Found this on Facebook recently:
Hilarious, and true!
But it is a little something Marvel is having to work around. They don’t have either the X-Men, whom Fox has the movie rights to, or Spider-Man, similarly owned by Sony. That is arguably unfortunate, as he may be the single most famous Marvel icon in the whole of their colorful cast of heroes. However, it hasn’t held Marvel back as of yet, and, though a number of fans are hoping for some version of the web-slinger to be inducted into the MCU, Spider-Man seems to be doing fairly well on his own.
At least for now.
Yes, I do say that with a bit of cautious hope.
As each new version of any superhero (or any character, for that matter) is usually distinct from all the rest, it seems fairly common sense to produce them in moderation. We don’t want them crowding each other, so to speak. Breathing room is a good thing. But here we are with two Spider-Man franchises within a decade of each other.
Spider-Man, starring Tobey Maguire was a pretty good movie. As my dad put it, “Good good guy, good bad guy, pretty girl.” All you need, if used right, for a good movie! The sequel, Spider-Man 2, was very good, again with good good guys, good bad guys, and pretty girl. As a pair, it could have stood fairly well, but they sort of screamed “THERE WILL BE ONE MORE” towards the end of the second one. If there’s one thing to be learned from Spider-Man 3, it’s that one good movie, even followed by an even better movie, does not guarantee that the third movie in a franchise will be much good. I did like that they had the superhero’s mistakes coming right back to him, but there is just something wrong when the best part of the movie is the part where said hero is getting pounded flat.
So, the trilogy ended on a sour note, but had two strong installments first. Not so bad.
Then Marvel pulled Avengers out of their hat, and Sony wanted to get a piece of the great, big pile of money just begging to be taken. A very tricky position when you have exactly one iconic superhero to work with. Personally, in there position, I probably would have given up without a fight and sold Spidey back to Marvel, but this may be part of why I’m better as a commentator than a producer, ya know?
I mean, how feasible could it possibly be to have a single character carry an entire Avenger-esque franchise? Madness, I say! Madness!
With that sort of attitude, I wasn’t at all keen on seeing the most recent franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man, particularly knowing Gwen Stacey dies. Ironically, it was my surprise at seeing the supposed-to-be-dead Gwen in trailers for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which made me a little curious. As I needed a little stress reliever, I eventually went to see it in theaters (funny, in a way, to see the second one before the first one). My expectations weren’t very high, though.
And then I found myself loving it!
I know it didn’t do so well in the reviews, but I always was one to disagree.
One thing I’ve always liked about Spider-Man is how, for lack of another word, intimate the audience usually is with the characters, both heroes and villains alike. That was somewhat lacking in the Tobey Maguire trilogy, but I found it in Amazing Spider-Man in spades. We got to see, to know and follow what the characters, heroes and villains alike, were thinking and feeling, right alongside each other! I was completely absorbed and thrilled, though, knowing Gwen Stacy’s fate, the wait for her demise seemed interminable.
I also got just a glimpse of how they might manage to build a single-handed Avenger franchise around Spidey as well. When they introduced Felicia, a character I recognized, it hit me. Spider-Man may be his own franchise, but he has an awful lot of friends and foes-turned-friends that his copyright can be extended to. Rather brilliant, I thought. Simple, and brilliant.
After that, I just had to see the first one, and it, too, is fairly good, though, like the Maguire franchise, the second one is better. There was a similar intimacy with all the major characters, though the introduction of Captain Stacey, who dies at the end, felt a little bit “late” to me. And they were just on the cusp of the classic “With great power comes great responsibility,” line, and it was rather annoying when they didn’t have it.
It was a fairly good movie, good for establishing this version of Spidey, and they made to springboard into a franchise with the second film. Not a bad idea, and it’s a fair guess that there’s some sort of plan involved in this. But unlike Marvel’s plan, I look at the future, and I am seriously questioning whether this happens to be a good plan.
I very well know the appeal of villains, and the draw of Spider-Man’s villains in particular. That said, I repeat what I said about DC’s Suicide Squad idea: villains are only half of the equation. So when I see Sony lining up Venom and Sinister Six, I find myself more hoping that these are films which feature them as the specific villains Spiday must combat. But if I understand Sony’s plans, this is not the case. And I am thinking, “Oh dear. They’ll go down in flames…”
There’s also the plan for a movie involving a team-up female superheroes. Three, if I understand correctly, including Felicia and two others. While I have more hope for that than the two villain-based films, I am again hesitant. Three? They can’t have one female superhero who can hold her own against Spidey? They need three? I appreciate any and every effort to give the ladies their due time in the spotlight, but it seems a touch insulting when they have one Spider-Man taking on multiple villains and three women taking on whoever they end up taking on.
Then again, it could rock anyway, so we’ll just have to see.
So, Marvel is obviously leading the race, with DC and Warner Bros lagging far behind, Fox has suddenly burst back into the forward ranks (though still far behind Marvel), and Sony is taking some daring risks to try and move up the pack as well, and could prove the dark horse to give Marvel a run for its money… or just fall flat on its face. Time will tell.
It’s an exciting race!
Pingback: Marvel’s Spider-Man | Merlin's Musings
Pingback: MCU Copycatting #9: Updates for Sony and Universal | Merlin's Musings