With The Amazing Spider-Man in theaters in less than a week, the same question is probably rolling around in everyone’s (well, at least the nerdy ones like mine) mind:
Is it too soon for a franchise reboot?
I first thought this a year ago when the buzz began and when they made an appearance at Comic-Con. The first Spider-Man series was still fresh in my mind, as well as everyone else’s, with Spider-Man 3 being released in 2007. And even though the third movie wasn’t the best one (most people just forget it ever existed), it still seemed like it was a little too soon to try bring back Spidey.
But the more buzz I hear about the upcoming movie starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone – among others – the more excited I get. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the first two Spider-Man movies that Sam Raimi did ten years ago. I had always been more familiar to Batman, so Spidey was new to me in 2002, and Sam Raimi did an excellent job at introducing him to people like me.
Meet your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
It’s well-known that Sam Raimi wanted to do a fourth Spider-Man movie, even after the flop of the third one, but it became apparent that there just wasn’t enough story there from the first three to warrant a fourth. Hence the reboot: Start over fresh when Peter Parker is in high school (Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker had just finished high school) and tries to find out more about his father who left him, and concentrate on his first love, Gwen Stacy (who, in my opinion, is way cooler than Mary Jane because she’s a science major and super smart, as opposed to MJ who wants to be an actress).
Like I said, I was a little iffy at first. The one thing that kept it on my radar was the fact that Marc Webb (haha, no pun intended?) was directing the new reboot. Marc Webb, for those of you who don’t know, made his directorial debut with 500 Days of Summer, which is an amazing movie (if you haven’t, PLEASE PLEASE SEE IT), and I knew that this Spidey movie would be different than the others because of what Marc Webb can do with character development.
I’ve heard from various sources that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are “stellar” in this movie, which is good to hear. Tobey Maguire was, you know, fine as Peter Parker. Meh, I say. Kirsten Dunst isn’t my favorite person in the world to watch on film (except when she’s playing a child vampire), but I loved her hair in the first movie (not in the second, because the bright red from the first was now muted red…blah).
And for those of you people who are totally against the reboot, let’s sit back and talk about Batman for a moment. The original Batman franchise had two good movies, both directed by Tim Burton in 1989 and 1992 (Batman and Batman Returns). Then Jerry Bruckheimer took over and sort of ruined things for everyone (Batman Forever and Batman and Robin).
That all ended in 1997.
And then someone had the brilliant idea of bringing Batman back from the dead. Instead of basing him off the Batman that Warner Brothers had created in 1989, they turned it into on origin story (and who doesn’t love origin stories??) and based it off the classic comic book Batman: Year One. They got an amazing director, Christopher Nolan (Memento) to take over, and they cast Christian Bale as Batman (and if you’ve ever read this blog before, you may be aware of my feelings for Mr. Bale).
Batman Begins came out in 2005, and seven years later this Batman reboot is considered to be one of the best franchises ever. Its sequel The Dark Knight made a kajillion dollars and got Heath Ledger a (posthumous) Academy Award. The final film of the series, The Dark Knight Rises, opens in theaters next month and will no doubt make just as much money and be just as awesome.
I’m not saying this new Spider-Man reboot is going to equal the success and awesomeness of Christopher Nolan’s Batman, but it deserves to have a chance at it. Because if you get a movie that has great storytelling, great characters, great effects, and great heart within it, you have a great movie. It won’t take away anything from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies, it can only just expand on what’s already great.
Now we’ll just have to wait and see what Zack Snyder does with a second attempt at a Superman reboot…