With Spider-Man: Far From Home garnering both critical acclaim and box office success, attentions are beginning to turn to the next outing starring Tom Holland as the web-slinger. The first two solo movies involving everybody's friendly neighborhood bug have been big hits so far but, given how Spider-Man 3 disappointed when it released in 2007, the MCU must keep in mind how tinkering with a winning formula can come back to bite you.
We now take a look at 10 mistakes the final chapter of Sam Raimi's trilogy made 12 years ago - and explain why the MCU must stay clear of going down a similar path. That final movie of the trilogy ultimately saw the whole series come undone and we're hoping the same errors aren't made the second time around...
10 Poor CGI
So far, the two Spider-Man solo movies starring Tom Holland have used CGI magnificently. Whether it be on his suits, the locations he's visited or the villains he's battled against, everything has looked the part and befitting of a comic book movie. Given how technology has evolved, there's really no excuse for an MCU movie to NOT look good. It's 2019, after all.
Spider-Man 3 has aged terribly and most of that is because the special effects were all off. Venom looked awful, Sandman had a bizarre look, and the action scenes seemed to be reliant on tinkering behind the scenes, rather than cool stunts and camera work. We don't think they'll make the mistake of bad CGI again but, even so, it's something they must be mindful of when they go back to the drawing board.
9 Sticking With The Same Suit
Spider-Man 3 had so much going on, it almost went under the radar that the web-slinger kept the same suit we'd seen in Spider-Man 2. Sure, Sam Raimi mixed it up by having the Symbiote take over the outfit but it didn't do much aesthetically speaking. It was, for all extent and purposes, the same attire we'd seen before, just in black.
In recent films, Peter Parker's appearance evolves along with the character. In Homecoming, there was his homemade suit and the Stark suit, whereas Far From Home saw the Avenger wearing three different outfits. We like the fact he's been shown to have so many looks and believe they should stay clear of doing what Spider-Man 3 did and sticking with what they already have, rather than changing it up.
8 Pointless Side Characters
One of Spider-Man 3's biggest sins was giving too much screen time to characters who were downright annoying and utterly pointless. There was Mageina Tovah's Ursula, who did nothing besides creep on Peter Parker and offer him emotional support when Mary Jane ignores his calls. And, who can forget Harry Osborn's butler? Who conveniently waited until Goblin Jr. had nearly died before telling him Spider-Man DIDN'T kill his father after all.
Those two were the worst examples but Gwen Stacy and Kurt Connors offered little as well, despite being big players in the comics. The MCU has got Spidey right so far by filling his world with an interesting mix of people - something they must keep doing in the movies ahead.
7 Introducing A Rival Love Interest
One of the biggest problems with Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3 was the fact she was meant to be a love interest for Peter Parker. But the decision to include her backfired, with Gwen not appearing to be interested in the web-slinger at all. Instead, she ends up being a narrative device to make Peter look more selfish while complicating Spidey's relationship with Mary Jane Watson.
Spider-Man: Homecoming had Peter keen on Liz before he got with MJ in Far From Home. He's a teenager, so the bigwigs over at Marvel Studios should keep his love life simple. Plus, Tom Holland and Zendaya have such good chemistry and we doubt anybody would be able to compete with their on-screen relationship.
6 Weak Women
While we're on the subject of MJ, so far she's been a refreshing change of tact. In the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, women were always in need of rescuing. In Spider-Man 3, it was left to the web-slinger to save not only Mary Jane from villains Venom and Sandman in the final battle, but also having to rescue Gwen Stacy when a crane destroys a building while she's in the middle of a photoshoot.
MJ needed rescuing from Mysterio in Far From Home but it would be great to see her intellect and combative nature used to help Peter, rather than landing her in trouble. We've not seen Spidey accept help from many people during his time in the MCU, particularly his peers, and it would be different to see a relationship where MJ is able to help the Avenger keep New York City safe.
5 Changing What We Already Know
Another thing Spider-Man 3 did wrong was rewriting the past. Take Flint Marko, AKA Sandman, for example. In the first movie of the trilogy, it was established that Uncle Ben had been murdered by Dennis Carradine. However, Sam Raimi then made the inexplicable decision to reveal that, actually, it was Marko who had been holding the gun - despite not ever being mentioned before.
It would be stupid, therefore, if details from both Homecoming and Far From Home were to be altered in the next installment. Marvel has so far nailed every aspect of story-telling but they shouldn't get complacent: All it takes is one mistake to have fans venting their fury.
4 Change The Tone
The tone of the first two Spider-Man movies prior to Spider-Man 3 was a perfect blend of comedy, emotion, and excitement. However, for the final part of the trilogy, the decision was made to change the tone to a far darker one, something that made it seem out of place in the grand scheme of things.
As a result, many fans felt it lacked the same class as its two predecessors. It was certainly a darker plot: Peter and Mary Jane having relationship issues, Harry Osborn and Eddie Brock trying to exact revenge on the web-slinger for their own respective reasons, and Flint Marko trying to make amends for murdering Uncle Ben. However, it lacked the same charm that had made the older movies so special.
3 Too Many Villains
Spider-Man 3 tried cramming in too many villains. Director Sam Raimi had initially planned to pit Peter Parker against just Sandman and Harry Osborn as the Green Goblin before Sony instructed him to throw Venom into the mix as well. That resulted in a disjointed mess of a movie, to put it mildly.
Inexplicably, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 made by the same error by introducing the Green Goblin, Rhino, and Electro, with none of the trio being able to truly shine. In the MCU, Spider-Man has battled against the Vulture and brought down Mysterio but that's been it. It's a winning formula having Peter Parker fight just one bad guy at a time and this should continue going forward.
2 Villains Lacking Motive
If Flint Marko was so remorseful about killing Uncle Ben, why did he then use his Sandman powers to wreak havoc on New York City? If Harry Osborn actually liked Peter Parker, why didn't he listen to his friend's explanation about his father? If Eddie Brock really wanted to be a good photographer for the Daily Bugle, why did he then feel so victimized when his fake-photo stunt came back to bite him?
The villains in Spider-Man 3 simply lacked a consistent motive. None of them seemed to have any genuine reason for turning bad, it was just as if Sony needed them to be to make a movie out of it. At least in the MCU, both the Vulture and Mysterio had justifiable reasons for wanting what they want - with Tony Stark playing a role in both origin stories. Villains need a backstory, if not, they just become pointless.
1 Altering Peter's Personality
Ah, Spider-Man 3's biggest sin. It wasn't just the poor villains, the number of villains, the portrayal of female characters, or the pointless and irritating side characters that made it worse than its two predecessors. Nope, the biggest problem was altering Peter Parker's personality.
We're not just talking about when the Symbiote turned him into a goth. Nope. We're talking about even BEFORE his personality is altered by the alien. At the start of the movie, Peter is self-centered and pigheaded, whereas in the previous two movies he'd always been modest and putting other people first. It's no wonder he and Mary Jane have so many issues. Tom Holland's Peter has stayed the same so far and it's something the MCU definitely shouldn't tinker with because, if they do, we'll all be asking the same question: Why?