Apparently, the new rule in Hollywood is the ten year rule.
If your movie franchise’s first (just the first film, mind you) was ten or more years ago, you’re good to wipe the slate clean and start afresh with it. Now, I know I’ve bitched about rebooting before, but what is happening all of a sudden is completely ridiculous, out of hand, and without cause. Ok, I suppose it’s with cause, but that cause is of no concern to the fans or the avid movie-goer. It is solely a money thing. The main problem is we’re probably all going to be stupid enough to buy into it.
If you haven’t been paying attention to the trades, Sony recently announced that they are scrapping Spider-Man 4.
I have to admit, I wasn’t really disappointed in this announcement considering the travesty that called itself Spider-Man 3. Now, I less-than-three Sam Raimi as much as any other red blooded American Nerd, but you have to admit that movie sucked some pretty big sweaty balls in every area except for maybe special effects (though, Venom still looked like ass in my opinion). Hearing that there wouldn’t be any chance to degrade the franchise to a (dare I say it?) Batman and Robin level made me feel good. I could deal with a shitty third movie and call it a franchise without a problem.
I believe that canning Spidey 4 was probably the best move, even though they had all the pieces set up for another movie (showing Dr. Curt Conners in his one-armed glory for an entire scene would make the Lizard a very plausible villain choice). The franchise was pushing the campiness too hard where, with the first two movies, it was nearly believable.
Disaster averted, right? Hollywood won’t be burning down this franchise, right?
Within the same sentence as the cancellation of Spidey 4, Sony wandered away from the podium for a moment and came back with a few cans of gasoline, some matches, a few Molotov cocktails, and a flamethrower.
“Spider-Man,” they say, “Will continue! A complete reboot of the entire franchise, from top to bottom! Everyone is fired, we’re bringing in a whole new cast and starting with a whole new story. No Raimi, no Tobey, no Kirsten, no James Franco, and probably no J.K. Simmons, either. We’re going to give Spider-Man a new face starting from the very beginning.”
Of course, while they’re saying this, they’re surrounding the franchise with their well-paid men, armed to the teeth with incendiary devices. When the last sentence is uttered, the bonfire begins. Movie franchises can burn like tire dumps – long, hot, and toxic to just about everything.
Ever since, rumors have been swirling around the new Spider-Franchise, wondering who is going to direct, who’s going to star, what the plot will be, etc. Some are even excited about it, especially since giggly-girl and cougar-fodder Robert Pattinson has been mentioned for Peter Parker.
Really… It’s been ten years. Rather, it would be ten years if the movie stays on track for it’s anticipated summer 2012 release. That’s like marrying out of widowhood while you’re in the same room as your dying wife. And they’ve given her a good six months to live. These movies are so close together in time span that there isn’t even a chance to mourn the passing of one franchise before the next one begins.
I understand that Spidey rakes in the big-bucks. He’s the face of Marvel as much as Captain America, Iron Man, and Wolverine. He’s a cash cow whose teats never run dry and Sony, as long as they own the movie rights, will continue suckling at those teats until it becomes unprofitable to do so. We should expect nothing less from soulless beasts.
We, as a viewing public, will be expected to turn out in droves to attend and make it the biggest box-office opening of all time again. We, as a collective race of humans, probably will do just that, sadly enough.
Also in the works for a reboot is Fantastic Four. Ground-up redux. Ridiculous when you’ve already set up a third movie.
As far as movies go, my thoughts are if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it ain’t broke and you wanna soup it up, wait a little longer than 10 years. If it is broke and you want to fix it, wait a little longer than 10 years and then check again to see if it really is broke.
Batman was broke. Chris Nolan fixed it. Superman was broke. Brian Singer fixed it. Ang Lee just about demolished the Incredible Hulk before Louis Leterrier swooped in with Ed Norton to save it, salvage it, fix the broken parts, and get it all polished up for the Avengers Movie in 2012.
Was the Fantastic Four broke? Probably from the start, yes. Was Spidey broke? One more movie and it would have been destroyed.
But most flicks and franchises deserve some time to rest before we start a revival. If the actor who played the original character is still young and spry enough, sans makeup, to play that character again as if the plot picked up right where the last one left off, then you need to wait longer.
That was kind of convoluted, but it’s really what I wanted to say.
Hollywood needs to give things as chance to settle before they burn it down and start over. They may end up getting burned someday, but it apparently won’t be by any comic book restarts.
Keep fighting the good fight.