Spider-Man: Homecoming is little over a month away from release, but before that hits cinemas a "new" Spider-Man film has been made available. Or to be more precise, a new version of an old film; the movie in question is the much-maligned Spider-Man 3, the 2007 film that ultimately ended up being the last appearance of Tobey Maguire as the Wall-Crawler, and director Sam Raimi's last time shooting this interpretation of the iconic superhero.
Despite taking over $890 million worldwide, the large-budget and extensive promotion also meant the profits were down on previous entries and the film took an extensive battering from the critics at the time; reviewers and fans alike pointed to the crowded and unfocused plot as being far less engaging than Spider-Man 2, still regarded as being the best Spider-Man film so far. Along with Venom, Sandman, and a new Green Goblin, the story also shoehorned in favorite Gwen Stacy alongside Mary Jane. Not only that. it also told an abbreviated version of the Symbiote-suit conflict with Peter Parker, which led to the widely derided depiction of Spidey's alter-ego as an arrogant emo-type character. Even Raimi admitted that the film didn't work.
There has long been a rumor that a "Director's Cut" of the movie may exist in some form or another, and now an "Editor's Cut" of Spider-Man 3 can now be purchased online via Amazon. However, this new version clocks in at just under 2 hours and 18 minutes, making it only 2 minutes shorter than the theatrical version, meaning there are no huge differences in the plot or important deleted scenes being re-instated.
Since its appearance online, some reviews and descriptions have appeared on social media and described the differences between the original version and this edition. It appears (via Reddit) that the changes boil down to some dialogue removal, a couple of minor alternate scenes (which don't greatly affect the plot), and some extra editing on action scenes. However, some missing trailer footage depicting black-suited Spidey does seem to have been inserted to some sequences. In terms of being a bona fide alternate version, it's questionable as to how much this version adds to the film.
While it's always good to see older films given a new lease of life and have the opportunity for reevaluation, especially when they're generally regarded as being of lower quality by many, it's easy to be cynical and question the timing of Sony's release of this version.
Still, many may still be intrigued by a return visit to the Raimi version of the Web-Slinger prior to the imminent new version, and this may be the perfect excuse to do so. Just don't expect any less Parker-strutting.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) release date: Jul 07, 2017
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018