Spider-Man will leave MCU
August 20, 2019 8:42 PM   Subscribe

Marvel and Sony end their partnership. The character’s cinematic future suddenly looks bleak at best.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis (79 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Capitalism is the most efficient method of distributing Spider-Men.
posted by Reyturner at 8:55 PM on August 20 [47 favorites]


I don't feel so good.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:55 PM on August 20 [40 favorites]


Eh, the Spider-Verse is where it’s at, anyway.
posted by thecaddy at 8:58 PM on August 20 [16 favorites]


Look. I love the MCU movies - I love them. Even Thor Dark World. But, between this, the nonsense at Netflix, and the Amazon Prime send-up of superheros known as 'The Boys' - we've officially jumped the shark. (The Boys is a great satire of late stage capitalism and commodification of superheros - along with establishing flaws.) I like the concept of an uncompromising vision - but... that means you have to own your properties outright, and the dilution that went on two decades ago means that they don't. They sold the rights... I like that they've worked to recoup them, but... this is - ironically good capitalism.

But, just to be clear: who owns the rights to squirrel girl - because that should count for something when it comes to where Spiderman winds up.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:00 PM on August 20 [10 favorites]


I get it from the perspective of Sony trying to strike a hard bargain given how much MCU Spider Man was an emotional core of phase 3 and a biggest profile character moving into Phase 4. But also god damn what a shitty move. I guess to Sony the difference between 700 million the craptastic Amazing Spiderman made and 870 Million Spiderman Homecoming made isn't much but the films are worlds apart in quality.
posted by WonderFunGo at 9:08 PM on August 20 [4 favorites]


who owns the rights to squirrel girl

Well, there's good news and bad news there.

Good News: Marvel does appear to still own the rights to Squirrel Girl and even announced development of a whole New Warriors TV series, with Milana Vayntrub playing SG.

Bad News: This was announced back in 2016 with an expected airdate in 2018 on the Disney-owned Freeform network which, evidently, did not happen. It's apparently in some kind of development limbo, probably more dead than alive.
posted by mhum at 9:12 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


The character’s cinematic future suddenly looks bleak at best.

Why? This doesn't even affect future actual Spiderverse movies, right, just whether Spiderman appears in big-team MCU movies? Which have lots of people and seem like they would be fine without Spiderman?
posted by escabeche at 9:13 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]



Neither Disney nor Sony has officially commented on the matter


I have my doubts that this is anything more than negotiation tactic. Sony is trying to pull a "you set Holland up as heir-apparent to RDJ and now you're going to pay for it" move.

I was honestly pretty surprised how far they took the Stark/Parker thing in Far From Home. Marvel is probably going to have to pay up for that.
posted by M Edward at 9:14 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


Like I love Spider-man, but fuck, I just want a fucking x-men movie where a) magneto is more anti-hero then villain, b)the mutants are minorities angle is well established in contrast to privileged non-mutant heroes like the avengers, fuck ultra-rich Tony Stark forever and possibly c) magneto is played by a Jewish actor. (Mandy Patinkin maybe?) Like now that the x-men rights are back with Disney/Marvel I heartily look forward to getting exactly none of these. at least they killed off Tony Stark But also fuck Sony re:Spider-man. Man when I was a wee baby neanderthal reading spider-man comics I never thought I'd be pissed at the thought of multiple spider-man movies and universes where just about none of them got the character right. Like Peter Parker needs Stark's ass to build his shit ever. (Spider-verse rocked ass tho.) The only way. ONLY WAY. Sony getting the rights back work is if they jump right to fucking Miles Morales. Who might still be owned by Disney/Marvel therefore this screwing BOTH spider-men.
ARRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:14 PM on August 20 [9 favorites]


I guess to Sony the difference between 700 million the craptastic Amazing Spiderman made and 870 Million Spiderman Homecoming made isn't much but the films are worlds apart in quality.

If it means Sony pulls off more things like Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, however...
posted by nubs at 9:18 PM on August 20 [7 favorites]


tired: Spider-man should go back to the MCU!
wired: Spider-man should go to the fucking public domain.
posted by kafziel at 9:20 PM on August 20 [101 favorites]


As mentioned, Spider-verse is much more interesting than MCU Spider-Man anyway. And if I'm being real, I would even put MCU Spider-Man third, behind Venom.

