Expected to be this summer’s biggest blockbuster, The Amazing Spider-Man promises new–and not just new actors. It’s promising a new world for Spidey fans to play in, a darker one where Peter Parker will be spending his time investigating the truth about his father and inventing artificial webs, all while barely casting a shadow of the geeky and goofy Parker of Spider-Mans past.
There are a number of reasons why a Spider-Man reboot is coming out so soon after the series, and they all lead back to Sony, the owner of the movie franchise, not being a fan of the webby mess that Spider-Man director Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness) left behind with Spider-Man 3. Instead of having Raimi work on the fourth installment of the series, the studio instead opted for a reboot.
Raimi’s adaptation of the series rendered some major characters useless for future films. In addition to most of the noteworthy villains having been used already, Parker’s new love interest, Gwen Stacey, was a supporting character and love interest for Eddie Brock (Venom) in Spider-Man 3. Raimi also toyed with Spidey’s original mythology, cornering important story lines.
But do we really need to start over? Normally, I’d agree that when your intention is to reboot an entire series, it’s important to start at the beginning. But we’re dealing with a superhero whose origins are as familiar as Santa Claus. In my opinion, we already know what we need to know, or at least enough to suspend our disbelief for another two hours (and another couple of movies.)
Personally, I’d rather see the time and energy spent on more Spider-Man saving the world, working through different women all bearing characteristics of his first love, and introducing a plethora of new enemies for us to play with. We know it works–and it opens up oodles of opportunities for different stories, angles, and films for studios to make loads of money on (ahem, Batman). And Todd McFarlane wouldn’t mind making a few new toy models for people like me to buy and never take out of their boxes, right?
Basically that’s Marvel geek talk for “I’d rather we move on.” But I’ll still welcome the fresh perspective on an old friend with an open mind.
The Amazing Spider-Man opens in theaters nationwide on Tuesday, July 3rd. Check local listings for show times.
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About the AuthorValerie Linson
Valerie Linson is the Managing Producer for WGBHArts. She is also the Series Producer for Basic Black and the Executive Editor for its accompanying website at WGBH.org. Basic Black is New England's longest-running television program devoted to explorations of the black experience.
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