ANOTHER REBOOT... ONLY THREE YEARS LATER!
SPIDER-MAN'S STORY ARCS WILL HAVE TO BE TIED INTO THE LARGER MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE.
Each and every Marvel produced film must invariably set up the next and be tied together in a giant cinematic web. This means their storylines must exist in the same universe and be a part of a greater whole that sets up the films when they make cameo appearances in each other's movies. Spider-man's universe doesn't just consist of Aunt May, Uncle Ben, Harry Osbourne and MJ/Gwen Stacy anymore (depending on which girl you want to be your love interest.) Now he exists in a world where he will end up communicating to Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man on a regular basis. As comic book geeks read this they're peeing their pants and saying in their heads "and what's wrong with this?" Mostly that it doesn't make any of the characters in Spider-man's own world very important anymore. They, like Pepper Potts and anyone else in a supporting role in stand alone Marvel movies are fodder now. That and he will get roped into the dopey "find the stones of Thanos plot line" that no casual movie goer actually remembers is the overarching theme to all these movies. Spider-man mixing with these dumb aliens? Ugh.
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT DOESN'T MATTER ONCE THE CHARACTER IS ESTABLISHED.
I mentioned this briefly in the first paragraph, but what I've noticed from all of the Marvel movies is that character is secondary to the fun. Every time. No one cares because breezy popcorn movies are fun. Why do we care if our heroes have personal lives and deal with everyday situations that make us relate to them? But but... Tony Stark has character and depth! I'll let you argue that one, but really what he has is sarcasm from a once enthusiastic Robert Downey Junior that gets a little more bored with each movie. But Thor has a love interest and thinks about her? Oh, good grief that romance is so paper thin. If that's what we have to look forward to between Peter and MJ.. well the thought just makes me want to recoil in sadness. Once a character is established we never get to know who they are beyond what they can do. Black Widow and Captain America are the best examples of this in his sequel where basically you could have interchanged the entire plot to feature Thor and Hawkeye and it really wouldn't have made a difference. It should make a difference! These stories should be personal.. and they're not. But character isn't something that avid readers of comics care about because they just project what they already know onto the character. I, on the other hand, believe these films are adaptations and should work both for people with prior knowledge, and for those who come to the table knowing nothing.
MARVEL DOESN'T WANT THEIR MOVIES TO BE UNIQUE FROM ONE ANOTHER.
If there was ever a chance I could have LOVED a Marvel movie it died when
they fired Edgar Wright *left* from directing Ant-Man. Why did this happen? Creative differences. Or in other words, he wanted his movie to be set apart from the rest, but it wasn't supposed to. Evangeline Lilly commented later that if his version had been made it would have "stuck out like a sore thumb" among other Marvel movies. In fact... read her entire quote for more illumination on the way Marvel works with what type of comic book movies get made on their watch.
"I mean, they’ve established a universe, and everyone has come to expect a certain aesthetic [and] a certain feel for Marvel films. And what Edgar was creating was much more in the Edgar Wright camp of films. They were very different. And I feel like, if [Marvel] had created Edgar’s incredible vision — which would have been, like, classic comic book — it would have been such a riot to film [and] it would have been so much fun to watch. [But] it wouldn’t have fit in the Marvel Universe. It would have stuck out like a sore thumb, no matter how good it was. It just would have taken you away from this cohesive universe they’re trying to create. And therefore it ruins the suspended disbelief that they’ve built."Everything HAS to fit together, and thus nothing can stand apart. The result? A bunch of vanilla easy to please movies that everyone loves but doesn't dare to have anything special about them.
IT'S A MONOPOLY FROM ONE STUDIO FOR ALMOST AN ENTIRE GENRE'S WORTH OF MATERIAL.
Going along with the point above, this point becomes even more crucial. You might be tempted to say "well who cares if they're all the same?"At this point in cinema history, superhero movies are an unstoppable force. They're everywhere and with Marvel they're not going away anytime soon. This commentary was made in Birdman when Michael Keaton and Zach Galifianakis try to come up with an actor who hasn't appeared in a superhero movie and they can't quite do it. This is a big time genre and Marvel, at this point in cinema is responsible for a good 80% of it. Yes, there's still DC Comics... but the current state of their film franchise hangs on the Batman vs. Superman movie. That said, I'm confident that their best days are behind them with the conclusion of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. Let's think about those movies for a second. If they were being controlled by a studio to the extent that the Marvel movies control their content, would these movies have become what they are? The studio behind The Dark Knight was smart enough to give Christopher Nolan the creative control he wanted to be able to tell his story and set it apart from everything else on the market. Had Batman been a Marvel property, Christopher Nolan wouldn't have been allowed anywhere near it and we wouldn't have some amazing films. Marc Webb, having directed my all time favorite (500) Days of Summer, unfortunately, had a lot of studio interference in his Amazing Spider-man films... but he still was able to put a special touch on the scenes between Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker. Had his movie been made at Marvel though, well he might not even have been allowed to direct if his vision differed too greatly. Sam Raimi's Spider-man probably wouldn't have existed either, and I loved his take. Some would argue that the villain storylines might have been better in Amazing Spider-man, but honestly other than Loki NONE of the villains in Marvel movies have been memorable.
But let's look at it from another genre's perspective. Say that a studio connected with Disney had the right to make 80% of ALL comedies... but these comedies had to fit within certain guidelines so that they fit within what their studio was about. Only certain directors could be hired, only certain writers could take the job so that their cohesive vision remains the same with each comedy they release. Yes maybe those comedies are pretty good initially.. but wouldn't they start to get old after awhile? The problem is, Marvel and movie audiences today can't seem to understand the concept of "sometimes too much of a good thing is a bad thing." These movies for one thing have become completely over saturated. We get two of them a year, and they never differ from their stated formula. Imagine if that was all you had offered in the way of comedies. Or dramas. Or action adventure films. What was once a promising genre that could produce different takes on different properties has now become an intermittent web of sameness. So comic fans... rejoice, your beloved Spider-man has been Marvel-ized. For others like me, it's a sad day because anything unique and fun about this character will soon disappear just so he can fit in.
As one of the only people on the planet with this particular opinion, I'm sure many people are reading this outraged. Don't be. You got your wish and I'm allowed to be disappointed. For those that do share my grief, I'll be doing a retrospective soon on the two Amazing Spider-man films.. so look for that potentially next week.