So, sorry Tom Holland. But you're not even my favorite Tom that plays a Spider-person.
posted by FJT at 9:21 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


I get it from the perspective of Sony trying to strike a hard bargain given how much MCU Spider Man was an emotional core of phase 3 and a biggest profile character moving into Phase 4. But also god damn what a shitty move. I guess to Sony the difference between 700 million the craptastic Amazing Spiderman made and 870 Million Spiderman Homecoming made isn't much but the films are worlds apart in quality.

Also, Sony didn't try to strike a hard bargain. Disney tried to change the deal so they'd be getting 10x what they were before and Sony said no, deal remains as it was. So Disney announced to twitter that it was over, mean ol' sony no more MCU Spider-man. People react predictably, and four hours later Sony's back at the negotiating table.
posted by kafziel at 9:23 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


wired: Spider-man should go to the fucking public domain.

Relevant tweet from 2015 (relevant music).
posted by Wobbuffet at 9:30 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


From Tumblr:

itbeslikethat

Characters the MCU can focus on now that the Sony deal for Spider-Man fell through:

She-Hulk
Night Thrasher
Mockingbird
Blue Marvel
White Tiger
Ms. America
literally anyone who’s not another straight, white male character
posted by drinkyclown at 9:36 PM on August 20 [33 favorites]


So, *this* is why we can’t have nice things?

this is a stand in for all kinds of shit, but nice things means, wel, basically anything good or enjoyable...
posted by Ghidorah at 9:47 PM on August 20


Well, a Nova movie is looking better and better. You want your teenage superhero who's suddenly saddled with all this responsibility and trying to live up to the legacy of a deceased legendary hero? You want the possibility of a non-white cishet male American character? Alternatively, you want a role that Tom Holland could slip into like, well, a form-fitting suit with the greatest of ease? You want something that lots of us have been panting for ever since the Nova Corps showed up in Guardians of the Galaxy? Most importantly, if anything can get Sony back to the bargaining table, this is it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:00 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Disney tried to change the deal so they'd be getting 10x what they were before

Disney, in full Vader cosplay: I AM ALTERING THE DEAL, PRAY I DON'T ALTER IT ANY FURTHER.
posted by Justinian at 10:24 PM on August 20 [25 favorites]


Is this something I'd need to live in Queens to understand?
posted by theory at 10:27 PM on August 20 [6 favorites]


Admittedly coming at this from effectively a couple of decades back, but Spidey and The Hulk are the main two, right?

(Hughjackmanverine notwithstanding)
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 10:33 PM on August 20


What? But if there's no more Spider-Man movies, how will I ever learn how he got his powers? I've been on pins and needles waiting to find out.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:40 PM on August 20 [50 favorites]


Eh, the Spider-Verse is where it’s at, anyway.

Why? This doesn't even affect future actual Spiderverse movies, right, just whether Spiderman appears in big-team MCU movies?

If it means Sony pulls off more things like Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, however...

As mentioned, Spider-verse is much more interesting than MCU Spider-Man anyway.


Spider-Verse was made under the guidance of Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind the MCU. With the Disney-Sony deal over, though, he's no longer producing the franchise.

This isn't saying Feige deserves all the credit, and the Lord and Miller team and their people are still just as talented, but Sony has a pretty shitty track record when it comes to producing their own spider-content, which is why they came to Disney in the first place. When Sony did have a successful Spider-Man franchise, they managed to kill it by alienating Raimi with too much studio interference. Hopefully they've learned from their mistakes and can continue making great Spider-Man films without someone like Feige at the helm, but their track record is pretty bad.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:47 PM on August 20 [9 favorites]


From where I sit, spider verse was light years better than even the second best super hero movie of the decade.

Unfortunately, making the best films doesn't seem to be what all this is about... Really sick of all the winking fan service as entire basis for a film bs that is the core of the MCU.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:49 PM on August 20 [7 favorites]


Okay, I'm not sure how this is going to go, but if it puts Tom Holland Spiderman into a movie with Tom Hardy Venom (and Eddie), I'm going to need to make sure I have a week of vacation time blocked off to spend on AO3.
posted by Sequence at 12:04 AM on August 21 [14 favorites]


Everything about this story - everything, including this post on the blue - is Disney's negotiation. "Oh, you don't want to give us more money? Look how the people cry out when we're not involved!". It totally worked, as after this brief blister of internet indignation Sony caved and now the house of mouse is back where it wanted to be.

