Here is a totally pointless rant, in the truly original theme of “Hollywood needs some fresh ideas”.
There is a new Amazing Spider-Man movie coming out. Had you heard?
I have one question.
I’m gonna go out on a limb, and suggest the answer is, “To make money.”
I’m trying to think of another reason, and at this point, I’m coming up dry. To make money. It costs millions to make one of these big special effects blockbusters, and the rankings are based on amount made per weekend, so, to make money is the plan.
If the goal of making a special effects thrill ride movie of Spider-Man is to make money, how well is this going to work?
Will they get MY money?
I am a self-professed geek, I’ve collected and loved comic books since I was a wee tot, I’ve long loved Spider-Man, I even own every Ultimate Spider-Man graphic novel there is to date.
I saw all the Spider-Man movies in the theater. I saw all the Avengers-related movies in the theater, and I own them all on DVD. I saw The Avengers twice. I can’t wait to buy it on DVD.
What I’m saying is, I am the ‘no brainer’ demographic.
So… will they get my money for the new Spider-Man film?
Not a chance in hell.
Seriously, not a freaking chance in hell. I will not see it in the theater, I will not buy it on DVD, but I am highly likely to get it when it comes out on my already-paid-for Netflix subscription.
A Netflix subscription we pay for, as far as I can tell, so Cassie can watch McLeod’s Daughters on streaming video.
So, if they’ve missed so badly with me, why?
The big reason for me would be that, based on every trailer I’ve seen and the Wikipedia entry, this is not a continuation of the current film series but a reboot.
Fuck a bunch of reboots.
Chickenshit storytelling crap.
Everyone loves telling the origin story. It’s almost all there is to super-hero movies.
Telling the story of an average person people can relate to having extraordinary events and circumstances enter their lives is easy to do. Everyman or everywoman going from zero to hero, normal to super-normal, untrained and uncertain to confident and powerful.
It damned near writes itself.
And it can be taken to an art form. I still think Unbreakable was brilliant. Maybe by accident, but I loved that movie.
We’ve seen the origins before. The comics love to reshow the origins of heroes every damn ten issues, it seems like.
They show the origins over and over, in part, because the hard part is taking the hero, the complete package, and carrying that story along without losing the audience, who no longer directly relates to this super-powerful being. THAT is the challenge.
Making the superhuman human and telling stories that resonate for the audience once you get past the “Oh wow, I was picked on in school but now I am teh uber!!! Bullies f3ar my wrath!!!!” is where it gets hard.
So, oh, franchise fell on hard times, we can’t figure out any more stories to tell? I know, relaunch it with a different take! Let’s make it grittier, more urban, bring it down to the streets, strip it down and bring the character to the basics. Oh, and have some sweet 3D for the web swinging.
Because after all, with Spider-Man cartoons, TV live action shows, a movie series and more cartoons, and then more cartoons, there is still a living soul somewhere out there among the movie-going crowd that doesn’t yet know about radioactive spiders, and the perils therein.
I can hear you cry, “Fine, you think they’re rebooting the series with a gritty remake because they ran out of ideas, it got hard to come up with a script that a large meeting room full of bosses would agree on, and they’re trying to capitalize on how well Batman has done by relaunching with The Dark Knight. Could you come up with something different?”
Yes, yes I would.
I could come up with something different, taking off from where the last Spider-Man movie ended and moving forward in a brand new direction. And it wouldn’t even be with MY ideas.
I’d explore territory Marvel themselves has originated, where there is truly fresh ground to direct something NEW to see.
Basically, I’d say to not be so damn timid and use your own intellectual property. And that Bendis guy? Maybe talk things over with him on how to tell a story. Just a suggestion.
In Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter Parker has died.
Like, dead. Really dead. Not “it was really my clone”, or “I’m only stunned, put me in the sun and I’ll get better, I need chlorophyll to heal”, or any of that crap.
He’s dead, Jim.
In the aftermath, there has been a new Spider-Man who has risen, inspired by the original, who is feeling his way into trying to be a hero, to live up to the legacy that Peter Parker has left behind.
All right, I’ll admit, in the new comics, Miles Morales, the new Spider-Man, is not white. I know cynical people say, and perhaps with some truth, that Marvel planned that out intentionally for publicity and shock value. I frankly don’t care as long as they write and create the character with integrity, and it sure as hell would put a new spin on it.
I’m not an activist, I’m not a crusader, I don’t march around or any of that stuff, I don’t honestly give a shit what the racial background of the character is for itself as a social point.
What I love is a good story, written with integrity, with care given to the subject material, and where the people are people first, true to themselves, and portrayed with some realism.
I’d have loved to have seen a new Spider-Man movie that would start with the Death of Spider-Man. A big-ass battle, saving the lives of a shitload of people, showing the original Spider-Man for who he was, someone that fought to protect the innocent, ALL the innocent.
Boom, 15 minutes in and Tobey Maguire is dead, thousands or millions of innocent lives are saved, but Spider-Man passes on, obviously dead but with his secret identity intact.
Maybe die by taking a nuke from a terrorist attack in a crowded sports arena, and carrying it out to sea, big vaporizing bomb blast atomized Spidey? I know, too cliche, but hell, this is a comic book superhero, there are limits. Look at the Avengers, and Iron Man riding a rocket through a wormhole, return to sender.
My point is, 15 minutes in we get a dead Spider-Man, and as a city responds to the death of an anonymous hero who sacrificed his life for everyone, a hero nobody can pin down into an easy racial category and heap any kind of preconceived bullshit onto, a new Spider-Man rises who is inspired to do his best as well, a boy who has smiliar powers due to a similar accident, but who happens, just happens, to come from a totally different background in New York City, and his struggles.
There is so much you can do with that story. And yes, you could work into the story a powerful statement about assumptions, and race, and how heroism has nothing to do with what color or sex or religion you come from. Of course you can.
But if you just HAVE to do yet another Spider-Man Origin Movie, at least it would be a chance to do a NEW one, one without the same old Uncle Ben and Aunt May and Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson.
Damn it, I know it wouldn’t be original, but even maybe to see it go the way of V for Vendetta, with one sacrifice and victory inspiring a thousand others to step up and try their best, ahhh, that would freaking rock. To see women and men of every possible type come forward, masked and not, anonymous or in the open, to witness, to act, and to each be the hero they can be…
Just, damnit. Talk about lost opportunities.
I’m sure it’ll be a great movie. Original, groundbreaking, just what we all wanted this summer. I bet the special effects and 3D will be amazing. I can already see “Spider-Man: the Roller Coaster Ride” coming soon.] based on web-slinging web swinging 3D scenes.
So, when does the third Batman come out, again?
Look, you want my money, you’re gonna have to tell me a story I have some interest in seeing. Telling me the same story for the 15th time? Not going to do it.