Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Third time wasn't exactly a charm, and now they're starting all over.

I enjoyed the first Spider-Man movie, thought Spider-Man 2 was a million times better and didn't like the third one at all. I honestly had no opinion on the fourth one, except that I thought it would be fun to watch John Malkovich chew up scenery as The Vulture.

(side note - It is kind of funny that they approached Malkovich to play Green Goblin in part 1, but he turned it down because comic book movies were "beneath him" or something like that. 10 years later—after comic book movies have made billions of dollars, of course—he was all about being in one.)

Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were great movies, but they started a trend that I don't think is good for the comic-to-film genre as a whole. The gritty, seedy underworld aspect of Gotham City and that franchise works for Batman because he's more or less a pulp-hero with lots of gadgets. That's what he's always been. He's always had a dark edge to him and that's what made him more popular than some of the other characters.

But since those films were so popular, made truckloads of money and garnered critical praise all across the board, studios think that every comic book movie needs to have the same tone that they did.

And that's what Sony wants to do with this Spider-Man reboot. The word (via Hollywood Reporter and Slashfilm) is that the new Spider-Man script is "gritty, contemporary and references Batman Begins, seemingly not only in the sense that Christopher Nolan reinvented Batman on film, but in the sense of tone."

And this is a huge mistake. With Spider-Man 2, Sam Raimi established the perfect tone for the series. It was lighthearted and fun at times, emotional and funny at others and action packed the whole way through. There's even that 'Evil Dead-esque' scene where Dr. Octopus' arms come to life in the operating room, which was pure greatness. The bottom line though, was that everything made sense in the context of the story. They didn't try to make it gritty just for the sake of it being a little bit more "real."

When Superman Returns failed to meet expectations, Warner Brothers immediately went back to the drawing board looking for a reboot that was darker. Iron Man could have gone the same route, but instead, Favreau and Downey Jr. kept it fun and it worked brilliantly.

Too bad Spider-Man is going to be ruined by The Dark Knight. Damn you, Chris Nolan.


  1. ooooh i love that scene! i had completely forgotten about it.

  2. SO glad you mentioned that scene. it IS pure brilliance.