Editorial: Another Spider-Man Reboot? I'm Not Really That Excited
by Alex Billington
February 10, 2015
This is definitely going to be the unpopular, you're-totally-crazy opinion but I should be totally honest - this Spider-Man in the Marvel Universe news doesn't excite me at all. In fact, at this point I think I'm over Spider-Man. I didn't grow up reading the character in comic books, so I don't really have that kind of deep connection to Spidey the character. But I did "grow up" watching the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, then later followed the newest iteration lead by Marc Webb after helping him breakout with 500 Days of Summer (originally a Sundance film). Maybe I'm also just a bit tired of Marvel these days, too. This is where Spidey belongs, in the Marvel Universe, I'll certainly agree to that, but I'm having trouble feigning any excitement.
For years and years I've been a Spider-Man fan thanks to Sam Raimi's movies. I'm not saying his version of Spidey was the best version, or that his movies are some of the best ever made. In fact, I think Spider-Man 3 is abysmal and was the first painful Spidey memory for me. It's one of the best examples of over-extending a character's appeal (including the world he's a part of) by trying to satisfy fans by including everything they wanted: Venom, Sandman, New Goblin. It was too much, and it didn't work. I can't help but feel this might be the same - let's satisfy the fans' never-ending fantasy to get Spidey into the Marvel Universe. He does belong with Marvel and this is where he should be. But does it mean this is the best thing since sliced bread?
One feeling that keeps coming up when thinking about Spider-Man is that I've been burned by him time and time again. For the longest time, I argued that Raimi's Spider-Man 2 was (or still is) one of the best comic book movies ever made. It got everything right, it has the perfect mix of characters in the world, and it was an incredible action movie. Then we had Spider-Man 3. A few years later, they brought Spidey back and cast Andrew Garfield. Another perfect choice. I was even excited for Marc Webb to bring new life to the series. The Amazing Spider-Man was good but not great, but the version of Spidey they gave us was perfect. Then we had The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Now, yet again, they're stopping when things went bad and rebooting.
We're <10 years away from a Spider-Man movie that reboots itself during the movie.
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) February 10, 2015
Studies have shown that Spider-Man is one of the world's most valuable brands, comparable to Coca-Cola, which is partially the reason Sony is insistent on never giving up the rights fully (and even in this new deal they're still going to make Spidey movies for themselves after the Marvel crossover). Disney, I am certain, wants
a bit a lot of that money. I mean, they did buy Marvel and they already are getting some of that brand money, but they want the box office money now. So, of course, when there's lots of money involved deals will come together. I'm actually more surprised and more excited by the fact that a landmark deal was made between these studios than I am excited by the potential for the character. Maybe I'm not a big enough fan.
As far as I can tell at this point, similar to Spider-Man 3, Disney and Marvel Studios and Sony are doing the exact same thing again - they're satisfying the demands of fans in hopes that it will pay off in spades. I'm sure it will. I don't doubt the success that is sure to come, and I full well expect that Marvel's movies will be breaking records over the next five years. The first Civil War movie is going to be huge. But I can't help but feel that's just because they're enticing fans with the smallest piece of meat to chew on, just to draw them in and cause mass hysteria. It's starting to feel like a gimmick. This early on we don't know any details about the new iteration of the character, or plot details about of the movies he will be involved in. It's all just hype.
Do we really need to recast Andrew Garfield? (I'll be happiest if Donald Glover gets the new role.) Do we really need to reboot and start another Spidey franchise again so soon after the last one? (I'll be happier if they actually make the Venom movie.) Do we really need to get excited by a crossover that was inevitable if only the studios could work together? Maybe. I guess what it comes down to is that, within 15 years of time this will be the third Spider-Man reboot I've gone through. Yes, they finally got the character correct in the latest iteration, but they're going to recast and restart all over again with Marvel in the mix now. Let's hope they do him justice. Let's hope this isn't a gimmick to make fans lose their minds and empty their wallets.
It happens every 4 years: The Olympics, the presidential election, the rebooting of Spider-Man.
— Jeff Wilser (@jeffwilser) February 10, 2015
Please don't hate me for not being excited by comic book movie news in 2015. I know I'm not the only one feeling a bit burned out by the growing slough of comic book movies slated all the way until 2020. As much as I want to be excited, and hopefully will be by the time they release these movies, my genuine feelings after hearing this announcement are fairly neutral. I'm not excited, nor am I worried. At least they made a deal, at least it's really happening, and I'm hoping it's as awesome as we want it to be. Marvel has done a fine job building up a fantastic cinematic universe so far, I just don't want them to push too far just to satisfy fans, and suddenly it's Spider-Man 3 all over again. Even though it is Kevin Feige's Marvel, you just never know.
In all truth and honesty, I might be excited by the time this big Marvel crossover comes out. I need to see some footage, and I want to know who will be playing the new Spider-Man first. Just bringing Spidey into the Marvel Universe is not enough to make me excited anymore. But it's very early on only time will tell how this all plays out and if our friendly neighborhood Spidey will play nice in Marvel's cinematic playground. I'm curious, but not excited… yet. Do you agree? [For a different take, read Dan's editorial on the news.]