"To subtitle or not to subtitle?" It's a tricky question for which there seems to be no steadfast rule, not even within the sub-genre of comic book movies. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World and The Avengers: Age of Ultron have indulged in the subtitle format, but Iron Man 2 & 3 settled for simple numbering to distinguish themselves from one another.
Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man faced the challenge of being a reboot that was pieced together in only a short space of time after the Sam Raimi-directed trilogy, which also happened to be extremely successful, and therefore having to distinguish itself. It seems like one simple way to accomplish that would be to eschew the simple numerical system of Spider-Man 1, 2 & 3 and instead come up with a creative subtitle for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and it seems that this is exactly what Sony has in mind.
Just when we though Lucasfilm and Disney would have trouble subtitling Star Wars: Episode VII, CBM received a tip from a reader, Jeff White, who claimed to have recently attended a screening of Captain Phillips at Mall of America. Prior to the start of the film, two representatives from Sony's marketing department were asking audience members for their opinions on three possible subtitles for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The first option was The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Price of Power, the second was The Amazing Spider Man 2: With Great Power, but White couldn't recall the last of the possible subtitles. This may well be a reflection on how memorable it was.
Both of the subtitles he could recall are a riff on Peter Parker's mantra, "With great power comes great responsibility." While it's a great and memorable soundbite, it doesn't necessarily make for a good subtitle and makes the film sound more like a political thriller than a superhero movie. If any Screen Rant readers have been quizzed by Sony's marketing people at screenings, let us know in the comments if the third option was any better.
One alternative option would be to go the same direction as The Avengers: Age of Ultron and base the subtitle around The Amazing Spider-Man 2's main villain, but that is somewhat complicated by the fact that there are multiple villains being introduced. Teaser images have indicated that the Ravencroft Institute, an asylum for criminally insane and superpowered villains, will serve as the location of some kind of setpiece - most likely the breakout of a whole team of bad guys. Electro (Jamie Foxx) seems to be the most prominent new antagonist, but a title along the lines of The Amazing Spider-Man vs. Electro doesn't really capture the spirit of a movie with a larger villain showcase, and one that could be leading to a Sinister Six introduction.
Do you like either of the subtitles suggested, or can you come up with something better? I'm hoping that they just stick with The Amazing Spider-Man 2; anything much longer than that is going to become a real pain to type out.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Subtitle TBC is out in theaters on May 2nd 2014.