This also says that it's the end of the film studios. Before we had various different houses who would give slightly different takes on similar material, depending on who was in charge at the time. That's over now, as Disney crushes all with it's homogenous content factory.
posted by The River Ivel at 12:32 AM on August 21 [16 favorites]


Everything about this story - everything, including this post on the blue - is Disney's negotiation. "Oh, you don't want to give us more money? Look how the people cry out when we're not involved!". It totally worked, as after this brief blister of internet indignation Sony caved and now the house of mouse is back where it wanted to be.

Thank you. This is what I was trying to get at, above. The furor at a slight hiccup in the ever-increasing Disney IP juggernaut, and how it forces even Sony to knuckle under to the Mouse ... this should give people pause. And certainly make us hesitate to participate in it.

A framing that's forgiving to the corporate moviemills involved does not serve anyone.
posted by kafziel at 1:14 AM on August 21 [14 favorites]


This also says that it's the end of the film studios. Before we had various different houses who would give slightly different takes on similar material, depending on who was in charge at the time. That's over now, as Disney crushes all with it's homogenous content factory.

Well, at least we still have video games to give us a delightful, refreshing alternative take on the Avengers.

posted by straight at 1:45 AM on August 21


This is fine with me. I like Tom Holland as Spider-Man but I really feel like his character has been ill served by forcing it into the MCU. The last movie was trying so hard to make him into the next Tony Stark and it's just didn't work.
posted by octothorpe at 3:18 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Spider-Verse was made under the guidance of Kevin Feige

No, it wasn’t. Feige had absolutely nothing to do with Spider-Verse. It was all Lord and Miller. Feige’s name does not even appear in the credits for Spider-Verse.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 4:02 AM on August 21 [10 favorites]


Can now take all of that Spiderman money and use it to make a proper TV series out of the last Vision comic book series? Please? It was sad, beautiful, and quite moving.
posted by NoMich at 4:48 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


mhum: "Good News: Marvel does appear to still own the rights to Squirrel Girl and even announced development of a whole New Warriors TV series, with Milana Vayntrub playing SG. "

The problem with making a Squirrel Girl movie or tv show is that she's way overpowered. If she'd been in Infinity War, Thanos would have been defeated (and maybe her new BFF) in the first 15 minutes and the rest of the movie (and Endgame) would have been SG sitting around, talking about sorting algorithms.

Which would have been awesome.
posted by signal at 5:09 AM on August 21 [23 favorites]


SG sitting around, talking about sorting algorithms.

I'd watch that movie three times in the theater and then buy the enhanced edition Blu-Ray and the (in)action figures.
posted by Foosnark at 5:25 AM on August 21 [10 favorites]


I think the best way to handle Squirrel Girl in the MCU is to do it in much the same way that the actual comics do: Acknowledge her existence and occasionally include her in the team-up movie/shows, maybe have a few winking references to her taking down all of the looming big bads and single-handedly making them look like clowns -- but don't actually show any of that stuff happening anywhere other than the continuity of her own series. (SEE ALSO: Deadpool, Thor: Ragnarok)

The beauty of Marvel and comic books in general is that what we think of as "canon" is actually fairly plastic, and can shift and change with the tone of a given book or character. And I think Squirrel Girl is one of the best examples of how to take a "joke" character seriously without breaking the universe.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:08 AM on August 21 [3 favorites]


Spider-Verse enthusiasm with a shot of anti-monopoly and a splash of contrarianism is a helluva cocktail, I guess. Otherwise, I have trouble understanding the enthusiasm for returning Spider-Man to the management of the people who gave us Willem Dafoe dressed like a Power Ranger villain, dancin' Peter Parker, those insufferable ASM movies, etc. Especially not when Feige's record on superhero movies is like 23-0 with 14 knockouts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:26 AM on August 21 [5 favorites]


I love the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films or at least the first two. I'd rank Spider-Man 1 and 2 higher than any of the 25 MCU films which are mostly all OK but always a little unsatisfying. Some critic, maybe one of the Filmspotting hosts, said that MCU films have both a high floor and a low ceiling for quality. Few of them are really terrible but none of them quite transcend either.
posted by octothorpe at 6:33 AM on August 21 [3 favorites]


TBH though, as long as Sony doesn't reboot and tell the frigging origin again, I am cool.

