Spider-Man’s Cinematic Web
I love Spider-Man. You all know that (and if you didn’t by now, clearly you haven’t been paying attention). So with Sony’s new announcement of Marc Webb returning to direct Amazing Spider-Man 3, and their plans to release a “Spider-Man film every year” you’d think I’d be ecstatic. Well, here’s where I drop a big ol’ bomb.
Now, my thoughts on certain aspects of what we may be getting in Amazing Spider-Man 2 are well known, but that’s not the reason why I’m wary of yearly cinematic Spidey. No, I’m weary because I don’t think it’s possible. Outside of doing a new Spider-Man focused movie, the list of possibilities for spin off characters is pretty small.
Spider-Man has an awesome rogues gallery and supporting cast, but there are very few that could be spun off into their movies. Black Cat? Sure. Venom? Could work, but he needs to be a villain in a movie first. Superior Foes? Hell yes, sign me up. But aside from those three, I struggle to think of any other supporting character or characters that Sony could turn into a successful movie. If people think Guardians of the Galaxy will be a hard sell for Marvel and Disney, imaging Sony trying to sell audiences on a Prowler or Silver Sable movie. Hell, they might even do a “Clone Saga” movie and then give Scarlet Spider his own series of films (please don’t).
You may say “But wait, doesn’t Marvel put out more than one movie a year?” to which I say “yes, of course they do”. BUT, the big difference here is the fact that Marvel has many characters that they can put on the screen in one year.Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger were both released in 2011, but they were two widely different movies that appealed to different audiences. How different can the Spider-Man movies be tonally? Obviously Venom won’t feel the same as Sinister Six, but I just don’t think there will be enough of a difference between the Sony films to make it worth doing.
I get the reasoning behind Sony’s plans though. Now that they’ve given the Ghost Rider movie rights back to Marvel Studios, Spider-Man is the only big franchise they have left, and much to my chagrin, they’re not going to give it back like they did with Johnny Blaze. No way. Not only that, but they (like Warner Bros) have seen the money that Marvel took in with Avengers and want a piece of it. But unlike WB, they don’t have enough characters to make something like Avengers work. There’s no team of Spider-Men, and unless they decide to incorporate alternate realities (or make a Slingers movie), it won’t work.
On the plus side, at least with Webb coming back he’ll be able to keep building on this “big plan” that they’re building to, as opposed to hiring a new director and hoping he doesn’t throw all the plans out the window. I’m just not convinced that there’s enough in Spidey’s world that you can put on screen on its own successfully. Of course, much like with my worries about Amazing Spider-Man 2, I want to be proven wrong. Hopefully I will be, but for right now this is just another red flag in Sony’s ongoing Spider-Man movie plans.