[Feb 9 2015 Update: Spider-Man is officially joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe.]
Even with a worldwide box office gross of more than $700 million, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 proved to be the lowest-earning film starring everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood wallcrawler and earned the poorest reviews of the franchise. Since then, the future of the series has fueled the rumor mills for months.
Sony’s original plan to use the sequel to spin into additional sequels as well as spinoffs featuring supervillain team the Sinister Six and fan-favorite villain/anti-hero Venom spinoff has been called into question. Meanwhile, many fans remain hopeful that the studio can strike a deal for Spider-Man to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Empire recently caught up with writer/director David Koepp – who wrote the script for Sam Raimi’s original live-action 2002 Spider-Man – about what he would do with the franchise. While first acknowledging that the franchise is a tricky one to figure out, Koepp offered the following take:
“When I was doing Spider-Man the first time, I remember distinctly having thoughts about three movies, each of a different kind. The way the comic book lines switched, it was ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Amazing Spider-Man,’ ‘Spectacular Spider-Man’… there were a number of them.
“So rather than try to pursue the same course – or any kind of similar tone – you’d have strikingly different tones. The classic ‘Spider-Man,’ that would be the top-of-the-line, studio Sam Raimi ones, then the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ ones, they’d be done for $75-80 million, and have a rougher, edgier, almost R-rated feel to them – if not R-rated, though I don’t think they could ever bring themselves to do that. Tougher, nastier, a rougher look… shorter movies. I don’t like superhero bloat personally.
“And these series didn’t have to be consecutive, they could be released concurrently. Then I also thought there should be a ‘Spectacular Spider-Man’ series, because Spider-Man leaves out a large group of its audience. Little kids are fascinated by Spider-Man by the time they are three, or younger. But when I was a kid, I loved the animated series, so I always thought there should be separate lines to cater for different ages of Spider-Man fans.”
The idea of releasing several different big-screen interpretations of the same character is certainly a novel idea, and with DC characters like The Flash and members of the Suicide Squad on their way to having seemingly contradictory versions on both the big and small screens (in service of DC’s “multiverse” approach), there is a precedent for this. Plus, if Sony is looking to adopt its own variation of the Marvel Studios blueprint, what better way than to completely reject the “it’s all connected” mentality that Marvel has developed?
Koepp goes on to say that, in addition to multiple versions of Spider-Man catered to different demographics and with separate creative teams, he would expand the franchise with spinoffs for other fan-favorite characters.
“I’d certainly develop other characters in the Spider-Man universe, which is what they are trying to do, I know. Black Cat deserves her own movie series. As for the superhero genre generally now, I am stunned at its viability, its quality, its longevity, and its ability to grow and deepen. I think they’re great. I was so continually wrong about where superhero movies were going that now I am just an audience member, thrilled to see them continue to improve.”
Oscar nominee Felicity Jones – who played Black Cat’s alter-ego in Amazing Spider-Man 2 – has said that she is open to reprising the role, but at this point, there are no further details on her reappearance or on Sony’s female Spider-Man spinoff in general. It’s anyone’s guess how the studio will proceed with the franchise from here, whether The Amazing Spider-Man 3 will see the light of day or if the series will be rebooted yet again.
However, Koepp’s idea could be a fresh one that may give Sony the chance to reinvigorate what should be one of the more audience-pleasing superhero series out there. If rumors that J.K. Simmons may reprise his role as J. Jonah Jameson turn out to be true, at least that’s one thing that most fans can agree will only help the franchise at this point.
Sinister Six is still scheduled for a November 2016 release date. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on the Spider-Man franchise.