Did 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Lose Some of the 'Untold Story' DNA?
Audiences were already skeptical of another take on everyone's favorite wallcrawler in The Amazing Spider-Man just five years after the last installment of Sam Raimi's successful and memorable film trilogy. However, the studio seemed to have locked down a smart way of selling the hero with the "untold story" tagline that appeared on the poster and in the trailers. But now that the film is in theaters, it seems like not much is different in the new origin story of how Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) becomes Spider-Man. Thankfully, the internet has come through to follow the breadcrumbs on this path that seems to disappear.
Obviously, if you haven't seen The Amazing Spider-Man yet, you may want to stop reading, because there will be rampant spoilers throughout this entire post. Since the film has been released, there's been plenty of praise for the action, special effects, and especially for the perfect cast, including amazing chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. But most of the complaints have come in the form of plot holes, a far too familiar origin story and a lame villain with unclear motivations, especially after a certain figure, perhaps more integral to the film's plot, simply disappears. Let's dig into the details, courtesy of a smart and meticulous breakdown by Badass Digest.
Perhaps the biggest plot hole in the film comes after Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), with the assistance of Peter Parker, figures out a new formula to merge lizard DNA with other species in order to help them regenerate cells and heal themselves, something important to Conners who is missing his right arm. Once a lab mouse shows promising results, Connors' superior Rajit Ratha (played by Irrfan Khan) wants him to jump straight to human trials and threatens to can Connors if he doesn't follow through. There's allusions to a similar stand that Parker's father took which may have led to his demise as well, but no more details are given. Here the thread to Parker's past and the different origin story to his becoming Spider-Man begins.
However, after Connors decides to test the new formula on himself, he learns Ratha is already on his way to a veterans hospital to test the formula on a different subject. Before he can stop him, Connors transforms into The Lizard and wreaks havoc across the city trying to stop Ratha. But after an action sequence on the bridge and a failed attempt by The Lizard to kill Ratha, the character disappears from the film forever, with no further mention of his involvement with Parker's parents. So how does this tie in to the supposed "untold story" of Spider-Man?
Well, it has been said that the new origin story would have seen Peter Parker being turned into Spider-Man not just by a simple spider bite. In fact, apparently Peter was originally supposed to have something inside of his DNA that activates after the spider bites him. This is why there's so much tension between Connors and Ratha, and an unsolved mystery behind the disappearance of the Parker parents. This would explain why his father had spider diagrams and one kept under glass in his torn apart office in the beginning of the film. Essentially, Peter's father made it possible for his son to become Spider-Man, but only likely after being forced to by Oscorp, more specifically Ratha. But what evidence is there of this?
A commenter at Superhero Hype posted this compilation of images from a cut sequence (that still made it into trailers and clips) featuring some sort of confrontation between Spider-Man, The Lizard and Ratha in the makeshift sewer lab, a scene that likely takes place after the bridge action:
That looks like the perfect place for an exposition filled scene for Peter to learn about the true origins of his newfound powers. Plus, this is where lines from the trailer like "If you want the truth about your parents, Peter, come and get it!" The problem is that Peter never really learns any truth about his parents. This is also where Ratha was supposed to die, but there was no way to have the scene in the film without keeping the genetic origin storyline as well. My question is why was it so necessary to cut this plot line? Did the studio deem it too strange for audiences? If anything it would have improved the plot holes in the film and made for a much more interesting franchise reboot. Badass Digest dives even further into this mystery, so check out their full analysis on this "untold story" and several other plot problems over there. Otherwise, what do you think about this DNA debacle? Would you prefer the "untold story" elements? Discuss!