Tobey Magurie has slung his last web. Reports are in that Tobey won’t be back for Spider-Man 4. This was a quick switch, since just recently it seemed like a given that he would be back and he had said he was excited with the prospects of the script., which he had said had “great stuff in terms of story and script” and who had ideas about the evolution of the character.
Sooooo…something must of happened to prompt this sudden announcement. Not only won’t he be back, but director Sam Raimi is out as well. After directing the three previous films again things had begun to look like he would return.
Then we get the announcement of his definitive departure and best wishes to the studio with the franchise (it kind of sounds like a put on publicity thing, at least that’s how I interpret those kind of ‘good luck’ sentiments. No reason to burn any bridges.
This has all been somewhat a surprise. Raimi recently had said he didn’t want someone else to tell the story of Peter Parker, but now it looks like someone else will. So what caused this sudden change of events to one of the most popular franchises around?
Studio pressure to get to a release date? – Well, it’s said Sony wanted to make a release date for the fourth entry to the series for May 6, 2011. But script problems seemed to be making reaching that date unlikely. Along with the fact Marvel’s Thor being made by Paramount announced the same release date for their film. ( I personally think the release date drama is over-worried. If audiences want to see both films, they will! Them eating into each other is over-exaggerated.
Ok, so they might not get the ‘biggest single day release for any comic film in this century’ or whatever record they want, but they’ll still make a boat-load of cash. I understand they’re putting a lot of money into these films and want to recoup as much as possible. Unfortunately, the film business is a business. Ka- Ching!
What else? Budgetary concerns? Story suggestions? Better coffee on the set? Who knows.
There had been rumors John Malkovich and Anne Hathaway were to come onboard for Number Four as the Vulture and maybe the Black Cat Raimi had wanted to feature the Vulture in Number Three, but Sony– who always wants to cater to the largest audience possible – suggested the inclusion of Venom.
Raimi had always been an old school Spidey fan and was never really interested in the character. BUT the studio got it’s way, fanboys got their Venom and….well we saw how that character - and the film turned out.
I’m somewhat skeptical when it comes to press releases and don’t think we’re hearing the entire story from anyone. Maybe thirty years from now when Raimi writes his autobiography then maybe we’ll get all the details. (I think it’s kind of funny that no one is really too concerned about Kirsten Dunst’s participation in all this by the way).
So we’re left with what’s going to happen to our Spidey films. Well, apparently an all new perspective on the character and an account of Peter Parker during his high school years. A “gritty and contemporary” portrayal of the character. For some reason I think the studio is thinking they might have the Batman character and are going to be making The Dark Knight followup. Spider-Man is not exactly “gritty”.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. For one thing I was hoping Raimi and company would stay on and do one more film. I thought his first Spidey film was good, the second was great and the third one…..well I was hoping Raimi would have made up for that with a fourth one.
On another hand, maybe Raimi went as far as he could go with the character and story. Number Three, which I’m not a fan of, did provide closure to the characters stories that we’ve been following since the beginning.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a very enjoyable last leg of the ride. But I think if Raimi was given enough freedom and was motivated (which it seemed like he was) he would have made an additional film that would have pleased fans. But since he’s not here’s an opportunity to improve on some things that fell short in the trilogy. Like Spider-Man’s funny quips.
No matter how Tobey delivered his jokes he always came off more pompous than funny. His intelligence. I never got the impression Raimi’s Peter Parker was that much of book nerd. And a high school setting is the perfect stage to show how Peter is an outcast, a nerd, unsuccessful with girls, and pretty much an all around geek! We didn’t get much of that in the previous films. He gets tripped on the bus at the beginning of the first film and then by the end he’s got Mary Jane pining away for him.
I understand traditionally during his existence Peter Parker is a high school student and him balancing his duel life as a superhero and a teenager with problems is what’s part of his charm and I would like to see that interpretation explored more than what Raimi has done.
But for some reason the whole idea of this ‘Reboot’ still makes me nervous. Visions of ‘Spider-Man 90210’ and wooden ‘Twilight-like’ scenes come to mind. A cast consisting of ‘young, hot stars’ I’m worried will be all over the poster. This could be so easy to screw up, but maybe it’s a chance worth taking.
If this is just a ploy to cater to a younger audience and hire cheaper and more obedient filmmakers that won’t struggle and will give the films glossy effects, a lot of action, forced romantic turmoil with no substance in sight, then I hope this blows up in Sony’s smug confident faces. It seems like a little premature for a reboot anyway, especially when all the principals from the films were willing to come back and the series has been a consistent hit.
Obviously, this is a huge movie story and the internet is lighting up with everyone voicing their opinions and thoughts. It does certainly show the passion the character has from his fans and they’re going to watching the progress of this thing right up until the release in 2012. I’m going to try to stay optimistic for this thing.
I’m not sure how this ‘Spider-Man: Reboot’ will be accepted by movie audiences. It will probably make a bunch of money though, no matter the quality, just because it’s Spider-Man. But let’s hope the final result is a film that merits the attention from Spidey’s fans and not just a huge mistake that will leave us bitter and disappointed.