Razza Frazzin’ Spider-Mazzin!

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.

Ah well.

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.


27 thoughts on “Razza Frazzin’ Spider-Mazzin!

  1. I for one love comic book movies, but I don’t get how the producers choose scripts. I could watch Batman and the Joker dance for a week, all the other villains not so much. I think the reason for so many reboots is if a hero takes off, the star usually bails or asks for too much money. I’m just glad the movies passed on the cute sidekick thing.


  2. I liked the movie, but I’m not prepared to say it improved upon the Raimi films. (Well, they wouldn’t have to work hard to improve on 3) I do feel like there should be a new rule applied to superhero reboots:

    The Ed Norton Rule: If you are making a reboot to a well known superhero movie, you must show the Origin of said hero in the opening credits.


  3. I skimmed the article and didn’t read most of the comments, I admit. It’s long past my bedtime right now. But…

    The reason they don’t do a different origin story without Uncle Ben and Aunt May is… it wouldn’t be Spider Man. You can’t take the basis out of a character and expect it to be the same character. Uncle Ben getting killed because he was a lazy ass is the soul of why he became a hero. It might have the same name and do the same things, but it’s not the same character. Even the ‘it was a genetically engineered spider’ thing was really pushing it, but it was close enough, really. The ‘big scary science’ of the time.

    Would Arthas be the same character if he never met Gul’dan? (Not a big lore geek, just two big names I remember being vaguely attached. ;P )

    A Cracked article put it best… Hollywood is treating them like computers. Use it till it stops working (making money), then reboot.


  4. They’re not really worried about your money, you’re not the target audience. As much as it pains me to say it, superhero movies, and comic books for that matter, are made for kids, and we just happened to have not grown out of them. The vast majority of kids think Spiderman is awesome, and then grow out of it – we just assume that it’s normal to still be in love with comics becasue that’s the community we inhabit, and through the internet have constant contact with all of the other geeks, but it’s really just a tiny minority of the moviegoing audience.

    It’s been ten years since the last Spiderman origin movie, and a whole generation of kids has grown up since then. This new movie is for the new generation of kids who haven’t had that experience yet. These kids aren’t invested in a long running story that they want to see the next part of, in the way that we are, to them the whole thing is fresh and new.

    That doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to go see it of course. In a way it’s like suggesting that ballet companies should stop doing swan lake.


    • I get you, that sounds about right,.

      But aren’t I really sugesting it’s like suggesting Ballet companies keep doing the Swan lake we all love, and not add fireworks, explosions, car chases and and a rock and roll score to a new interpretation?


  5. As I understand it the studio had to make the movie or the rights would have reverted to Marvel completely. And these days Marvel are doing a better job than the traditional studios. So yes, it is a completely lazy exercise in holding on to an IP they don’t know what to do with.


  6. I was just talking to my coworkers about this today. One was really excited to see SM on the big screen… again. Me, not so much – for exactly the reason you posted (I’ll have to send her a link to the blog).


  7. I’m with you. So many of these things feel like its just Too Soon. On the other hand… It’s been over ten years since Raimi’s first Spider-man. Yikes! The new one does look like it will be good – I saw the preview during Avengers – but, I think at this point I’m suffering from comic book movie burnout. Not interested in this, not interested in the latest Dark Knight movie. The films on my radar are the latest Wes Anderson film, and The Hobbit. And, maybe I’ll find some way to see the Avengers again, because HULK SMASH, darn it!


  8. “A Netflix subscription we pay for, as far as I can tell, so Cassie can watch McLeod’s Daughters on streaming video.”

    On behalf of Australia I ask you to forgive us for that… I know your pain – I’ve sat through too many episodes of it!

    It is interesting but one things I’ve noticed recently when showing my son Transforms (the cartoons) is that each generation of that actually does a reboot. I had looked at it as just continuing the stories but they were restarted again. Generation 1 and 2 looked to be almost identical clones (of the origin stories) – but the animated series has some significant differences – which in truth my 4 year old point out (i.e. Dinobots were created Megatron in the animated, and by the Autobots in other ones). The major difference here is that we are talking a span of 30 years now… not 10.


