Spider-Man Film Reboot: Is this really a bad thing?

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON COMICZONEAZ.com (website no longer active)

So, let me preface this by saying that I enjoyed all three Spider-Man films by Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, and company. The first movie proved that you don’t need to completely redesign a superhero’s costume for the big screen, and that sticking to the source material really isn’t a bad idea. Spider-Man 2 proved that you can tell an interesting movie with a relatively uninteresting villain. Spider-Man 3 proved that there really can be too much of a good thing.

Do I want more Spider-Man movies? Absolutely. Do I want more Spider-Man movies by Sam Raimi and friends? Meh, not particularly.

I think the Raimi Trilogy was absolutely wonderful. The whole series tells a great story involving Peter, MJ, and Harry, their interactions with each other, and all three movies really hammer home the “With great power comes great responsibility” theme, especially with the villains. But, basically, they did the three biggest Spider-Man villains, and anybody that they do from here isn’t really enough to fill a full movie – Can The Rhino really carry a 90-120 minute film, all by himself? Hardly. Nor could Electro, the Lizard, or the Vulture. 

Possibly to rectify this situation, reportedly, Sony pictures wanted to make a film with two villains. Raimi refused, citing that the reception to the third movie wasn’t as positive to the first two (despite the more profitable opening weekend); Without fail, the comic movies that focus on just one villain (or, in the case of X-Men, one major villain with some assorted henchmen) are always of better quality than the ones that have two. The Dark Knight is the best of all the Batman movies, and I would argue that Batman ‘89 comes in second, even above Batman Begins. And that’s not because The Joker is in both movies, but because each one only has a single villain (because, while Two-Face is present in TDK, he’s not really a proper villain, as much as a pawn in Joker’s plans), which is easier to follow than Batman Returns (which had Penguin and Catwoman), or Batman Forever (Riddler and Two-Face), or Batman & Robin (Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy). Hell, Batman Begins had two R’as Al Ghuls AND The Scarecrow! Far too complex.

So, in the wake of Raimi bailing on the project, due to these creative differences, Sony has announced a reboot to the franchise, focusing on Spider-Man’s time in high school, and it’s to be directed by (500) Days of Summer’s Marc Webb. I haven’t seen (500) Days of Summer, but I have heard naught but positive reviews for the film.

Is a full-on reboot necessary? I don’t necessarily think so. However, I do think that the story that Raimi & company were telling has run its course, and it’s time for something else. I don’t think I really want to see more of Tobey Maguire (now 35) and Kirsten Dunst (who will be 28 this year) angsting over each other anymore. We’ve had three movies of that story; Let’s move on to something else.

I think the best direction for Spider-Man is to find a new cast and to start telling random adventures of the webhead and his friends. And we could get more into Parker’s personal life. Let’s see some stories about Peter trying to date Betty Brant. That, combined with Mysterio could fill up an entire movie. Pete trying to get involved with Felicia Hardy while Spidey gets involved with The Black Cat while they take on somebody like The Kraven the Hunter could have interesting possibilities.

But, I think that Sony distancing themselves from the Raimi trilogy and moving on to something else is a good idea. It’ll breathe a breath of fresh air into the franchise. And, besides – I’d rather have SOME Spider-Man movie on the horizon than none at all.

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