Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Look Back at The Amazing Spider-Man 2 : The Future of Spider-Man on Film

My first movie review on EuroBloggers was the review for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. A film that was, cautiously speaking, polarizing. Some people loved it, others hated it. I, eventually, named it my favorite movie of 2014, a position it might have obtained after months of annoyance towards the people who where bashing a thoroughly entertaining if overfilled movie whose biggest sin was the Sony Pictures Logo instead of a Marvel Studios one. But let's talk about Spider-Man's future film career instead. 
Regardless of the hate and/or love the movie received, important for Sony was only that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would be a huge financial success. That didn't happen. Though the movie made 700 Million US-Dollars worldwide in the box office. Respectable numbers but not if contrasted with the film and marketing budgets. Generously said, ASM2 pulled even in the end. 

Now Sony is panicking. Rumor has it that, according to the latest Sony Hack, Andrew Garfield has already been fired as Spider-Man. Knowing how Sony thinks this might just well be truth. But where do we go from here? Rebooting? A simple recast? Passing the torch to Miles Morales? Probably, and sadly, not the latter since we now know Sony's attitude towards black leads in their movies. The only options that seem open at the moment is another reboot or sharing custody of the character with Marvel Studios. 
The latter is not something Sony would be comfortable with as the original mission statement of the ASM reboot was to ensure that the rights to the character would not revert back to Marvel. Still, Sony is desperate for money at the moment, so a crossover with The Avengers seems likely since a lot of what makes Spider-Man profitable was never in the movies, TV shows, or comics but in the merchandise. 
The other option open to Sony is the reboot. Tricky after only five years and within ten years of the last reboot? 

Personally, my approach would be to stay the course but fix the sinking ship on route. Take some time till the next movie, get a new writer, fire your marketing team that was responsible for spending such a ridiculous amount of money that the movie barely broke even and refocus towards markets outside of the US, focus on South America, Europe, China, what Hollywood still classifies as "overseas" since this is where the last movie made 75% of its total gross. Cross over with the Avengers as free advertisement. 

Speaking, as always, just for myself, then I am perfectly happy with the movies that we got. From my POV we got two brilliant Spider-Man movies that I will be happy to call the "Amazing Spider-Man Duology" from now on. The real loss from all of this can only be the firing of Andrew Garfield, an actor perfect for the role, a life-long fan, who will be looked back on as the Colin Baker or Timothy Dalton of Spider-Man actors. 
The only reason why I want to see Spider-Man back in the hands of Marvel Studios is so that we can finally end all of this fanboy complaining and fighting over which overly long PG-13 toy commercial is closer to the source material than the other.
Regardless, fanboys will have to understand that movies will continue to be made as Spider-Man is still one of the movie recognized brands of the planet. Question is just if the next one will still be a Sony Pictures one or already a Marvel Studios film. If nothing else, it would be interesting to see whether or not a logo is all that it takes for a film to get better ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.

So there you have it. A franchise that started for the wrong reasons but quickly came into its own, and whose greatest mistake was to be distributed by the wrong faceless, unfeeling, mega corporation. Andrew Garfield, you were great, sorry that you were mowed down in the crossfire. 

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