Sony Is Officially Rebooting Spider-Man
After launching one of the most financially successful and critically acclaimed franchises within the genre, Sony has opted for a reboot
Indeed, after a mediocre "Spider-Man 3" and various script delays on the fourth installment of the franchise, Sony has opted to reboot Spider-Man. Yes, Sony is going to get an entirely new cast to portray the characters along with a new director, and they're going to go back to the beginning to retell Spider-Man's origin.......again. This could potentially go either way depending how well Sony handles it. Some fans will feel validation, after the reboot, to know whether Sam Raimi was responsible for the disappointing third film, or if Sam truly was franchise's last line of defense against a cliched ridden over commercialized film, that was "Spider-Man 3." Although it shouldn't be that way, because regardless of how this new director does, it doesn't in any means diminish what Raimi did with the first two films. Nor should it affect how anyone should feel about Toby Maguire's performance as Spider-Man.
I'll be honest, I loved the first two films, as I still consider them to be two of the best super hero films ever made. In fact, I can still remember seeing "Spider-Man", in theaters, for like the twelve time in a row. Geeking out as I couldn't get over seeing Spider-Man's origin finally getting a big screen treatment. Seeing him take on his original nemesis, Green Goblin. Then seeing the story grow as Raimi really does what he does best, in his films, which is torture his main protagonists' lives. Having established whom Peter Parker/Spider-Man was in the first film, it allowed for Raimi to explore the character even more deeply. Bringing in an adversary like Doc Ock, whom not only challenged Spider-Man physically, but he also brought a dilemma that challenged Peter emotionally.
Sadly, when "Spider-Man 3" underwhelmed audiences, many fans weren't too shy to voice their complaints. Some condemning Sam Raimi for the way he butchered Venom and tried to put too many unnecessary things in the third film; like the dancing Peter Parker scene. While others claim it was due to Sony pressuring Raimi to put in Venom, a character whom even Sam admitted he hated. Regardless of what anyone's take on this issue, the point is this planted the seed of doubt in the minds of Sony/Marvel execs moving forward.
Despite "Spider-Man 3's" shortcomings, it still made a substantial amount at the box office. "Spider-Man" was still considered among one of the most successful super hero franchises out there. Sadly, when news broke out as both Sony and Raimi couldn't agree on a main adversary for the fourth movie; both parties decided to part ways. Sam wanted to use the Vulture, as the main antagonist, but Sony wanted a more commercially marketable villain. Therefore, Sony decided to let Sam Raimi go from this project, and steer the franchise in an entirely new direction. Instead of just merely getting a new cast and new director this time. Sony wants to retell a more modernized reboot the character, as they put Peter Parker back in high school again.
This could easily work or it could fail badly. It's a tough call until further details are released. Recently, Sony named Marc Webb, whom some might remember from his Golden Globe nominated romantic comedy, "500 Days Of Summer." Judging from his last hit movie, I think he would do a great job capturing the nuances and persona of Peter Parker with strong character development. However, it's tough to say how well he'll adapt Spider-Man since he's never done any action oriented films, nor ones that had elements of action in it. Then again, I said the exact same thing about Jon Favreau, when he was named director of "Iron Man", and that came out quite nicely. Therefore, we'll have to wait and see on this one.
Pros about a reboot: Although I'm personally against this idea, let's try to look at the positives for the reboot. When Raimi handled his own interpretation of Spider-Man, he even admitted to taking some liberties with the character, for the sake of modernization. Therefore, with a reboot, Marc Webb might decide to choose a route more faithful to the comic book. Having Peter build his own web shooters, as opposed to inheriting them, to truly show ingenious he was. Displaying more of a scientific side to Peter Parker that was absent in the previous films.
Plus, they made J. Jonah Jameson's role in the films a joke. Sure, he was a comic relief in the comics for the ol' web head, but he played a significant role as he practically use to turn half of New York against Spider-Man. Whereas in the trilogy, I felt like they glorified him too much in the eyes of the city. I doubt that will change since it's still barely over a decade since the "9/11" tragedy. However, I just hope they don't give Spidey another parade in the next film, as I know Spider-Man wouldn't get that kind of treatment in the comics. Superman yes, but not Spidey.
