Now that The Amazing Spider-Man has web-grabbed the record for the highest Tuesday opening in box office history (an impressive $35 million), and continued success expected throughout the coming weeks, some moviegoers are already looking forward to more Andrew Garfield Spidey action. Critical response has been equally enthusiastic (read our Amazing Spider-Man review) as many reviewers claim the film is the best Spider-Man movie yet - even if it does retread a lot of story beats from Raimi's first installment.
The other major criticism levied against Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man is the film's attempt at paving the way for future sequels - at the expense of the current narrative arc. However, according to producer Matt Tolmach, that was the idea all along - claiming that the filmmakers have "at least three" movies planned.
Audiences will notice the current film is unapologetic about setting up larger story beats and subsequently withholding resolutions for the already announced Amazing Spider-Man 2 (set for release on May 2, 2014) and, assuming both films perform, other installments down the road.
According to Tolmach, who spoke with SuperHeroHype last week, the producers didn't approach The Amazing Spider-Man as a standalone project:
"We knew that it was going to be more than one, and at the very least three. We're going to let this movie tell us what the story is."
The film's Facebook page made a similar assertion in a recent post:
"It's finally here! The Amazing Spider-Man is the first installment in a movie trilogy that will explore how our fave hero's journey was shaped by the disappearance of his parents."
The notion of a larger Parker-family storyline is evident for anyone who has seen the current film and, in keeping with Marvel-based movies, a mid-credits scene foreshadows other potential plot points for the sequel(s). That said, it'll definitely be interesting to see how reactions to The Amazing Spider-Man movie "tell [the producers] what the story is." Presumably, this means that if the Emma Stone/Andrew Garfield relationship fell flat or viewers complained about Webb's approach to The Lizard villain, the producers and screenwriters (including fan-favorites Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci) might adjust the planned trajectory of the franchise to accommodate different options.
Of course, even if Sony wants to present The Amazing Spider-Man as the first installment in a new film trilogy, nothing is set in stone at this point - since the movie (or its scheduled sequel) could fail to bring in enough money to justify keeping the series going. Though, don't count on that happening. Movies don't just make money at the box office or on store shelves - especially a kid-friendly film like The Amazing Spider-Man which will pull in truckloads of dollar bills through merchandising.
Purely from a business standpoint, it's unsurprising that Sony is positioning the wall-crawler for another trilogy - since the studio is required to make a new Spider-Man movie every five years (or the rights revert back to Marvel). It's a tricky business scenario that we detailed in our article Why are the Spider-Man Movies Starting Over? As a result, having learned from past mistakes (i.e. inflated budgets for the Raimi film trilogy), Tolmach's "at the very least three" comment is pretty telling - meaning that Spider-Fans could see the series extend well-beyond a trilogy (with a possible Avengers 2 cameo thrown into the mix).
If you want to talk about the future of the franchise, head over to our Amazing Spider-Man spoilers discussion and check back here at Screen Rant for future updates.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.
The Amazing Spider-Man is currently in theaters.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is web-shooting for a May 2, 2014 release.