cinematic moments.
Raimi did a marvelous job with Doc Ock (so much so I can’t see the new franchise’s version of the character being anything but a disappointment) but he seriously dropped the ball on Norman Osborne and his green and purple clad alter-ego. Get rid of the armor and helmet, give him the goblin mask, amp up the crazy, and let the character fly!