CALLING OUT HATERS: To: Marvel Studios, Re: Spider-Man
Image Source: LongLiveSpidey (Originally made by Marvel I think)
So after an Amazing misfire (In my eyes anyway), Sony has finally soaked up pride and decided that Spider-Man would be better off joining the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Star-Lord, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther… the Marvel Cinematic Universe essentially, and possibly making his debut during Captain America: Civil War. Though with great acquisitions also comes great disappointment as for making room for the web-head in 2017 they’ve delayed 4 of their movies including the debuts of Captain Marvel, Black Panther and the Inhumans. But there is still some hope to be had, even if it’s pretty much ridiculous how the wall-crawler is going through his third reboot in the time-span 15 years.
The underwhelming box-office of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 were a sign that people may have been too tired of a red-and-blue tighted superhero swinging around. You want Peter to survive another reboot, heed my advice Marvel and Sony…
Yes, we know Uncle Ben dies… move on…
When the word “reboot” enters a person’s conscious, they react in revulsion: “Great now we get to see the same story again.” The origin of Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man has already been done twice, to do the origin a third time would be just laughable. I don’t think people would miss anything if the origin was skipped out in the Marvel CU Spider-Man. Brief recap or a mention could be fine, try to retell the story verbatim would I think yield some major diminishing returns.
Tighten those threads
One thing that I think completely undid The Amazing Spider-Man was the attempt to make things epic than they actually are. It can’t just be a boy bitten by spider learning about responsibility it has to be this grand tale which involves a conspiracy involving a corporation involving Peter’s parents that also happens to be about Peter getting bitten by said spider to learn about responsibility. Not to mention deliberately leaving many plot threads hanging with that whole “to be answered in a sequel” syndrome that some movies that try to build universes do, and was really awfully utilized in The Amazing movies. Such convoluted plotting isn’t needed to hold the audience’s attention, Spider-Man 2 (As in the Sam Raimi film) was still able to spin a story about Parker’s struggles with personal life and being a superhero without having such a car wreck of mythos, and it did it really well in my eyes. If we can keep it to that simple thought process of Spider-Man and finding the balance between life and responsibility, then it’s all the better for it. Of course we’ll now have the Marvel Cinematic Universe on it’s side, but hopefully establishing it taking place in the MCU be more something in the background and not a core focus, basically not be Iron Man 2.
Ditch Most of the Spinoffs
One thing that was made known on top of rebooting Spidey is the fact that the spin-offs Sinister Six, Venom and as of yet named female centric film will still be going ahead. To be honest about two-thirds of that sound like a ridiculously bad idea, as famed as much of Spidey’s rogues gallery is, I feel like their distinction away from the character isn’t strong enough to center a movie around them as compared to say the upcoming Suicide Squad on DC’s end which pairs supervillains like Deadshot, the Joker and Harley Quinn. I feel like the likes of Doctor Octopus, Electro, and many others need a Spider-Man to bounce off of, them on their own just doesn’t feel right. Same with Venom for that matter the quintessential nemesis of Spider-Man, without a connection Eddie Brock would have with Peter and Spidey or the symbiote originally attaching itself to Peter, I don’t think it would work at all. I’d see maybe a prime opportunity to bring in the symbiote to Avengers: Inifinity War… yes I know it’s Secret Wars, but no reason to just toy with mythology a little bit (Though probably piss off fanboys).
The only spin-off idea I can really get behind is the idea of a female centric Spider-Man film that could provide a bit more of a unique perspective into his universe. Everyone has been thinking Felicia Hardy/Black Cat, and of course that would be great to see the character be brought into film, Spider-Gwen would be cool though I see more that of an alternate universe thing, but no way would I be for an Aunt May spin-off on the basis she isn’t that interesting. But above a lot of expectations, I am kind of thinking that it could be interesting if Mary Jane Watson was given her own spin-off movie. The character’s complicated history as well as her unique relationship with Peter Parker can make the framework for a compelling spin-off film, one that doesn’t conform to the standard superhero formula. But that’s just me.
Do Not Be Afraid to Take Risks
In spite of the overwhelming fanboy outrage I was one of the defenders of the Mandarin twist in Iron Man 3, I thought it threw a good wrench into expectations, and subverted what could have been an incredibly racist element to the film. With the complaint on how superhero movies seem to stick to formula, I’d much rather have quite a few expectations subverted for the new Spider-Man, not afraid to step outside and deliver something different.