  9. i hated the spiderman movies. cause the didnt have his web shoooters right. im a huge fan and this one fixes it. ill have to see it cause they finally did it right.
    i would love to see his death on big screen. that one fucked me up. he was my fav hero and died a hero 🙂


    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, Wren!

      I haven’t considered entering, because believe it or not I’ve got my head wrapped around my Converging Forces novel. I’ve been doing some serious thinking, moving it all around in my head, and letting what I think are some damn good things come out.

      I’ve long wondered how other authors write such brilliant works, and I finally know it doesn’t matter. I’m not them, I’m me, and the way I’ve been getting really happy lately is by having everything in my head, and pulling parts out, move em around, run ’em through my head, and then look at everything that makes it something worth writing.


  10. I have to admit, I had very little interest in the new movie. But then I saw some gifs floating around on Tumblr where it showed the Spider-Man actor (I don’t know his name) apparently doing his own stunts! And being all wirey and acrobatic, in a style similar to Luche Libre wrestlers (the flipping and twisting part, I mean).

    I’m pretty curious now. And if I find out that he really is doing his own stunts – not just an action movie, but FREAKING SPIDER-MAN – I might just be impressed enough to go see it. Hell, if he can do Spidey’s body contortions and acrobatics and actually act, I almost think he’s earned my money.


    • The thing is, the trailers look like it’ll be a good movie. And there are a lot of people who think The Dark knight reimaginings of Batman are just brilliant.

      I’m not saying it will be a bad movie, and I’m not making any judgment of the actors, the artistic directors, or the rest who got paid to make the best movie they can.

      I’m making a serious indictment of how shitty it is to go back to the same damn story all over again.


  11. I am in total agreement with ya BBB. With all the other great stories from books and such out there they would rather rehash something for the umpteenth time then make something new. Bah this is why I almost quit watching movies. I still go and see the rare film maybe 1 every 2 years or so but thats about it.


  12. Sometimes movies are put out to retain rights. In this instance, Sony was going to lose the rights to Spider-man, so they pushed out another Spider-man movie. Now they get to keep the rights, even if they do nothing with the franchise until the rights are due to lapse again.

    The same is happening with X-man, which is why you’ll never see Spider-man or X-men done with the same care and attention to the source material as we saw with Iron-man, Captain America and Thor, which are all done under Marvel’s direct control.

    On DC’s side, it looks like they played 52 pick up with their licenses, which is why you’ll never see a JLA movie with the real JLA. Too many characters spread out over too many companies. And you’ll continue to see poorer caliber DC movies as companies scramble to retain the rights, even though they have no understanding, or care for, the source material.


    • I wasn’t aware of this whole rights thing, but niow that you and Neil have explained it, that makes sense.

      What it does not do is explain why, if they HAVE to make a movie to retain control because, you know, MONEY, why the hell make the same old shit story? I mean, if you’re keeping it to actually make money and not just to go neener neener to Marvel, MAKE SOME DAMN MONEY BY MAKING A MOVIE EXCITING TO WATCH.


      • You mentioned the Ultimate line in your post, BBB, and I thought that was a great revamp of the Spidey story. It did start everything over, but it was GREAT revamp. Things were different, yet the same. Peter Parker was a kid in the 2000s, dealing with modern school-age problems. And they had familiar characters, but changed things just enough to make things not quite the same, so that you knew that guy was Doc Ock, that guy was Venom, but their actual origins/personalities were refreshingly different.

        I don’t know too much about the new Spidey movie, but unless it’s VERY different from the previous ones, I too worry that it might be “much of the same”.


      • It is the same reason we got X-men first class, and another fantastic four reboot in process… because Fox owns those character licenses for movies.


  13. It’s a licensing issue. As I understand it: Sony owns the rights to Spider-man. If they do not use them every X years (I think it’s 5), the rights default back to the original owner, Marvel, which in turn is now owned by Disney. Sony does not want to hand off one of its biggest cash cows to Disney. Ergo … Spider-man reboot, to reset the five year timer.

    Welcome to Hollywood, BBB 😛


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