Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Two-Cents on Rebooting 'Spider-Man'


I know that the news about Sony rebooting the Spider-Man franchise is old news, but I figured I'd toss out my two-cents about the idea now that the rumors are flying around about the new Peter Parker.

Initially, I thought the idea of rebooting the franchise was a bad idea, not because I was emotionally invested in the original trilogy (or the character for that matter), but because it's lazy storytelling.  I know that Hollywood is all about making money, so when you have a billion dollar franchise, you want to milk it for all its worth, but starting over after only ten years just seems greedy and unnecessary.

Some franchise reboots kind of make sense.  For example, a RoboCop reboot makes sense because technology has caught up to the story, and an updated version could actually trump the original.  The Superman franchise probably should have pushed the reset button rather than trying to extend the original series with Superman Returns, and we all know how well the reboot of Batman and Star Trek worked out.  I just don't know if starting over with Spider-Man makes the same kind of sense.

Obviously, I don't know all of the details, but it sounds like Sam Raimi wanted to make up for the subpar Spider-Man 3, but Sony wanted to fast-track Spidey 4, which caused nothing but drama.  Rather than giving Raimi time, the studio gave in to the latest superhero trend.

Then, Sony tapped (500) Days of Summer director, Marc Webb, to take over the franchise, and I couldn't help but scratch my head.  I really liked Summer, but nothing in that movie told me that Webb could take on an action/superhero film the caliber of Spider-Man.  Sure, the new idea is about a teenaged Peter Parker, and all of his angst, which Webb has proven he can convey, but again it's all been done before so why do it?

Then I started thinking about and the only genre that can get away with rebooting is the superhero because the comic book industry constantly changes origin stories, timelines, and continuity for its characters.  Why should the movie adaptations be any different?  And who knows, maybe the new movies will be better than the first three...I just think they were hasty at pulling the trigger on the reboot idea rather than letting the franchise end.

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