No spoilers, I promise. Predictions, yes, spoilers, no.
Ten things I learned from “The Avengers” movie:
1) Don’t live in New York City; that’s where all the bad stuff goes down.
2) SHIELD agents are probably underpaid, given what they have to deal with.
3) Hawkeye’s power doesn’t have to be lame and gimmicky.
4) Captain America is truly a paragon of leadership (and patience).
5) The Black Widow is not just a pretty face.
6) Iron Man is usually right.
7) Nick Fury is a manipulative, magnificent bastard.
8) When the Hulk smashes, be anywhere else but there.
9) Thor is a god. No, really, he’s a god. Fine, fight him. You’ll just get your ass handed to you and he’ll say, “I told thou I was a god!”
10) Don’t make any of the Avengers angry. You wouldn’t like them when they’re angry and they will seriously mess you up.
So I don’t follow movie production at all and this was the first trailer I’ve seen for the new Spider-man series. I will predict, with 80%, certainty, the general plot of the next two movies just based on this one trailer. Now, I happen to know the comic storyline, but that’s irrelevant. This Spider-man series is basically going to be Chris Nolan’s “Batman” series, only with a less gravelly protagonist. Here’s Batman in a nutshell:
Batman Begins – Origin story, with a dark twist. More or less. It is Batman; the story was pretty dark to begin with. Death of loved ones (his parents). Struggle for identity in a world that doesn’t understand his pain with metaphorically appropriate villain (Scarecrow). Enter the love interest that gives him something worth living for (Dawes). Triumph…for now.
The Dark Knight – Enter the arch-nemesis, the single villain that the franchise simply could not do without (Joker). The hero, despite trying his best, loses everything he worked for. The love interest dies at the hand of the villain because the hero fails to save her. The hero falls from grace despite not even killing the arch-nemesis, and the city he protects turns his back on him.
The Dark Knight Rises (I’m guessing here) – The hero is ready to try again. Enter a villain beyond his power (Bane) and a new love interest, with a dark twist (Catwoman). The hero is tempted to turn to villain. Hero is ultimately triumphant, but at great cost (probably loss of a loved one or self-sacrifice). Victory?
And here’s my prediction for Spider-man:
1 – Origin story, with a dark twist (Spider-man is actually the result of genetic experimentation and his parents were killed to keep the secret). Death of loved ones (his parents and Uncle Ben). Struggle for identity in a world that doesn’t understand his pain with metaphorically appropriate villain (the Lizard). Enter the love interest that gives him something worth living for (Gwen Stacy). Triumph…for now.
2 – Enter the arch-nemesis, the single villain that the franchise simply could not do without (Green Goblin). The hero, despite trying his best, loses everything he worked for. The love interest dies at the hand of the villain (Gwen Stacy is getting thrown off a bridge) because the hero fails to save her. The hero falls from grace despite not even killing the arch-nemesis, and the city he protects turns his back on him.
3 – The hero is ready to try again. Enter a villain beyond his power (not sure who; perhaps since he’s a genetic experiment Venom will literally be his dark side) and a new love interest (MJ or if there is a dark twist, Black Cat). The hero is tempted to turn to villain. Hero is ultimately triumphant, but at great cost (probably loss of a loved one or self-sacrifice). Victory?
So they’re most likely going to be the same story. The fact that the Spider-man mythos happens to have one of his girlfriends die a terrible death at the hands of his arch-nemesis is just a bonus for the filmmakers. Here’s how I think the pitch went for these new Spider-man movies:
Studio Head (I.e. guy that makes the money) – So why don’t we have a blockbuster movie coming out?
Executive (I.e. guy that does the work) – We do. Lots of them. We’re rolling in money.
Studio Head – But not like those guys who have “Batman.” Why don’t we have a superhero movie coming out?
Executive – I could get a team together. There are lots of comics; I’m sure we can find something no one’s done yet…
Studio Head – I don’t want that. People might not like something no one’s done yet. I want Chris Nolan’s “Batman!”
Executive – We don’t own that, and do you really want to negotiate rights to that now?
Studio Head – Ok, how about this. Let’s do a Spider-man trilogy!
Executive – Um, that’s already been done, less than five years ago. It was enormously successful.
Studio Head – So we know it’s a winner!
Executive – Well, the cast and crew will cost a lot of money if you want to do a sequel…
Studio Head – Sequel nothing! We’ll reboot it, just like “Batman” only with cheaper actors!
Executive – But that was already done, less than five years ago. You want to reboot something that pretty much just came out?
Studio Head – Who cares? We’ll make it darker and grittier, just like “Batman!” Hell, follow the same storyline. No one will notice the difference.
Executive – Won’t that alienate people who liked the Raimi set?
Studio Head – Ok, fine, make the love interest a blonde instead of a redhead.
Executive – Actually, Spider-man did have a blonde love interest who was killed by the Green Goblin…
Studio Head – So, there’s actually some source material. Bonus! That’ll keep the geeks quiet. We’ll capitalize on both franchises and the comics! I am a genius!
I know there are people who can make original movies, or at least clever ones (I heart Joss Whedon), but I guess it’s easier just to make the same movie, over and over again.
That said, if you haven’t seen “The Avengers,” go see it. It’s awesome!