Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Some Spider-Man Thoughts

I haven't seen Spider-Man 3 yet. I'm planning on going tonight. And while I'll definitely let you know my thoughts on it afterwards, I wanted to talk a bit about the franchise. And maybe have some fun speculating :)

So Spidey 3 has broken all box office records!!! Pulling in some $382 Million worldwide on it's opening weekend, and the biggest single opening day of $59 Million. Or at least that's the big headline this week. And we're not a week before analysts we're naysaying about how this film cost more than any other film ever. And how it just wasn't as good as the others... Well technically the reviews and reactions haven't been nearly as good as Spider-Man 2, but there is no denying that Spider-Man, despite the reported inflated costs, is an unequivocal success.

Accompanying the release, the main cast have been on a whirlwind press tour promoting the film for the past two or three weeks. Perhaps it was the pace, or the endless questions, but frankly none of them seemed very excited. And ultimately when the inevitable question was asked of them if they would return for another go round in Spider-Man 4, they all shied away giving cagey answers that seemed to me to fall more on the side of no, than yes. That's fine with me, I mean I understand that these guys might be a bit tired of making Spider-Man films, and if they really are considering it I can see how the prospect of renewed contract negotiations might make them hesitate to give a definite answer. That's all fine. And despite some completely absurd comments by Kirsten Dunst, like another film would flop without her (CORRECTION - this is a misquote, see the comments for more) I think we can all understand their general hesitation. The one thing we can say for sure about the cast, and of course Sam Rami, is that none of them sound too eager to come back without the others.

But especially post the record breaking money making box office bonanza that happened this past weekend for Sony. it's now become clear that they have "every intention" of moving ahead, and my guess would be soon, on a Spider-Man 4, 5, and 6. Despite rumors of Rami moving onto The Hobbit he has stated that he might be interested in returning to the franchise if the right story was in place. And to that end, Sony is apparently in talks to get uber-talented writer David Keopp to pen the Spidery 4 script. So we know for sure that this is coming now, there will be no escaping it. And that of course leads us to the next inescapable question, who or what would you like to see in future installments of the Spider-Man series? should we get a new cast? new director? new story direction?

This week the film site Freeze Dried Movie, a site I'm unfamiliar with but apparently has gotten scoops right in the past, reports that their source inside the production offices are rambling that the villains for Spider-Man 4 will be none other than The Lizard, and Carnage! Yup, that's right, the set up for the last 3 films has apparently not been in vain, and Dr Connors will in fact become The Lizard. And as for Carnage, well I personally left comics just as he was coming into the scene so I'm not super familiar with the character. And since I've been back reading them I haven't yet caught up on his story, but I know he is a serial killer, Cletus Cassidy, who encounters the same alien symbiote (or was it the mate?) of the Venom alien, transforming him into a horrible killing machine. The word coming from Freeze Dried Movies is that this movie will be darker in tone that the first 3, and might also include the first appearance of Felicia Hardy, aka The Black Cat.

All said, I think that while we obviously can't take this report too seriously, I mean even if it is accurate they're still a loooong ways off, generally speaking the idea of Lizard and Carnage is a good one. Both are (or should be) very dark characters. Monsters in the night types, who would lend themselves to a darker tone. And darker is definitely where the franchise needs to go, especially if we're talking about a film that might feature an all new cast. We need more scariness, more danger, more badassedness if we're going to accept a slew of new faces in these roles. I know that ultimately Spider-Man is not an overly dark comic most of the time, but hey, even he teamed up with Blade once or twice, and I know he faced down creatures of the night like Morbius. That's where we should go for Spider-Man 4.

In terms of looking ahead of that, well I think the second trilogy should focus on Spider-Man finding his place in the larger world. If the first three films are about him coming to terms in his own life with being a superhero, now we need to see him dealing with a bigger picture. Yes Spider-Man should always be set in New York, and of course at it's core it's about the people of the city, and the people in Peter's life, I don't want to see Spider-Man in space quite yet, he's not that kind of hero. But the film Spider-Man hasn't dealt much with the bigger picture, so far its mostly been about his inner journey. My suggestions for future villains would have to include my favorite, Kraven the Hunter, and the Night of the Hunter storyline, and one I really want to see just for the amazing effects it would take, Rhino. Maybe we could even get a Sinister Six story... Really Spidey has a pretty amazing rogues gallery.

What do you want though? Let me know down in the comments...

