Sony’s reboot The Amazing Spider-man has arrived to critical and financial success (and yes, it is technically a reboot since it starts a new series in a different continuity rather than just remaking the same story–well, sort of). Despite overwhelming approval of the cast (in particular Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, and Dennis Leary as Captain Stacy), most critics agree that re-telling the origin story after only a decade of seeing it in Sam Raimi’s Spider-man was completely unnecessary.
The history of bringing Spidey to the screen is a long and tangled web. Publicity hit the public for a film adaptation of the comic book hero in the ’80s, but rights issues prevented a movie from being made at that time. James Cameron planned a film in the ’90s with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Doc Ock, but that also was sidelined. Finally, Sony Pictures acquired the rights (for a limited time) and put Raimi’s film into production for a 2002 release. Of course, it was a big hit, and its two sequels made even more money. However, as we all know, Spider-man 3 fell short of expectations and was universally dismissed by fans (to put it lightly). Raimi blamed Sony for interfering. After all, he was pretty much left alone to make the movies he wanted with the first two installments in the series, but was forced to include Venom as one of the villains even though he disliked the character.
When discussions of the fourth film came up, Raimi made it clear that he wasn’t interested in making another mess of a film, so the studio promised to back of–then promptly gave him several scripts that they insisted he film. Because the rights would revert back to Marvel if another movie was not greenlit by a certain date, studio execs pressured Raimi until he finally quit. After that, the entire cast walked off the project as well. Sony then had a choice–recast and proceed with Spider-man 4 or simply start a brand new series with a new director and actors.
One of the popular screenplays they had was a retelling of the origin story, except featuring Dr. Curt Connors (AKA Lizard) instead of Green Goblin. Raimi’s films featured Dylan Baker as the one-armed scientist who mentored Peter Parker, presumably as a set-up for his eventual metamorphosis into the reptilian villain. Now that the slate was wiped clean of the past and with Sony feeling the wrath of fans after the let-down of the third of the trilogy, it was decided that even though the last film was released a mere five years ago that starting a new series was in order.
Based onThe Amazing Spider-man’s reception, it seems that Sony made the right decision. But there were other ways they could have done things. They could have given in to Raimi and made the fourth film in the series the way he wanted. They could have simply done a fourth film without Raimi and replace the actors who did not return (following the Batman model). They could have gone ahead with a reboot set in a different filmic universe, but not re-told the origin story. Or finally, they could have done this exact movie, but held off a few years to give some space between Raimi’s films and this one (what they would have done with the rights entanglement is anyone’s guess).
What do you think the right course of action would have been? Was Sony justified in making this film, or should they have gone another route? Tell us your opinion in the following poll:
copyright © 2012 FilmVerse
- Re-boot or Re-hash? (mrmovietimes.com)
- VOTD: Sam Raimi’s Original ‘Spider-Man’ Trilogy in Six Minutes (slashfilm.com)
- No Spidey Sense – “The Amazing Spider-Man” Review (shootingthescript.wordpress.com)
- Poll: Stephen King Remakes (FilmVerse)
- Poll: Sequels to Modern Classics (FilmVerse)
It was a reboot in my eyes — doing a better job than the original Spiderman film of laying out the titular title character and his family. Garfield is undeniably a great superhero actor with charm, wit, and attitude.
Nice blog — glad I found it.
It was a reboot in the sense that it wipes clean the previous films and starts anew in a completely different universe. However, the first half (the origin story) can be considered a remake of the first half of Sam Raimi’s Spider-man, which told virtually the exact same story in pretty much the same manner, only with different details. The second half of each film is a stand-alone story with different villains.
Thanks for your praise. I hope you stick around and see some of the other articles posted here on FilmVerse.
This was a mixed bag, it never could really gel for me. Here is my review.
I’d would have been in favor of not re-telling the origins story. There are so many other things that can be used in this franchise and starting from the beginning again pushes all of it back even further.
I probably would have voted differently had I not really enjoyed Amazing Spiderman. Before I saw it, I probably would have gone with the idea of rebooting Spiderman but with no origin story but I wasn’t too bothered about how similar the stories were. They were different enough for me and I thought the Amazing Spiderman was a better film than Raimi’s original.
I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-man also, though there were elements in each movie that were done better than the other. I wish somehow we could blend the two films (at least the origin stories) together to make the perfect Spider-man movie.
I voted for #2 – “Sony should have done a reboot, but not re-tell the origin story.” I agree that it’s getting old and I’d rather just focus on the conflict w/ a brief flashback on how he became Spiderman.
I didn’t know Raimi didn’t like Venom character, well I agree w/ him, I thought it was lame and I wasn’t crazy w/ the actor they cast for the part, either.
I actually kind of liked Topher Grace as Eddie Brock (Venom). Raimi’s intent was to cast someone who resembled Tobey Maguire to represent a flip side of Peter Parker. Grace was actually rumored to be a replacement for Maguire when there was speculation the original Peter would have to leave the role due to a back injury. The problem was in the writing, where once Brock turned into Venom, the villain was mostly dismissed. It would have worked better to introduced Brock in this movie as a set-up for Venom to be the main villain in a subsequent film. There again, Spider-man 3 has many more problems than that.