Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Friday, December 6, 2013

Spinning My Own Web for a Spider-Man Movie Franchise

As you might have noticed, the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 dropped yesterday. As you may not have noticed unless you frequent the same circles on the internet that I do, there's been a lot of hubbub about the casting choices, character design choices, and most of all, the idea of including three new villains (Electro, the Rhino, and some version of the Green Goblin) at once just because Sony wants to get the Sinister Six involved by the third or possibly fourth movie. I don't have an opinion at the moment, content as I am to play "wait and see" here, but it did inspire me to re-post this column I did for a different blog three years ago in which I looked at the Raimi trilogy and reimagined it as a longer series which also had the Sinister Six as its payoff. So, for your enjoyment if you're interested or just bored, my idea of a Spider-Man film series, based off Raimi's beginnings!

The fact that I'm a comic book geek is no secret; and, like all comic book geeks, every time a comic book movie comes out, I've dreamed up what I would do for a sequel. Now, with Sam Raimi's "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" Spider-Man trilogy over and a reboot coming, I get to play armchair quarterback and tell you all what I would have done differently, not just with one movie but with the whole shebang. I figure I'm qualified. I mean, I might not know better than Sam Raimi, but I definitely know better than the studio morons who messed up his visions for Spidey 3, and whose even worse ideas for Spidey 4 are what led to the reboot happening in the first place. Just a warning, my vision for the franchise is a six-movie story, so, be prepared for a ride.

Let's start at the beginning...

Spider-Man: To tell you the truth, in terms of plot, there really isn't a thing I would change about this movie. It really was a perfect origin story. There are, however, a couple of parts I'd cast differently. Maguire and Franco are okay. As for Dafoe, nothing against him, but, well, this is how they draw Norman in the comics:Now, if that's not Tommy Lee Jones, I don't know who it is. And as for Mary Jane, well, she's supposed to be a beautiful, curvy, redheaded model. That isn't Kirsten Dunst. It is, however:As Stan Lee would say, "'Nuff said." Oh, yeah, also? The Green Goblin's costume would not have looked like a giant green pocket rocket.

Spider-Man 2: Just a few small changes here too, as this movie was pretty damn great. One thing I'd change is the thing everybody found ridiculous about this one: entirely too many people knew who he was by the end of it. Aunt May, Mary Jane, Harry Osborn, a train full of people, Doctor Octopus... that's all unnecessary. Harry finds out, and Mary Jane finds out at the end, and that's it. The other thing I'd change is that Doc Ock wouldn't redeem himself by dying. He'd stay bad and go to prison. This is an important change for later on.

Spider-Man 3: Alright, here's where I start to do the heavy lifting. The most important thing is to avoid the overcrowding that happened in the original version. There'd be no Gwen Stacy, she served no point. We'd also stay away from the "Mary Jane is a hostage" thing that happened in the previous two climaxes, Pete and MJ are still together, Harry attacks him out of revenge, Pete finds the symbiote, Sandman is in it, Eddie Brock is in it (but not Topher Grace. Jensen Ackles, maybe.He has the look and the attitude) but, and I can't stress this enough, Venom isn't. Here's how it would play out. Spidey fights Harry as the new Goblin and loses. Spidey fights Sandman and loses. Spidey finds alien symbiote. Alien symbiote turns him into a douchebag (not emo!) and he pushes MJ away. Harry manipulates MJ into dumping Peter. Peter in his black costume kills Sandman. He gets Eddie fired like in the original version and in the background we learn that Doctor Octopus had escaped from prison and disappeared. Harry then confronts him and gloats about making MJ dump him, and they have the fight they had in the movie where Spidey seriously messes him up. This is where Peter realizes he's lost control to the suit and goes to the bell-tower and rips it off, and it finds Eddie Brock and they become Venom... end of movie. Credits roll. After credits, we see Dr. Octopus, living a bit like a bum, under the radar. He's approached by a mysterious stranger whose face is never shown, who offers to help him get back at Spider-Man.