Then there was the rumored Venom movie spin off that was in the works. Hopefully with this new reboot, it'll give Sony a chance to get Venom right this time. As his appearance in the last movie, was a joke to say the least, and he was portrayed rather weak as well. (Warning: Spoiler Alert in the rest of this paragraph) Seriously, Venom was one of Spidey's strongest adversaries, so how could a measly pumpkin bomb kill him? In the first film, it just messed up Peter's face pretty badly, and Harry's face, in "Spider-Man 3", yet Venom dies from one? Seriously?!? In the comics, Venom was a lot stronger than both the Green Goblin and Spider-Man, so why would he die from a bomb while the other two live? However, to get back to what I was saying, before I went off on my short rant.
I believe Toby Maguire said it best, "Venom has all of Spider-Man's powers enhanced, but none of his morals." Which is mostly true, but he also had other powers that Spider-Man didn't have as well that could have been used to make the last film better. Other than having the unique ability to block out Peter's spider-sense, so he can't detect him. He also had a cloaking ability very similar to how the aliens used camouflage, in "Predator." Needless to say, this opened up a lot of intriguing story lines in the comic. As Venom could easily not only attack Spider-Man when he least expected it, but his loved ones as well. One would think a villain that powerful would give any writer and director something to work with based on that concept, but it didn't happen. At least with this new reboot, Marc Webb could potentially reintroduce Venom as a villain again. I think that would work a lot better than them trying to revamp the character in a spin off.
Indeed, with a reboot, Marc Webb and Sony could go any direction with this film, as they're not limited to Sam Raimi's trilogy continuity. After all, this character has been around since the 1960s, so there's no question that Marc and his writing staff will have plenty of material to base their writing material on. Plus, let's not forget that there have been many rewrites and different variations of Spider-Man over the years, so why shouldn't it be the same in the movies?
Cons about a reboot: "Spider-Man 3" wasn't that great, but it's not like it was "Batman & Robin" terrible where the film was so bad, that the only way to move forward was a reboot. Unlike the "Batman" franchise that was started back in 1989, Tim Burton never explored Batman's origin in the first movie. Using only brief flashbacks to explain his history. This allowed Christopher Nolan later on to explore Batman's origin thoroughly, as it was never explained in the previous movie adaptations. Where as with "Spider-Man", Sam Raimi already explored Spider-Man's origin. Therefore, any new director is going to have be very careful not to be retelling the exact same movie again.
Plus, when does a franchise that grosses over $1,113,822,503 necessarily need a reboot? Sure, "Spider-Man 3" was bad, but it wasn't anything a great sequel couldn't fix. Look at James Bond. Not all his films deliver up to fans expectations, but do they ever reboot it? Heck no, they just come up with a better sequel, even if they have to cast a new lead. Therefore, why couldn't they do that for Spider-Man? If Sony doubted Sam Raimi that much, then couldn't they have gotten Marc Webb to agree to a sequel to an already established franchise? Adding more depth to a franchise that's already established. They probably could have still cast new actors if they wanted to, if they felt the actors were getting too old for the parts. However, it seems Sony might be jumping the gun a bit on this one.
Sure, this reboot might work, but there's no guarantee. For if it fails, then what? They can't make a sequel to Raimi's trilogy, since Sony has already shut that door. Therefore, if it fails, then they might have to reboot the franchise again.
Who's going to replace Toby Maguire? Rumored Taylor Lautner or Robert Pattinson? Give me a break, both those actors can't act for beans. To make it even worse, they're both pretty boys. Which is not who Peter Parker is. Then there's the rumor on how Marc wants to go with an unknown. Which is fine, but that's an awful lot of pressure on the kid they cast. I mean I can't speak for every Spider-Man fan out there, but I thought Toby Maguire did a great job portraying that role. Therefore, if they do decide to find an unknown, they better screen test the actors very carefully as fans will be pissed if the new Peter Parker/Spider-Man can't act the part.
Overall Opinion: Right now, this franchise can go either way. It'll either be a great success for Sony/Marvel. Or it could backfire badly. Only time will tell on this one. However, I will say this, I do think it's unfair that some fans will use this reboot as a measuring tool to determine who was responsible for "Spider-Man 3"; being either Sam or Sony. Which is basically wrong. Regardless of how well the reboot does, it shouldn't diminish how any of us feel about Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy. I thought Raimi did a great job combining some of the humor, drama, action and tragedy of the series. That's what I'll always cherish about the trilogy. Not only Sam Raimi's brilliant portrayal of Peter Parker and his adversaries, but Toby's ability to nail the character precisely. However, that's in the past, as we can only wait and see what Marc Webb will have planned for us.