So in the past week or so, hackers have managed to breach Sony’s paper mache security measures to get at all the juicy, nougaty emails within. This has given us a rare, Wikileaks-like glimpse into the inner workings of one of the world’s most powerful companies.
And the results have been embarrassing. Like Kim Kardashian-giving-a-TED-Talk-level embarrassing.
Since Sony’s public de-pantsing, we’ve learned that CEO Amy Pascal spends her time writing a Mean Girls-style Burn Book about all her Hollywood connections. They’re also considering giving another shot at a Super Mario Bros. movie, because the last tragic attempt didn’t put quite enough poison in the well that Sony isn’t willing to take another gulp.
But there’s one series of emails that are particularly frustrating.
Regretting the cinematic travesty of unfocused subplots that was Amazing Spiderman 2, Sony is now making goo-goo eyes at Marvel, hoping to drop the wallcrawler into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just in time for some Avengers love.
Once upon a time, this would have been a dream scenario. But, though it pains me to say so, that ship has sailed.
Spiderman simply cannot and should not join the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU for you non-nerds or people who can’t figure out acronyms).
Marvel movies are getting bigger and better, whereas Spiderman’s trajectory has been in more of a downward direction that just can’t seem to get the franchise right. It only took three movies for Raimi’s Spiderman to run out of steam, whereas Andrew Garfield’s run as the web-head, though incredibly well-acted, has suffered from shoddy scripting, bad CGI, and some jarring shifts in tone.
Spiderman movies are almost always clunky, overstuffed, and goofy to the point of self-parody. Do we want all that bad juju in our glorious MCU?
But hey, maybe that’s not a deal breaker. After all, it’s not like the Marvel movies have been paragons of Shakespearean seriousness.
Except for the fact that if Sony ends up lending Spidey to Marvel they’d likely ditch Andrew Garfield – aka the one thing the “Amazing” movies have absolutely done right – and go for yet another reboot of the character. The third this decade.
How many damn times do we need to see Uncle Ben bite it before we just get sick of this whole mess? How many more Venoms and Hob/Green Goblins do we need to see rebooted onscreen before people just stop buying tickets?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has approximately all the characters hitting the screen in the next ten years. It does not need all the baggage that the Spiderman canon would bring to pack it even fuller. And honestly, what’s the point of bringing in Spiderman if you have to jettison the Rogue’s Gallery along the way? Without villains to wisecrack at, he’s just a cute, insecure genius with a dysfunctional family life.
Come to think of it, that sounds familiar. Anyone getting an Iron Man vibe from that last sentence?
Oh yeah, that’s right. Because Marvel’s Iron Man movie was the best Spiderman movie that’s ever been made.
I’m not kidding. A snarky genius with deep insecurities struggles with responsibility and scores a freckly blond girlfriend. Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man is just a less-whiny Peter Parker aged up twenty years.
Which brings us to the biggest reason Spiderman needs to keep as far away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as possible: no matter what they do with him, Spidey is going to be dead weight.
Iron Man’s got the genius angle covered, and Captain America brings the hopeful naivete. Black Widow brings serious professionalism. Hell, even Star Lord adds a heaping dose of dorky ego. Everything that Spiderman is and could be is already covered in the core Avengers group, except maybe the youth angle. But seriously, is that enough to build a character off of? Do we really want to see Spiderman turn into the Robin of the Avengers?
The MCU simply does not need another handsome, white, straight man to slobber over. Even if they went with the African American Miles Morales version of the character, it would still be fighting an uphill battle with Spiderman’s dubious cinematic legacy.
Sorry Spidey. It looks like you and Sony are going to be stuck with each other for a long time.