by Brandon Butler
Thoughts on Spider-Man in Cinema 2/6/2020

I hope my post on Spider-Man in cinema was fun and informative. I learned a lot about the movies and history that I didn’t know before while researching this, but some of the side comments and opinions didn’t feel right to include in the original post, so I want to add a little coda to the original post.

First, we need to discuss Sony. Sony created the Walkman and then the Sony Pictures subsidiary, where Spider-Man is now jailed. I don’t believe Sony Pictures has been a good steward of the Spider-Man character, something I think is fairly obvious in the original post. I also don’t believe Sony, and the people they’ve hired to write, direct, produce, and star in pre-MCU Spider-Man films have ever really understood the character of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield, while both actors, were badly mis-cast as high school teenager Peter Parker. They were too old, and too dramatic. Why weren’t Maguire’s and Garfield’s Spider-Mans funny? Where were the quips in battle? Why was Maguire always crying, and why were Garfield and Emma Stone written like characters from Dawson’s Creek? In an ideal world, Marvel would own the film rights and be building up a massive slate of Spider-Man spinoff films with Black Cat, Venom, Miles Morales, the Sinister Six, and Spider-Women; instead, we have Sony bumbling around with reboots and box office failures, poor casting and a complete lack of understanding of the characters they maintain creative control of from Marvel. And as long as they find a cent of profit in the Spider-Man films, they’ll continue to maintain cinematic control of the character. I worry for Spidey and the entire Spider-gang; I really hope Sony proves me, and history, wrong in this next decade.

When Disney and Sony announced they couldn’t reach an agreement to renew their Spider-Man deal for the MCU, I don’t think Disney had any intention of walking away from Spider-Man. Bob Iger tells a heartwarming little story of Tom Holland calling him, but Iger was always going to be calling Sony. Disney originally wanted something closer to a 50/50 split, but I suspect they took the “lesser” 25% deal because it doesn’t matter what the terms were, Spider-Man is just too important to lose control of with how valuable the MCU is right now. There’s a Spidey ride opening in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim in months, for starters. However it happened, I’m glad it did. Holland as Spidey is a great addition to the MCU, and I want it to continue for a long time.

Did you see the Morbius trailer, with Michael Keaton reprising his role as The Vulture from Homecoming? Keen eyed viewers will also notice a poster of Spider-Man with “murderer” spray painted across it in the background of one of the scenes. This is Sony ramping up another go of their Spider-Man Cinematic Universe to compete with Marvel. With the new agreement between the studios, Sony can now use Spidey in their non-MCU films. I don’t have any info on if/where/when Spidey or Holland will show up, but like I said in the original post, treat these films as fan fiction.

Have you noticed during the Marvel Studios logo sequence, where many of the Marvel heroes appear as the camera pulls back from inside a three-dimensional MARVEL logo, that Spidey only appears in the Homecoming and Far From Home films? Even though Spider-Man is in Civil WarInfinity War, and Endgame, he doesn’t appear in the logo for those films, or any other MCU film. This is almost certainly Sony’s doing. Do you know who Spidey replaces in those opening sequences? I’ll give you one big, green guess.

The most difficult part of the entire post was that header graphic I used of the three Spider-Men. I had a lot of fun making it, but it took a while to make and display correctly on my current blog layout. It’s pretty simple, but I’m proud of it. Not every post will have a header image like that, but I think future features will have something like that. But spend half an hour using a lasso tool on three still images, and you gain a renewed appreciation of all those rotoscoping artists you see in the end credits of films.

And this has nothing to do with the Spider-Man films, but Nicholas Hammond, who played Spidey in the CBS live-action TV show, decided he wanted to be an actor after seeing Julie Andrews in the film My Fair Lady, and six years later he co-stared with her in The Sound of Music. He still acts occasionally, and was most recently in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

That’s all I have on Spider-Man in the movies. Don’t forget, Spider-Man 3 (actual title TBD) hits theaters July 16th, 2021. Thwip!