So, so tired of seeing the origins for the old school A-listers. Aquaman? Captain Marvel? Sure. Those are fine. But do not tell me an umpteenth time about the radioactive spider, the exploding planet, the broken string of pearls. If any random preschooler can recount an origin on command, it's done. We're good. Do not review.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:37 AM on August 21 [4 favorites]


But do not tell me an umpteenth time about the radioactive spider, the exploding planet, the broken string of pearls.

Aw man! Spoilers!

I feel like some of the franchises just don't fit thematically together anyway, and Spiderman is part of that. I like him in his own universe, and for his stories to be about spider-manning. Avengers is about big cosmic threats and space magic, X-Men is about discrimination, flavored with powers. I didn't even like it when Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver showed up in Ultron, even though I like those characters a ton.

It's ok to have multiple settings that talk about different things! It doesn't all have to be part of Amalgamated Superhero. (I know, it does, or Disney might make one less dollar)

Squirrel Girl should be standalone too, IMO. Just like Deadpool.
posted by mrgoat at 7:06 AM on August 21 [7 favorites]


"i lost the kid" –feige
posted by entropicamericana at 7:23 AM on August 21 [13 favorites]


Spider-Verse is the best superhero movie ever made, so as long as this public deal-making bullshit does not affect that sequel in any way I can't be bothered to care.
posted by graventy at 7:26 AM on August 21 [4 favorites]


"The problem with making a Squirrel Girl movie or tv show is that she's way overpowered."

I know nothing about Squirrel Girl, can someone please explain this one? Hella curious.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:14 AM on August 21


Her full title is The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. It's not a boast; it's just a description.
posted by hades at 8:19 AM on August 21 [21 favorites]


The whole deal with Squirrel Girl is that she beat Doctor Doom, one of Marvel's most powerful and renowned villains, in her very first appearance. (Please shut up, nerds who are about to tell me that there are way more powerful cosmic villains such as Thanos and Galactus. Doom basically became God in the recent Secret Wars mega-crossover.) Some writers have taken pains to deny attempts by other writers at retconning that away by saying that she'd really beaten a Doombot or something, and have even gone so far as to establish that she's also beaten Thanos and various other big bads, although this usually takes place off panel.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:24 AM on August 21 [4 favorites]


Oh, and one of the factors cited by the pro-Squirrel Girl faction in not retconning away her defeat of Doom is that she was co-created by Steve Ditko, also co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:26 AM on August 21 [3 favorites]


But it's tongue in cheek, right? It's supposed to be funny that Squirrel Girl beats these guys? Right?!?!?
posted by Justinian at 9:09 AM on August 21


No, she literally has never been beaten.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:16 AM on August 21 [6 favorites]


Yeah, the joke is that Squirrel Girl's power set is inherently ridiculous, and she neither looks nor acts the part of a world-bestriding colossus. She has a big bushy tail and she can talk to squirrels - her standalone book insists on saying she has powers of squirrel and powers of girl - and yet, she is apparently better in a fight than superheroes who have more explicitly martial powers.

Her standalone book is the big reason why her popularity has increased in recent years, so she's more than just a one-joke character at this point (see comp-sci references above - she's a university student now, and computers are a thing these days, I hear).
posted by Merus at 9:29 AM on August 21 [8 favorites]


SG is the best, such a huge poke in the eye at traditional proto-fascist male war-like comix. This young woman who will triumph over any foe in any situation, and do it in a light-hearted and possibly non-violent way is such an amazing antidote. (I do wish Ryan North would find a new voice, I'm honestly very tired of reading his dialogue style. Let him plot and diagram things, but some new people need to come in and give characters a new way to talk.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:31 AM on August 21 [13 favorites]


I like the concept of an uncompromising vision - but... that means you have to own your properties outright, and the dilution that went on two decades ago means that they don't.

