Why I Remain Skeptical About the Future of Spider-Man Movies

By  · Published on March 3rd, 2015

Sony has hired Drew Goddard to write and direct their next Spider-Man movie, and his geek street cred is immaculate. He wrote Cloverfield, was a producer on LOST and wrote/directed Cabin in the Woods. He’s truly excellent.

It’s an exciting hire of a fresh voice in filmmaking. Kind of like when Sony hired Marc Webb to direct The Amazing Spider-Man.

Obviously there are differences now. Goddard is slightly more established than Webb was when he got the gig (although Goddard only has one movie under his directorial belt, too), Marvel’s Kevin Feige is supposedly checking over Sony’s shoulder as a collaborator, and there’s at least the potential that Amy Pascal and company have learned a few lessons about what to avoid in the series. Hopefully one of those lessons was about creating a cohesive, entertaining movie so that word of mouth can do a lot of the marketing for you.

Goddard is a strong genre-ist with an impressive eye for visuals and technical acrobatics, but we’ve been down this road before. Sony hired a creative, on-the-rise filmmaker and – as is often the case with music video, commercial and rising indie directors – leveraged their own power against that talent, effectively turning a creative force into a yeoman. For a long time, the watchword with these kinds of hires has been Control.

I also don’t care about Iron Man appearing in the movie. That’s the rumor right now, but it’s also confetti.

Now, it’s unfair to blame Sony completely for the waning power of the character. Goddard’s movie will, after all, be the 6th Spider-Man movie in 14 years, and the fatigue is real, regardless of the quality. This also shouldn’t be a damned-if-you-do situation where Sony is lambasted despite making a compelling hire. They could have brought on Brett Ratner, you know.

At the same time, we’ve been down this road before. Webb came onto the project with clear eyes and the promise of an origin story that hadn’t been told before, courtesy of James Vanderbilt and other talented writers. We all know how all of that turned out. Studios have learned how to appease the movie-savvy crowd leading up to a production.

I’m also not pessimistic about Spidey’s prospects. It’s simply difficult to be wooed to anticipation considering we’ve had this football placed at our feet before. Sony has hired the right person for the job. I simply hope they let him do it.

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