I know I'll be pretty happy as long as they keep making them. Spider-Man films are great, and I think they can in theory keep going for a long time, with or without the current cast. Maybe one day we'll even get an Avengers film. For now though I'm pretty excited to catch up with old webhead tonight. I'll be happy with that, oh and of course I'll keep my fingers crossed for Fantastic Four 2 being great, leading to an even greater Silver Surfer movie ;)

Here's a list of the upcoming films and tv shows on Marvel's plate:

Films - Spider-Man 3 (release May 4th), Fantastic Four 2 (release June 15th), Iron Man (in production, release May 2nd '08), The Incredible Hulk (in production, release June 27th '08), Ant Man (writer and director engaged), Captain America (writter engaged), Nick Fury (writer engaged), Thor (writer engaged), Avengers (writer engaged)

Also - Black Panther, Cloak & Dagger, Dr Strange, Hawkeye, Power Pack, Shang Chi, Wolverine, Punisher 2, Magneto, Namor (trilogy)

Tv animated - Wolverine and the X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man
TV live action - Moon Knight, Skrull Kill Crew, Alter Ego

direct to dvd films - Dr Strange

Rumored/Potential projects - Silver Surfer, Daredevil 2, Avengers 3 (dvd), Ghostrider 2, X-Men 4, Spider-Man 4, Deadpool

I obviously love superhero films, and this list sounds great to me. Even when we get missteps like with Elektra, or Man Thing, Marvel has done a great job overall. I hope this continues in Spider-Man 3 and beyond. If you're interested in more info, check this Wiki entry, or just read this. Thanks for the time kids, I'll chat with you later :)

ps - I just got word, my Spider-Man webisode just made it to the Quarter finals!!!! woohoo!!!



Tara said...

So, not to totally defend Kirsten Dunst, but she said the movie would flop without herself AND Tobey AND Sam Raimi...not just if she wasn't in it....

Chappy said...

oh I saw that, but I have very little patience for her 'I'm better than you' attitude. I don't mind her acting really, even though she gets bagged on a lot. I think she's made a few bad choices though. And I think her lack of respect for the fan community has been a really bad move over the years while promoting Spider-Man films.

Anonymous said...

you still shouldn't misquote the poor girl. Anyway... i got antsy about 2/3 of the way through so maybe you already answered the following question. Who would you want for spider-man if it weren't Tobey? A beefed up Shia? It'd've to be a relative unknown.

Tara said...

Listen to Bernard. =)

Chappy said...

That's a very good question, and I've been thinking about it a bit. I don't have a good answer. Someone a bit younger definitely. I think Shia is too old, and doesn't look really right. I want to say someone like Emile Hirsch, but maybe he's too old. maybe we should get someone like the great young Canadian actor Cameron Bright. At least we know he can act. And I've been hearing how he is poised to take Hollywood by storm for at least 5 years now. One of those industry known actors who isn't publically huge yet.

Chappy said...

While I didn't actually technically misquote Kirsten Dunst, she said:

"It's disrespectful to the whole team, I think, to do that. And audiences aren't stupid. It'd be a big flop without me, Tobey, or Sam. That would really not be the smartest move. But they know that already. [Sony chief] Amy Pascal would never do that."


I took part of her quote and said it out of context; sensationalizing it. That was inappropriate and somewhat unethical in a journalistic sense. Sorry.

That said, Dunst has consistently annoyed me, and much of the fan community by being, what many perceive, as less than respectful of the source material, and placing too much importance on her personal involvement in the films.

Sony is going forward with new Spider-Man films, with or without her, and I do not think it will be a flop. I think fans will ultimately agree that Spider-Man is bigger than any one actor or director. I've heard it said that Sony is looking to make Spider-Man into a new Bond, or Star Trek franchise, and I see no real reason why it couldn't be.

Chappy said...

ok, well I've put a correction in the post. hopefully that helps.

I am sorry for the MISQUOTE.

yes it is an actual misquote. I didn't realize that Omission constituted that. Thank you for the helpful info everyone.

In my last post here I was trying to get at the fact that I felt the intent, the meaning of what i was saying was more important than the quote itself. But really those are two totally separate issues.

So I am honestly sorry.
I will try to never do that again.
It is unfair, rude, and as I said before, totally unethical. I know I wouldn't want anyone to misquote me. Sorry :(

Tara said...

Don't beat yourself up too much about it -- that being said, of course, I forgive you even though there's really not much to forgive. You unintentionally misquoted her and with no malice. That being said, I'm not sure if Bernard will ever forgive you. =)

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