What on Earth does that have to do with Spider-Man? If we were talking about a creator-owned comic like Strong Female Protagonist or Star Power, that would be one thing. But Spider-Man has been corporate owned from the beginning The "uncompromising vision" has changed repeatedly from writer to writer, and based on the chief editor's whims.

And speaking of which, the worst handling of Spider-Man was done BY Marvel Comics. Nothing Disney has done is in the same league of shittyness as "One More Day". Setting decades of character development on fire and tossing away one of the few stable marriages among Marvel characters was all in-house.

As it is, Sony did one incredible Spider-Man movie that deserved its Hugo, one that was pretty-good, and three lackluster ones. Disney did two very good versions. Doesn't look like Disney did any harm to the concept. Not like what Marvel itself did to the character.
posted by happyroach at 10:42 AM on August 21 [7 favorites]


She has a big bushy tail and she can talk to squirrels
I hope she reminds them to build up their winter nut supplies!
posted by The_Vegetables at 12:23 PM on August 21


As it is, Sony did one incredible Spider-Man movie that deserved its Hugo, one that was pretty-good, and three lackluster ones. Disney did two very good versions. Doesn't look like Disney did any harm to the concept. Not like what Marvel itself did to the character.
Wait, I'm confused.

Sony (as Columbia) was the primary source for both the Raimi/Maguire films (Spider-Man (2002) and its sequels in 2004 and 2007) and the two "Amazing" Marc Webb/Andrew Garfield iterations, right? That's 5 films right there.

Then we also have Spiderverse, which is Sony, too, right? So six films from them.

The MCU versions with Tom Holland were Homecoming and Far from Home, which honestly I found to be inferior to Raimi's first two outings. I mean, I get they're doing something different, but I feel like Spidey needs his origin story, and the Raimi version is strong.

Anyway, so we have eight solo Spidey films since 2002. I'd rank them:

8. (D) Spider-Man 3 (Sony / Raimi, 2007)
7. (C) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Sony / Webb, 2014)
6. (B-) Spider-Man: Far from Home (Disney / MCU / Watts, 2019)
5. (B) Spider-Man: Homecoming (Disney / MCU / Watts, 2017)
4. (B) Spider-Man 2 (Sony / Raimi, 2004)
3. (B+) The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony / Webb, 2012)
2. (A) Spider-Man (Sony / Raimi, 2002)
1. (A+) Into the Spider-Verse (Sony, 2018)

By my lights, then, Sony on their own have done JUST FINE with Spidey.
posted by uberchet at 1:06 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


I feel like Spidey needs his origin story

I'm not sure I can take one more take on it. Even if we call it something else.
posted by asperity at 1:10 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


But it's tongue in cheek, right? It's supposed to be funny that Squirrel Girl beats these guys? Right?!?!?

Sort of? I mean, she doesn't usually beat the villains in the usual escalating battles, almost defeated, finds a weakness, etc. method of most superheroes. She generally just... talks them out of doing evil at that point in time (or sometimes in general).

I think viewing her as a joke kind of misses what makes her so fun. She might have started as a joke character, but she's not the butt of the joke. The books are just joyful, and they love her and her quirky puns and unabashed enthusiasm and they want you to love her too. It's just nice to read something that realizes that a superhero saving the day with compromise and friendliness is just as much of an option as magic or hitting things really hard.
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:13 PM on August 21 [6 favorites]


Squirrel Girl's powers are multifold:

1) She has the powers of squirrel and the powers of girl.
2) She has the power of not being full of angst, of always believing in herself, her friends, her enemies and people in general. Most other heroes' main enemy is their internal demons. She doesn't have any.
3) She has the power of common sense, of thinking about situations and doing the smartest thing, not the heroic but stupid thing, not the macho thing, not the narratively necessary thing
4) She has a loyal army of millions of squirrels.
5) She has the power of being unbeatable, and she knows it and acts from this knowledge.
posted by signal at 1:51 PM on August 21 [15 favorites]


I'm not sure I can take one more take on it. Even if we call it something else.

What about if that new origin story is like 5% different from his other origin story? Is that ok?
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:53 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


It's a fair point.

