John Gholson is a life-long Avengers fanboy who has previously covered all manner of superhero news at AOL. After dabbling with comic book self-publishing in the '90s, John moved on to study sequential art at the Savannah College of Art & Design, and currently produces a regular web comic, ‘Appetite for Destruction,’ for Tapsauce.com. You can read his Marvel Studios Countdown here at Movies.com every other week.
The Amazing Spider-Man has now been seen by a group of critics and press, but they’ve been asked to keep their full reviews mum until the film is closer to release. Immediate reactions on Twitter ranged from awesome to not-very-awesome, which doesn’t really solidify any particular expectations for the film, but no matter, Sony is already forging ahead with their next plans for Spidey.
The interesting news is that those plans might not involve director Marc Webb. Some rumblings started back in the Spring that Sony wasn’t satisfied with the finished film, and that story seems to line up with new rumors that Webb won’t be invited back for future installments. The drama will probably play out in public as soon as Amazing Spider-Man is released, if there even is any. If the final film doesn’t deliver the goods, it will be interesting to see if they can resist rebooting the reboot.
Their next Spider-Man project would certainly allow them to; they’re dedicated to doing a solo Venom film before they get around to a Spider-Man sequel. What’s telling here is that producer Avi Arad says that Venom will definitely overlap with Sony’s corner of the Spider-Man universe. Eddie Brock probably doesn’t appear in Amazing Spider-Man (I don’t see how that could’ve remained a secret by this point), which leads me to believe that Peter Parker is planned to show up in Venom. What this does is allow Sony to recast Parker/Spider-Man for Venom, then spin that new actor off into whatever the next cinematic Spider-Man adventure is going to be. It’s not a strong theory, but it certainly does give them an open door if Amazing Spider-Man turns out to be a trainwreck (though that would hardly be the blame of star Andrew Garfield).
On a side note about Venom, I’d rather see a movie version of Rick Remender’s take on the character, as he currently appears in the comics. I do like Eddie Brock Venom as a Spider-Man nemesis, but not as a crazy anti-hero. Remender’s Venom is Spider-Man supporting cast member Flash Thompson, a black ops agent given access to the symbiotic alien lifeform that Brock once wore. Thompson struggles with keeping the living suit in check, while diverting himself from his own rough life with high-octane action. He’s part-Hulk, part-Call of Duty, and I think he’d work much better on film than Eddie Brock (in fact, I’d assumed that’s why he was re-launched so drastically different -- to be more adaptable in a solo film. Guess not.)
Back to Amazing Spider-Man, let’s hope it isn’t a trainwreck. As a fan, I’d certainly rather see a good Spider-Man film than a bad one. There’s a lot riding on the success of this film, of course, since the studio took a gamble ditching the folks who built the franchise. They not only need to prove that they made the right creative decision, but that the fans will still come back for the character in droves, no matter who’s running the ship.
If Sony is working hard to create their own Spidey-centric corner of the Marvel Universe, what Spider-Man heroes would you like to see in their own films? Black Cat? The Prowler? Silver Sable? Or what about Miguel O’Hara, Spider-Man 2099? Is the world truly ready for Peter Porker, Spider-Ham?
News from the Web
-- Marvel posted a few pages of preview art from Amazing Spider-Man #688, which sees Webhead facing off against the Lizard, just in time for the new movie. The issue is written by Dan Slott and penciled by Guiseppe Camoncoli.
-- Avi Arad was getting pretty good at deflecting fan requests for Spider-Man to show up in Disney’s Avengers films, but the producer seems to have changed his tune, “It’s great for Disney; it’s great for Sony.” True, but can the studios get on the same page to actually make this happen? Time will tell... (Crave)
-- “Comic Book Legends Revealed” is one of the most enjoyable features over at ComicBookResources.com, and this week they delve into a mystery regarding J. Jonah Jameson -- was Marvel really planning to have the boisterous Daily Bugle publisher murder Spidey’s on-and-off love interest Black Cat? Read on to find out.
-- Our own Alison Nastasi turned up a few interesting Spidey-related nuggets, including video footage of a Spider-Man marriage proposal.
-- Newsarama got some hands-on time with the Amazing Spider-Man tie-in video game and in their words, “pretty consistent with past efforts.” Their take -- if you liked some of the free-roaming Spider-Man games of the past, then you’ll probably like Amazing Spider-Man. They didn’t talk about the graphics much, but the screenshots of the game are lovely. I hope it looks as good in motion.
There are 22 days until the release of The Amazing Spider-Man on July 3, 2012. The Marc Webb film stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Rhys Ifans.