And I’m not talking about a “risk” like the death of Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, probably one of the worst kept secrets of the film and all the more frustrating with how it plays out. Not talking about “risks” like minor changes to the mythology like Peter shooting webs from his wrists. But taking a turn with the story of Spidey that not many would expect, keep the audience surprised rather them feeding them another basic three-act hero’s journey.
I mean for instance the expectation being Peter Parker still being in high school and a lot of recent casting has been rumored they will keep it that way, but could it be interesting if it was a much older Parker who has been through a lot in his life? Though the young perspective might still work of having Parker trying to find a place in a world where there are big heroes around who have public personas and he’s just small in comparison and keeps his identity safe.
One big push that has been made though is possibly not making Spider-Man Peter Parker, but rather Miles Morales, the guy who takes up the Spidey mantle in the Ultimate universe after Parker dies. It has the two-fer of not only being a different Spider-Man but also a non-white leading superhero, which until Black Panther doesn’t seem like the MCU will get around to.
I do see though there being a very slim chance Miles Morales will be the wall-crawling hero, as he is not as well-known. As much as people love Donald Glover, it’s likely he won’t be joining Danny Pudi and Joel McHale as Community cast members who have appeared in a Marvel movie… unless they decide to make Peter Parker non-white. Now there is something that will rile up the fanboys.
Above all else… have fun
If anything the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made itself is trying to have fun while also making it about superheroes. While there is heavy subject matter tackled once in a while, there is still is plenty of humor and light-hearted moments that makes it a bit more engaging to watch as opposed to some dreariness of movies like Man of Steel.
Having Spider-Man quip in The Amazing movies was a step in the right direction, however it is in a minor element compared to the 70-pound weight that is the angst… angst about his parents, angst about his uncle’s death, angst about creating a supervillain, angst about his girlfriend… whilst typical of the character the way they are handled drags down the movie considerably and it’s not all that enjoyable to watch. For all the complaints about “moping” in the Raimi trilogy it really didn’t become so overbearing to annoyance. Ooh boy if I were to peg one moment in which it goes to worst it’s the “Gone, Gone, Gone” montage that feels more like a fan music video than an actual scene (Though maybe more fitting if it were Linkin Park’s “In The End”). And honestly some of the humor does feel a bit off as well, Parker and Spider-Man’s personalities come across as a blur as opposed to being two distinct personas as they should be.
If there is a way to find a balance between the personal drama and light-hearted-ness it’d definitely feel closer to the Spidey we should have on film. Look at the balancing act of Spectacular Spider-Man for instance, it is able to rope in personal drama, comedy, and even able to pace out its story better than any of the movies. Not saying I want an exact copy of Spectacular Spider-Man (Though I’d like SOME continuation Marvel and Sony), but I think it’d be a good framework. And most certainly when I mean “having fun” I don’t mean anything of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon’s idea of fun, would love fourth-wall and cut-away jokes to be nowhere to be found thank you very much.
But ultimately there was one loud omission that The Amazing movies sorely lacked…
BRING BACK J. JONAH JAMESON!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe needs Jonah Jameson, the motor mouthed head of the Daily Bugle who hates Spider-Man. If they want to have Spidey make it with Iron Man, they have to have Jonah Jameson. The last series didn’t have Jonah and see how that went? Bam, series done in two movies. Just a simple Gmail from him is not enough, Jonah is the blood that can keep a Spider-Man series running!
But in seriousness, Jonah does need to be in the new MCU series, whether it’d be J.K. Simmons or not, he’s just part of the stew that makes for some really entertaining Spider-Man. The Amazing series felt a little empty not bringing Jonah in with the last series, hopefully not make the same mistake with this one.
I don’t really have many ideas on who will be casted as Peter Parker, or any of the other characters, or how the romance should be handled (Though I know one part… NO STALKING), or how it will work within the context of the MCU, but ultimately these reasons above I think what I personally look for in a Spider-Man movie. Though to be honest I’m not as excited for it as much as some of the other Marvel movies coming out. I think too it probably would have worked better had he been introduced in the universe sooner rather than later especially when his debut film will be apparently Captain America: Civil War, but… you know Sony.
End of Rant