One of the choices I enjoyed in the Holland films is that Peter's high-school antagonist Flash Thompson is no longer a violent jock.

Traditionally, the story involves a nearly-violent altercation with Flash, during which Peter overplays his hand and realizes (a) he can't fight normal people, because he'll kill them and (b) that he's actually managed to embarrass himself despite prevailing over his erstwhile tormenter.

In the original comics, I think it was a high-school boxing match (!).

Raimi does it straight, with an actual hallway high school fight (fun fact: Thompson is also Alcide Herveaux from True Blood). Peter bests him with a single punch, but everything thinks he's a freak anyway.

The Andrew Garfield version is updated, in the sense that the battlefield is now basketball and not an actual fight, but otherwise it's more or less the same. Peter ends up with an overthrown ball, and Flash can't take it from him, so Peter charges the basket for a dunk and -- oops! -- shatters the backboard.

Having the MCU Flash be a rival on the scholars' bowl team is a VERY different dynamic. That's good. Even better, he has actual depth.

The other additions are okay -- the sidekick, a young-and-hot Aunt May -- but the peer dynamic changes are more interesting. But the MCU films also gave all this the short shrift; we never see Holland's Parker become Spidey, and I missed that.
posted by uberchet at 2:12 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


You make a good case! It does kinda depend on which 5% is switched around, and how.

(though tbh I'm just hoping we someday get the musical's sequel, "Spider-Man 2: Too Many Spider-Men.")
posted by asperity at 2:30 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Her full title is The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. It's not a boast; it's just a description.

So, One Punch Man cosplaying a squirrel?
posted by sneebler at 2:43 PM on August 21


Having the MCU Flash be a rival on the scholars' bowl team is a VERY different dynamic. That's good. Even better, he has actual depth.

That character was also the little unresolved heartbreak right at the end of Far from Home: when all the high school kids finally make it back safely to New York after the crazy, crazy danger and near-death, only the family chauffeur is waiting to pick up Flash. It's a short exchange, but poor Flash is just obviously heartbroken that his parents really aren't invested in his living or dying. It also contextualizes the verbal bullying he does do to Peter--he's an unloved kid, acting out because he's hurting. It's also why he loves Spider-Man so hard, he needs a damn role model, of any kind.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:02 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


Also, they need to bring Gwenpool into the MCU, except she's an MCU fan and aware that she's in a movie. And speculates a lot about who's directing her, hopes it wasn't written or produced by Bendis, etc.
posted by signal at 4:31 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


I have terribly bad news for Squirrel Girl fans. Her current comic run will end in a few months with Series 2 Number 50. While some sources claim it's been cancelled due to poor sales, the creative team is saying they're quitting on their own terms. (I'm assuming Ryan North decided to call it quits and the rest of the team just decided they can't continue without him.) And while the comic series is ending (or is about to be handed off to far less worthy mere mortals), and the TV series is in Development Hell, at least Hasbro has introduced a Squirrel Girl figure at ComicCon. (FuncoPop already has one.)
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:51 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


oneswellfoop: "Her current comic run will end in a few months with Series 2 Number 50."

Yeah, I personally like when a creator gets to end a great run on their own terms, rather than have it get worn out, or co-opted by the evil forces that lurk around the edges of anything beautiful and worthwhile.
posted by signal at 5:31 PM on August 21


Sony (as Columbia) was the primary source for both the Raimi/Maguire films (Spider-Man (2002) and its sequels in 2004 and 2007) and the two "Amazing" Marc Webb/Andrew Garfield iterations, right? That's 5 films right there.

OK, let's take it in order:
1. Raimi-Man 1: OK, this is really neat. They got a pretty good Peter Parker, and the webbing was brilliantly handled (and controversial at the time). The action was pretty good, as were the interpersonal relationships. Marred a bit by William Defoe channeling Jack Nicholson.
2. Raimi-Man 2: OK, but I could never believe the fights between Spider-Man and Doc Oc.And I honestly thought the climax was a bit eye - rolly. Yeah. Dump the exploding reactor in the river. How deep is it there?
3. Raimi-Man 3. The less said about this film the better. I just feel embarased for the actors.
4. Amazing Web-Man 1. For a start...why? I mean we already spent the money to see Raimi-Man on Google Play or Amazon, why spend more money to see the same damn plot beats again? Spider, Uncle Ben, yadda yadda. Except more plotty and contrived.
5. Amazing Web-Man 2: And Osborne goes wacko again. But hey, they DID fridge the female lead to give the hero the feels. And gosh, isn't that so special. I think someone wrote a book about it.
6.Into the Spider-Verse. Which is one of the most brilliant superhero films I've watched in 35 years.

