How To "Save" The Spider-Man Movies

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Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a pretty successful movie — but it wasn't the blockbuster Sony was hoping for, and Amazing Spider-Man 3 got delayed. Meanwhile, we keep hearing some off-the-wall Spidey spin-off ideas. But over in Forbes, Scott Mendelson says there's one easy way to save the Spidey movies.

First off, before anybody else says it, the perception that Spidey is in trouble is massively overblown. No Spider-Man movie has ever failed to do well. It's true the rebooted films have somewhat underperformed the Tobey Maguire trilogy, with ASM2 making around $700 million instead of the nearly $900 million Spider-Man 3 made.

But Mendelson says the simplest way to save the Spider-Man movies is just to keep making Spider-Man movies, since they always do well. The one creative suggestion he offers is to do a movie about Miles Morales, who's become Spidey in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. But generally, he says, "The worst thing Sony could do is panic and over think it." The character remains incredibly popular, and doesn't need an "expanded universe" or a complicated mythos involving OsCorp.


Instead, they should just make Amazing Spider-Man 3, and make it a good standalone film. He writes:

Don't worry about tying the film into an expanded universe. Don't worry about drowning in continuity. Free from the burden of Marvel-style synergy and free from the requirement of justifying a fan-favorite plot twist, director Marc Webb and his amazing friends can just tell a ripping stand-alone Spider-Man adventure, one no more tied to rigid continuity than a The Spy Who Loved Me or Transformers: Age of Extinction. And for goodness sake keep the budget under $200 million if at all possible, so even if you still end up at $700m worldwide no one has to panic.


He also has an interesting spin on why Amazing Spider-Man 2 was kind of a mess:

When you listen to the filmmakers' commentary on the blu ray you realize that the core narrative flaw of the second Amazing Spider-Man film (a picture I mostly enjoyed) was the choice to kill Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy. They made that call at the beginning and then basically wrote the film backwards to justify that sequence both narratively (bringing in the Green Goblin in the name of source fidelity, offering a secondary villain in the form of Electro in order to have action sequences prior to Osbourne's transformation) and thematically (going hilariously out of its way to absolve Peter of any responsibility in his girlfriend's violent murder). The idea that the film was a backdoor pilot to a Sinister Six type film, or that it suffered from villain overload, was more about the marketing than the actual final product.


When you look at ASM2 as a film that's hobbled by the decision to kill off Gwen and the build the entire movie around that plot development, instead of telling a story and deciding Gwen's fate as a result of that, it kind of makes sense.

The whole thing is absolutely worth reading. [Forbes]