Monday, December 1, 2008

Spider-Man movies - what next?

I've already made a couple of blog posts regarding what they should do next with the Batman franchise, and I probably have at least one more in me.  However, what's been spinning in my mind over the past few months is what they should do regarding the Spider-Man series.  It was announced a while ago that director Sam Raimi and actor Tobey Maguire are locked in for at least two more installments.  While I basically see this as good news, I am at best cautiously optimistic.

Let's face it.  That's the team that gave us a really solid origin story and one of the best superhero movies of all time.  Of course, the third one was a mess, but it wasn't Batman and Robin or even Batman Forever bad.  Personally, I think that a lot of the blame for that movie's failure lies on the executives, who insisted on them shoehorning Venom into the storyline.  I had said since the beginning that I didn't want to see Venom in a Spider-Man movie, as I personally think that he's far too convoluted of a villain.  (Although I will give kudos for the film at least trying to do something interesting with him.)

I'm hoping that it wasn't just the money that lured the two back.  I'm hoping that it was greater artistic control over the films.  Personally, I trust Raimi, as he obviously gets the character, which he has more than proved.  I also trust Maguire, as even though he's not a life-long fan, he obviously has done his share of research, and there's no question that he simply was Peter Parker.  So, if creative control was a factor, then we have reason to believe that we might get two more good films to wash the bitter taste of the third one out of our mouths.

What am I hoping for?  Well, I'd like to see even more of Spidey's classic rogues gallery.  I also hope that they can get a few more villains in there without feeling compelled to go into their origins and making them intrinsic to the plot.  What I mean is that they should start the movie off Indiana Jones-style - begin it with a bang and have Spidey fight and defeat one of the classic bad guys.  Some possible candidates include:

Mysterio - If they're going to do this, then they need to go full-on fishbowl head and purple cape.  In the comics, Quentin Beck was a former special effects man, and he used his talents to steal and frame Spider-Man.  Yeah, he's lame, but he's spectacularly lame.  Go crazy with the cgi in the intro and have Spidey kick the snot out of him while making fun of him.  It'd be classic Spider-Man, and we wouldn't have to hear any more about him for the rest of the film.  You could even get Bruce Campbell to play him, and that takes care of his inevitable cameo.

Electro - A cool visual but pretty empty as far as motivation goes.  Basically, the guy was a prick from the start, even before he got his lightning powers.  (And his origin is lame too - no need to go into it if he's simply the guy who gets knocked out at the beginning.)

Shocker - The guy has some gadgets on his hands that create vibrational blasts.  Spidey should defeat him the same way he did in his first appearance - by webbing Shocker's thumbs back so he can't press the buttons.  Brilliant.

Rocket Racer - No, wait, that's a stupid idea.  Thank you, 1970s.

What about the main villain?  Lots of good possibilities there.  I'll save that for another post.  Let's just say for now that they shouldn't do any more goblins - UNLESS they commit to a serious Hobgoblin story and do it just like they did in the comics.  That would involve his identity being a mystery until the end of the film - or better yet, the end of a two-film storyline.  (He could be behind the scenes in the first film and then come to the forefront at the end of the second one.)

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