So again, One good, one incredible. Then there's the Disney ones, which do one element of the comics that Sony can't do- Spider-Man interacts with a larger superhero universe. Like he has for 40+ years in the comics.
posted by happyroach at 11:42 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]


Raimi-Man 1: Brilliant
Raimi-Man 2: Brillianter. The best Spider-Man yet
Raimi-Man 3: Brilliant. Yes, including the dancing. Especially the dancing
Amazing SM 1: the actors tried
Amazing SM 2: the actors tried. Lord how they tried
MCU SM 1: too much Stark
MCU SM 2: haven’t seen it
Spider-Verse: Brilliant
posted by um at 12:28 AM on August 22


@HgMorbi on Twitter
If they reboot Spider-Man again I want them to spend the whole movie making you wait for Uncle Ben to die

I want them to constantly put Uncle Ben into situations where you think Peter's hubris has sealed his fate and then make you fucking furious that this old man isn't dead yet
posted by Space Coyote at 5:54 AM on August 22 [4 favorites]


Raimi-Man 3: Brilliant. Yes, including the dancing. Especially the dancing

um... no....
posted by Pendragon at 6:22 AM on August 22 [5 favorites]


That character was also the little unresolved heartbreak right at the end of Far from Home:
That's a lovely grace note that I worry many people might not have even caught. I prefer Raimi 1 & 2, but this kind of subtlety is totally absent from either of the other sets of films.

(Let me just add that I'm actually a big fan of the Raimi biological web shooters. I love that inadvertent webbing is how he gets into his Flash fight, for example.)

I am sympathetic to complaints about Women in Refrigerators, but I don't guess I've ever seen Gwen's death (in 1973!) as an example of this trope (especially given the egregiousness of the trope naming instance). I guess Gail Simone disagrees.

I'm not old enough to have read the story as it ran, but when I did read it, I came away thinking more about the danger of being close to a superhero, and the limits of a hero's power (in print as in the film, she gets dropped, and Peter tries to save her by catching her with webbing, but the sudden stop still kills her).

The trope of villains pursuing those around the spandex crowd was already pretty well-worn, but the actual threat never landed before. Letting Gwen die was shocking and raw and, well, novel; killing off a major character was insanely unusual if not unprecedented, so it's hard to see it as a lazy trope in the context of comics in 1973.

Anyway, I was impressed to see it onscreen -- it's dark! -- even in a decidedly lesser Spider-man film, but obviously now we'll never get the follow-on stories that her death set up.

(Also, 12-year-old me would be stunned that we're even able to have a discussion about which of the EIGHT major studio, big-budget Spider-man films in the last 12 years we like best. I mean, COME ON.)
posted by uberchet at 6:36 AM on August 22


The first two adventures spiderman ever had after the amazing fantasy pilot story about uncle Ben were 1. fighting the chameleon and 2. trying to join the fantastic four.

Desperately trying to fit in with other, older heroes has been an important part of spiderman's story since before he worked for the Bugle.
posted by fomhar at 8:07 AM on August 22 [2 favorites]


I feel like fridging Spider-Man's girlfriend isn't really on the cards any more, since a) they'll get a lot of shit for it, and b) if you're not fridging Gwen Stacy what's the point, and what's the point of introducing Gwen Stacy if you're not going to make her Spider-Woman.
posted by Merus at 8:15 AM on August 22


I felt that Far From Home was more Endgame Epilogue than it's own movie.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:15 AM on August 22 [1 favorite]


(You're not wrong.)
posted by uberchet at 11:41 AM on August 22


I like the first two Raimi movies, especially #2, but I'm struggling to remember anything in the first one that's as good as Homecoming. The tension and dialogue between Peter and Vulture riding in the car to prom are way better than the similar scene where Green Goblin comes to dinner in the Raimi film. The Harry--Mary Jane--Peter triangle isn't nearly as good as the high school group in Homecoming. Peter saving his class from danger in the Washington monument >>> Peter saving MJ from rapists in a dark alley. And Goblin overall is a much less interesting villain than Vulture.

