In the late hours of Monday night, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios announced a deal that will allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Universe, while Sony will still produce his individual films.
This sent fanboys around the internet into a frenzy of happiness.
Basically, this is long overdue, and while it is fantastic and exciting news (one could say the news is…amazing [high fives self]), it does make me think of a few things.
First things first, this is likely the signal of the end of the Andrew Garfield-led “Amazing Spider-Man” franchise. When we last saw his Spidey, he was swinging a manhole cover at Paul Giamatti’s Rhino and the screen cut to black. If that ending was frustrating and ambiguous back in May 2014, imagine how it is now conceived as the end of a franchise.
I’m going to assume that Rhino killed Spider-Man and that is why we didn’t see the actual battle, and why there will be no 3rd film. It is the only thing that will make that ending make even a little bit of sense moving forward.
In 10 years, who will care about these two movies, much less even remember them? Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy already has cemented its place in cinematic history. Not only is it one of the best superhero series of all-time, if not movie trilogies, period, but it harkened the beginning of superhero films as we know them today. “Spider-Man 2” remains arguably the best superhero film ever made.
What about “The Amazing Spider-Man” 1 and 2? By December of last year most everyone had forgotten ASM2 was even a thing. There was just so much it got wrong and so little it did right. I personally marked it as one of my biggest disappointments of 2014.
The franchise itself isn’t *bad*, but it is just two “meh” films that seemed to ask fives questions for every one answer it gave.
Speaking of, assuming this is the end of the franchise, there are so many questions, plot holes and storylines left untouched.
What ever happened to Uncle Ben’s killer? (this is really a question you could ask after the first film, seeing as Peter gives up searching about halfway through)
So, is Peter’s dad alive, or is that deleted scene showing him having survived the plane crash just going to be an acknowledge misstep?
What is Oscorp’s evil plan? (not even the writers know this one)
We’re never going to know the answers to any of these questions, and honestly I don’t think we will care.
The other thing that the Spider-Man/Marvel deal means is the subsequent recasting of Peter Parker. Andrew Garfield, who voiced his distain with the second film and has been publically scapegoated by Sony for it, is out.
Sony is sticking with their 2017 release date for the new Spider-Man standalone film. However whoever is cast in the role will likely make his first appearance in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War”, where we will see Cap and Iron Man face off (there’s a whole post-Avengers story-arc involving Spider-Man that comic book fans know a lot more about than I do). So this recasting has to be done relatively quickly, as that film begins shooting in April.
Whoever is chosen, I hope and pray that their standalone film is not another origins story. Like, seriously. If the five years between “Spider-Man 3” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” seemed too short, just imagine how only three years between ASM2 and whatever the title of this new Spider-Man is would feel. If I see Uncle Ben get shot one more time, I’m going to lose it, and not because I got the feels (you try watching the scene from “Spider-Man” and tell me it isn’t beautifully done).
One could argue that they are rebooting Batman only four years since his last film (2012’s “Dark Knight Rises” to 2016’s “Batman V Superman”), but BvS isn’t (hopefully/assumingly) going to feature an origin story.
We know the hero, and we know that some father figure got killed in front of him so he has a sense of purpose driving him. We don’t need to spend half a film beating the audience over the head with these facts.
Andrew Garfield is going to be fine. He’s currently working on a Martin Scorsese project and is only 31 years old (you know, because 31-year-olds can pass for high schoolers all the time, right, Sony?). I doubt that not making another passable Spider-Man film is going to derail his career.
I also doubt there are many people crying that this series is done. It was a fun enough ride while it lasted, but by 2025, when Marvel is actually beginning to enter the reboot-phase and films from the 1990’s are started to get remade, no one is going to remember “The Amazing Spider-Man” even happened. It will be the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question, and you’ll be like, “oh yeah, those were a thing”.
I’m excited to see Spider-Man sharing a screen with Iron Man and Captain America, and I’m also cautiously excited to see what a rebooted franchise could mean. Let’s just hope they get the villains right this time.