Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tangled Web

The latest rumors, courtesy of HitFix, imply that Disney/Marvel and Sony are looking to team-up to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe… But now something else has come up…

Badass Digest revealed some more troubling rumors today.

One source told their author that Sony is holding off on making a proper Spider-Man film, and I mean really holding off. Up until now, a third Amazing Spider-Man film was penciled in for a 2018 release with three spin-off films - The Sinister SixBlack Cat, and Venom Carnage - leading up to it. The rumor, however, states that Sony wants to see if any of the spin-offs spawn sequels before getting to Spidey 3. This rumor falls in line with Sony's previous plan, except it sounds even riskier, considering that the recent Spider-Man film with Spider-Man in it didn't fare so well. I wouldn't mind those three films coming out between 2016 and 2017, then Amazing Spider-Man 3 capping it all off in 2018. Does Sony really see sequel potential in the spin-offs? Sounds kind of absurd, again, given how Amazing Spider-Man 2 did.

If that's the case, they have to make Sinister Six a good film first. I doubt that's going to happen, since the suits at Sony are responsible for the mangled messes that are the two Amazing Spider-Man films. Oh, and Spider-Man 3.

Another rumor states that the Venom movie is dead. No shock there, though out of the three planned spin-offs, the Venom one would probably be the most successful. How could it be dead? Probably because of director Alex Kurtzman's commitment to the Universal Monsters shared universe? He is directing The Mummy, which is currently slated for summer 2016, so it's possible that may be the reason why - if this rumor is indeed true.

The third rumor on the other hand… Well… This is where things get complicated. And it builds off of the HitFix rumor from the other day:

This rumor states that the planned Sinister Six movie is now a "soft reboot" of the series (AGAIN?), with a different actor playing Spidey and the story being about him teaming up with the Sinister Six to take on an even larger threat, which sounds absolutely lame if you ask me.

First off, the reboot may not star Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man? It's going to be an all-new Spidey? But wasn't Garfield contracted to play Peter Parker in one last film? Isn't Marc Webb also supposed to direct one more film?

Also, again, that plot sounds horrible! The Sinister Six having to join forces with Spider-Man to stop a bigger menace? Seriously? You set them all up, not to mention Goblin going as far as getting Gwen Stacy killed, and now you have them teaming up with Spider-Man right away? No, that can't be true… I can believe in a reboot happening, but I can't buy that plot. Just can't.

Some are speculating that the "soft reboot" is Sony's way of finally cooperating with Marvel Studios, creating a new version of Spidey that can fit into the MCU timeline, with Marvel Studios controlling the entire picture, and Sony just distributing so that they get a lovely amount off of it. I don't think that's entirely plausible either, though it would be the best possible option. It'd be like the new Incredible Hulk of the MCU. The Incredible Hulk was the only pre-Disney MCU film that wasn't distributed by Paramount, it was distributed by Universal. Marvel Studios made the movie, Universal released it and made money off of it. That came out in 2008, a year before the Mouse House purchased the comic book giant.

But here's thing… I just don't see Sony handing all the creative control over future Spidey movies to Marvel. A certain someone named Avi Arad seems to think Spider-Man is his, and it's been this way since Spider-Man 3. He also thinks he's the true mastermind behind the MCU, not Kevin Feige. If a full-on collaboration between both studios were to happen, I believe that some pretty bad consequences would come from it.

For starters, Sony is plagued with executives who think they are filmmakers, including the likes of Arad and ex-FOX exec/X-Men killer Tom Rothman *shudder*. These executives think they can just cut up and restructure directors' films, and unfortunately they have the power to do so. This is why you get films like Spider-Man 3 and the two Amazing Spider-Man films. Director Marc Webb really seems like nothing more than a yes-man that they can push around, but he is a good director and the cast in both of his films is strong. I even liked The Amazing Spider-Man, and found the good stuff in the second one to be really, really good. The pieces are there and they are awesome pieces, it's the studio-mandated stuff that ruins these potentially great films.

This is also why I have had very little interest in the upcoming films. The very talented Drew Goddard was tapped to direct and write The Sinister Six, but I kept thinking that the executives would somehow ruin his film. Andrew Garfield even recently said to the public that the studio did indeed hack up the Webb-Spidey film #2, and that he felt what he read in the original script was much better. Can't say I disagree with him, but Sony now definitely knows that they messed up since the over budgeted sequel failed to meet their expectations. (Remember folks, a $700 million worldwide gross is considered a disappointment to some bean counters here in America. Let that sink in for a minute…)

So no… I don't want Disney to "team up" with Sony to bring Spidey into the MCU, whether it's the current one played by Andrew Garfield or an all-new one set in a brand new Spidey storyline. Avi Arad and Tom Rothman shouldn't be anywhere near the MCU. I can't see Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios' top brass let their universe be co-handled by people who don't understand comic book/superhero movies, even if it means a shitload of money for them. Also, consider that Feige has had the whole game plan laid out since last year. The one that goes to 2028. Also, Sony simply distributing while Marvel makes the movie? Again, can't see that happening, Sony is going to want to control almost every bit of that production. Especially Arad, and imagine if he got his hands on the MCU as a whole? Again, it would be a Marvel nightmare!

The best solution is this: Disney buys Spider-Man from Sony. Sony gets a lot out of it, and it helps them and their troubled film division, the correct Spider-Man is then part of the MCU with no Arad/Rothman meddling. A fresh new Spider-Man whose origins don't need to be told, because A) People are familiar with the origin thanks to two movie series, and B) Marvel Studios is not doing typical origin stories anymore. Guardians of the Galaxy is the first film to follow that rule. Ant-Man and Doctor Strange will do the same. WB isn't retelling Batman's origins again for their DC Cinematic Universe, they're just simply introducing him in 2016's Batman v Superman.

What will end up happening?

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