If you’re wondering why the studio decided to scrap the fourth installment of Spider-Man in an effort to reboot the franchise, look no further than Batman Forever as justification.
Seriously, go back and look at the progression of these films and tell me they were consistently getting better and not worse. Let me list off some of the sins committed in no particular order: Green Goblin Suit of Armor, Emo Spider-Man, Hal Sparks cameo (why?), Macy Gray singing, Topher Grace as Venom, Venom being crammed into a movie about Sandman…
Honestly, you can’t blame the studio for wanting to reboot the whole franchise when the most frequent thing out of people’s mouths were how much they hated the last film. So if they plan on doing a reboot, here are some basic guidelines they need to follow if they want to be successful…
1. Don’t Make Another Origin Story
I mean it. I don’t need to see more than two minutes recapping how Peter Parker got bit by a radioactive spider, blah blah blah. Yes the origin could have been better in the first movie. No, I do not want to pay to see that happen. Give me something to chew on please.
2. Trade Dorky Peter Parker For Smartass Peter Parker
This is a revamp of a franchise that was already making ridiculous sums of money. But the studio actually had the balls to call it like they see it. The fourth Raimi/Toby Maguire Spidey movie would have been awful even if it did manage to make its money back. And at this point I don’t think that’s even the goal in a post The Dark Knight box office world. A good retelling of a super-hero story will make its money back several times over and then some. With that being said, I’ve heard talk about making this flick “dark and gritty” which is a huge mistake. This is Spider-Man, not The Batman.
And as such, you don’t need to make it gritty. But I don’t want to see dorky Peter Parker anymore, which Toby was great at playing. I want to see the wisecracking smart-ass that Brian Michael Bendis writes in the New Avengers. I want Spider-MAN, not Spider-Emo-Boy. There are plenty of talented actors out there capable of pulling off a geeky smartass who can still understand that with great power comes great responsibility.
3. Play With The Universe This Time
Every villain Spider-Man has faced in the comics isn’t worth devoting a 2-hour film to. Bad guys like the Rhino, The Spot, Swarm, Boomerang, The Beetle, Hydro-Man, Hammerhead, and so many more — none of them can carry a film. I’m gonna come right out and say that if you choose a bunch of them and form a Sinister Six, I’ll probably also hate the plot, too. However, if the opening sequence is of the Rhino smashing through a bank vault, that would be pretty cool. Let’s try to add some elements to this next film that don’t restrict themselves to a few big bads, ok? Furthermore, you don’t have to tie every notable character’s story together. This isn’t Marvel Team-up.
4. Villains: Give Costumes A Rest
This was something they did well when they rebooted the Batman franchise because the costumed villains weren’t the main focus. The ideal choice for a non-costumed villain is of course the Kingpin, but he’s tied up in Daredevil land. Choose another, develop the character, and make me care about him. Let him pull the strings of the city and let Spider-Man find himself overwhelmed when attempting to take him down. Next…
5. Bring Back The Web Shooters
I don’t care if “the concept of shooting webs organically translates better in film.” Honestly, I don’t fucking care. That isn’t Spider-Man no matter how much you try to shove it down my throat. Parker is suppose to be this untapped scientific genius. Bring back the web shooters. Do not go into a 10-minute reel of showing Peter Parker creating them from scratch. Seriously. Just bring them back.
6. Cameos: Stan Lee, Colbert, and others
To make a film based on a Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee and not putting him in the movie just seems like the biggest slap in the face of them all. Remember studio, we don’t just love Spider-Man, we love “The Man” just as much. Furthermore, since this should NOT be a gritty flick, other cameos should be included into the film. I would advise against Macy Gray and Hal Sparks or anyone else who would make me go “OK… wtf?”. Alternatively, throw a celebrity that actually did make it inside the pages of the actual comic book. Stephen Colbert comes to mind…