— by CAM SMITH —
My word, the fall-out over the spectacular — and criminally unfortunate — implosion of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 4” project (read about it here) has been a messy wonder to be hold.
With only a James Vanderbilt-penned script and a confirmed release-date to its name, Sony’s youth-geared just-announced “Spider-Man” reboot is going to have to scramble like a mad hatter if it really wants to stand triumphantly alongside Marvel Studio’s “The Avengers” in the summer of 2012.
So, begun, the director war has.
Nikke Finke, the most prominent gossip maven in La-La Land, has reported that the studio is eyeing “(500) Days of Summer” helmer Marc Webb to give the franchise a hip new spin. Apparently, he’s the current top candidate — on a wish list (heavy emphasis on “wish”) that also allegedly includes David Fincher, Wes Anderson and James Cameron. Not too shabby, considering that the newbie director has only a single semi-successful motion-picture under his belt.
Apparently “Spidey Version 2.0”, as uncovered by Chud, will be heavily centred on a four-way adolescent love triangle — not unlike “Archie” comics, it would seem — involving Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy, with Flash Thompson also involved, and the studio considers “(500) Days of Summer” as solid proof that Webb can present these hormone-crazy relationships in an authentic, light-hearted, honest way.
I like Webb, he has charm and style to spare. But my concerns have less to do with his abilities than Sony’s likely reasons for wanting him in the chair. Considering their well-documented battles with Sam Raimi — a strong-willed director who delivered two amazing films before being beaten down by studio politics during his third and aborted fourth attempts — going with a relative newcomer would shift the power dynamics monumentally in their favor, leaving them pretty much free to dictate the terms of the franchise’s creative trajectory. This would lead to a seriously problematic situation — a case of too many money-men cooks attempting to steer a series which, alongside the majority of comic-book franchises, depends on a singular authorial voice to thrive.
Marc Webb could easily be that voice, but I’d be flat-out shocked if the studio let him.
However, also keep in mind that, at this point in time, Webb is only a rumor — albeit a feasible one.
Over at Quiet Earth, Agent Orange has written that there’s also strong industry interest in Nimrod Antal, the director of “Armored,” “Vacancy” and the upcoming Robert Rodriguez-produced “Predators” reboot (I’m growing mighty weary of typing that word). Interestingly, they mention that Sony AND Sam Raimi — who, it would seem from this piece, may possibly stay on the series as a producer — are mighty wowed by him, and eager to hand Spidey’s webs and mask over to him.
Again, a provocative notion, but hardly a concrete confirmation of the studio’s intent.
So, now that all enthusiasm and anticipation for a spectacular new “Spider-Man” film has been drained from me like The Spot’s dignity, I’m just going to sit back and watch this chaos in amusement and see where it leads. I would, however, like to hear who you guys would like to see behind the Spidey-cam? Assuming that Sony plays hands-off, which auteur’s unique vision do you think would be a good fit for the Web-slinger’s universe? Slap those opinions up in our comments section and let us know!
Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.