The Amazing Spider-Man: Will Anyone Care?

Ten years ago, the Spider-Man movie was one of the most hotly anticipated CBM's of all time. Next summer, a reboot will hit theaters, but will lack of interest kill it?

In the year 2002, arguably one of the biggest and most successful comic book movies of all time hit theaters with Sam Raimi's classic Spider-Man. Growing up, I wasn't that big of a Spider-Man fan, but even as a kid I knew that if any super hero deserved a movie, it was Spidey. Spider-Man was a great, relatable, fun character with a great origin and motivation, had a great supporting cast, and a great rogues gallery of villains (second only to Batman). I spent many years wondering what the Spidey movie would be like, who would play him, and which villain he would face.

Well, apparently I wasn't alone, because when the movie hit, it hit big. $400 million later and the Spider-Man movie showed everyone that comic book movies were here to stay and talk of sequels had already begun.

Sadly, the fun couldn't keep up forever, as Spider-Man 3 hit to massive numbers but was torn apart by critics and audiences alike. Director Sam Raimi promised that the next movie would make up for it and we almost got a fourth Spider-Man movie before it all fell apart thanks to behind the scenes drama. In panic mode, the studio decided to hit the reset button and start a new franchise with a whole new cast and a new director that would hopefully wipe the taste of Spider-Man 3 from our mouths.

But will it help?

The reboot, entitled The Amazing Spider-Man is set to hit sometime next summer and is said to be much smaller in scale than the past three movies and be more character driven. But are fans and audiences willing to accept a new Spider-Man already? When I talk to most people about upcoming comic book movies, most fans forget that a new Spidey movie is coming out next year. We've had little tidbits of news here and there, but nothing that has really caused fanboys to take notice (except the costume, which I'll get to). For whatever reason, fans seem to be apathetic towards this new Spidey movie, and I'm sure there's a couple reasons why.

The most common complain about this movie is that it's too early to reboot the franchise, and I have to agree. Say what you will about the last Spider-Man movie, but the first two are, in my opinion two of the best comic book movies of all time. It's hard to believe the first Spider-Man movie came out about a decade ago because it still seems so fresh in everyone's mind and we still have fond memories of it. Some people are using the Batman films as examples of a stale franchise getting the reboot treatment, but just look at the gap between movies. Batman and Robin came out in 1997 and Batman Begins came out in 2005, that's an eight year gap between movies. With Spider-man, Spider-man 3 came out in 2007 and Amazing Spider-Man is coming out in 2012, that's only five years between movies, and say what you will but Spider-Man 3 is nowhere near as bad as Batman and Robin. The studio could have easily rebounded from Spidey 3 with a good follow up, but with rebooting the series so soon, it just seems strange.

Another factor is casting, especially with Spider-Man himself. While Tobey Maguire didn't bring the smart alect charm to Spider-Man that I wanted, he did give Peter Parker a sort of everyman charm that made audiences instantly connect with him. One thing a lot of people have said to me is that they can't picture anyone else other than Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man, and audiences could have a hard time embracing a new face under the mask.

But another reason I think that the excitement level for The Amazing Spider-Man is so low is the lack of news coming from it. The movie has been filming for several months now and all we have is a couple still shots of the new Spidey costume. Most people reacted negatively to the redesigned suit but my reaction was about the same as my attitude towards this movie: boredom. The suit works for me, I guess, but I wanted to know more about the movie itself. Set pics have leaked over the internet like crazy showing Spidey in action against thugs and stuff, but it's all stuff we've seen before. I guess that about sums up what we've seen from this new movie: We've all seen it before. We've seen Spidey fighting petty thugs in the street, and we've seen the Spider-Man suit before, and one reason we look forward to new superhero movies is to see something we haven't seen before. The Amazing Spider-Man has a really unique villain with The Lizard, but haven't seen much of anything with him except for a leaked pic of a hooded actor in green makeup. We probably won't get a trailer until later this year, and that could help raise some interest in the movie, maybe.

Just look at The Dark Knight Rises, the first picture released from it wasn't of Batman, but it was a picture of one of the villains: Bane. Warner Brothers knows that we've all seen Batman before and wanted to give us something new to get us excited, and it worked. Yes, Spider-man does have a new suit, but it really isn't much different when you look at it. The set pics look like stuff from previous Spider-Man movies, and fans aren't getting excited because they've all seen this stuff before. We've been told that this movie will be a smaller scale than the previous movies, and that could hurt it even more. The last Spider-Man trilogy was epic to say the least, with bridge fights, train fights, mid-air fight, etc. Scaling back the series could just seem cheap and uninspired if done wrong, especially since Spider-Man is such an exciting hero.

The final reason I think most people aren't caring about the new Spider-Man movie is quite simply, the competion. As much as I talk about this summer being packed with superhero movies, next year has two of the biggest superhero movies in years coming out with The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises coming out. The Avengers will be truly unique because it's the first ever superhero team up movie and fans will come out in droves to see their favorite heroes team up and duke it out with some super-powered menace (and each other). As for TDKR, well it's the epic conclusion to one of the best superhero trilogies ever as well as the follow up to The Dark Knight, a movie many consider to be the best comic book movie ever made. Then there's a Spider-Man reboot between those movies. I've already said that most people don't think the series needed a reboot so soon, and combine that with the fact that the movie looks like nothing new, then it could be hurting next year.

Do I think it will tank? Not at all. Spider-Man has one of the biggest fan bases out of any superhero and I'm sure they'll turn out to see it. I'm just curious to see how big of a haul it will bring in at the box office, because I'm sure it will be considerably smaller than the previous Spidey movies. Unless this movie turns out to be extremely exceptional, the apathy fans feel now could could hurt it at the box office and it could be a while before we see Spidey swing another web on the big screen.

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