Neither movie has an action sequence as good as the big Dock Ock fight in Raimi #2. Maybe the final fight with Goblin is a little better than the one with Vulture? It's certainly more brightly lit and easier to see, but I very much prefer an enemy who cares more about getting away with some cash than murder and a Spider-Man who saves his enemy rather than letting him die.

Rosemary Harris is good, and is much closer to the traditional comic book version of Aunt May, but Marisa Tomei is also good and her Aunt May has a pretty great relationship with her Peter. Raimi's version has J.K. Simmons, who is perfect as JJJ, but I think the rest of the Homecoming cast is uniformly better (definitely more charming) than the Raimi cast. And Homecoming is for sure a much funnier movie, and I definitely feel like a Spider-Man movie should have good jokes.
posted by straight at 3:36 PM on August 22 [4 favorites]


The Human Spider vs Bonesaw is hilarious. Checkmate atheists.

The train scene in Spider-Man 2 is more emotionally satisfying than anything in the MCU movies so far (Spider-Man and otherwise).
posted by um at 4:10 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


Raimi's version has J.K. Simmons

So does the MCU now, confusingly.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 5:28 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


Continuing with Holland will be weird with the MCU hacked away from his world. No one is nostalgic for the Garfield era, and nobody wants to watch Uncle Ben die in yet again in yet another reboot. The Spidey movie my heart wanted was a teamup against D'Onofrio Kingpin with Charlie Cox Daredevil, a reluctant mentor who would teach him some very different lessons about superheroing than Stark. But that needs to stay filed under "Dreams," along with the Moon Knight Netflix series that I crave.

But if Spidey has to be a Sony picture, let's go back to Earth-Raimi, but not for anything they might have had planned for part 4 way back when. Because Spider-Man 3 left Peter's life in shambles, and twelve years have gone by since then, so let's embrace what a fucking bummer this all is and bring back Tobey Maguire as Peter B. Parker.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:46 PM on August 22


Huh, looking through Wikipedia, it seems like Maguire has mostly retired from acting. He's only done three rolls this decade and nothing for five years.
posted by octothorpe at 3:49 AM on August 23


The Hollywood Reporter has a lot more detail than the Vox link, including this:

While many vocal defendants of Disney are clinging to the notion that Disney offered a 50 percent co-financing on the films, it's easy to see why Sony would reject it. Far From Home cost $160 million, before marketing, and made a little over $1 billion. Operating under the assumption that a third Spider-Man film would cost a similar amount and gross just as much, then Sony paying $80 million to give up anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent of its $1 billion gross is a game that no smart business owner would play. Even if a third Spider-Man movie makes a little less without the MCU connection, Sony still stands to profit more than its would by acquiescing to Disney's  terms. No live-action, theatrical Spider-Man film has grossed less than $700 million worldwide.

Also, I haven't seen a source for the claims above that the supposed fan outcry has driven Sony back to the table with Disney ("Sony caved," etc). Does anyone have a good one?

Also also, Squirrel Girl is one of the most joyful, smart, funny and feminist comics on the market right now, and if you haven't yet read the first trade collection you're in for a treat.
posted by mediareport at 5:41 AM on August 23


Huh, looking through Wikipedia, it seems like Maguire has mostly retired from acting. He's only done three rolls this decade and nothing for five years.

If you're wondering why that is, note that it is generally considered to be the case in Hollywood that "Player X" in Molly's Game was largely based on Maguire.
posted by Justinian at 6:24 AM on August 23


Wow I totally missed Molly's Game and the Maguire story there. What a creep.
posted by uberchet at 8:46 AM on August 23


I think about Maguire every time I'm in the corner bar by my house. When they shot Wonder Boys, they filmed a scene in there with Spider-man, Ant-man and Iron Man getting drunk together. Sadly the bar has remodeled since then.
posted by octothorpe at 10:19 AM on August 23


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