Spider-Man 4: Well, now we're blazing some new territory here. Peter and Mary Jane would still be separated, he'd be trying to get her back but unsuccessfully. Harry would be in a coma throughout the movie. Eddie Brock, now Venom, would know all of Peter's secrets and would be trying to get close to MJ to use her against Peter eventually. Meanwhile, Spider-Man would be dealing with a rash of burglaries committed by the Black Cat (which Raimi did want to do in Spider-Man 4, it was a good idea so I'm taking it.), who would be played by Anne Hathaway.
(Whoever shopped that picture is a genius. And yes, my movies would be filled with beautiful women... it's a proven formula, folks!) She would end up falling for him, and he for her a bit, but she'd only be interested in him in costume, not out of it. All that would really come out of it is a few fights/sexual banters, and he'd convince her to give up crime. Venom would attack Spidey after one of his fights with the Black Cat, beat the crap out of him, and just leave. The climax would be Venom kidnapping MJ and Peter going to the rescue, keeping Venom busy while Black Cat sneaks in and gets MJ away without Venom noticing. Spidey would then beat Venom, get to MJ and they'd kiss, while Black Cat watches from the shadows, hurt and angry. Credits roll... short scene of a beach where Sandman has reconstituted himself, and he is approached by same figure from the end of Spidey 3, and they make a deal.

Spider-Man 5: Peter and MJ would be working things out in this one. Harry Osborn wakes up from his coma, Peter and MJ go to visit him, and he says he never wants to see either of them again, and that he still wants revenge on Spider-Man. Later in the film, his butler would tell him the truth about his father and what he did, giving Harry some things to think about. There would be a scene at some point between Spidey and the Black Cat where she's pissed at him for loving someone else and she tells him to go to hell or something. The villain? Remember how, in all the movies, there was at least one scene between Peter and his one-armed professor, Dr. Connors? Well, it's about time to turn him into the Lizard. The Lizard would be rampaging through NYC, eating people and whatnot, and would kick Spidey's rear a few times. Cue the second new character, coming to America to hunt the biggest game he's ever seen: Kraven the Hunter (despite the silly name, this guy was so badass he buried Spidey alive at one point) played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.Just change the costume up a little and he's perfect. In the end, Spidey would have to use Connors's own notes to synthesize a cure for the Lizard, while trying to keep Kraven from killing him. Of course, he'd be successful, Lizard is cured, Kraven goes to jail, and Peter proposes to MJ and she says yes, and the credits roll. Post-credits, shadowy figure talks to Black Cat about how she hated Spidey and how he could help her get back at him, and she says she's listening.

Spider-Man 6: This is it, the big pay-off. It would also be the first and only of the movies to have another word in the title, and comic book fans might have seen where I was going with this. The full title would be Spiderman: Sinister Six. One of the biggest events in Spidey comics is when a group of his enemies get together and attack him, and that's what would happen here. The movie would open with three scenes, alternating between them: Spidey fighting Sandman; Black Cat breaking Kraven out of prison; and Dr. Octopus breaking Eddie Brock out of the lab where he's being kept and re-uniting him with the alien symbiote. Sandman would just flee the battle, his job as a distraction over. He'd go somewhere secret, where Black Cat and Doc Ock had brought Kraven and Venom, and the shadowy figure would finally be revealed as Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, and you'd have the Sinister Six, and their goal is simply to kill Spidey. Meanwhile, Peter and MJ are getting ready for their wedding. Black Cat finds Spidey and warns him; she wanted to get back at him for breaking her heart, but doesn't want him dead. They decide she should stay with the Six to watch them, until the big finale, where she turns on them and sides with Spidey, making it five against two. The battle would be all over the news, and Harry would see his father still alive and go to join the battle... on Spider-Man's side! After learning the truth about his father, he wants to redeem himself by being a good guy. With the odds now five against three, the good guys manage to win, the bad guys go to jail, Peter and MJ get married, with Harry as the best man, and the saga ends!

I know having that many villains in one movie might be a lot, but, I think it would work, because they don't really need characterization time. They all already had it in their individual movies; this one is just about revenge. With this six-part structure, each villain gets their own time to shine while the danger is ratcheted up in each sequel until the most dangerous finale; the storylines of Peter and MJ and Peter and Harry have more time to develop with their ups and downs and reach satisfying conclusions.

Of course, there could always be a Spider-Man 7, but I think it's time for me to get out of the director's chair.

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