Archive for the ‘Spider-Man 4’ Category

Spider-Man 4 SCRAPPED…And Rebooted? That Makes Me MAD!

January 11, 2010

Nikki Finke just broke the following news on her insider blog:

Mike Fleming and I have just confirmed that Sony Pictures decided today to reboot the Spider-Man franchise after franchise director Sam Raimi pulled out of Spider-Man 4 because he felt he couldn’t make its summer release date and keep the film’s creative integrity. This means that Raimi and the cast including star Tobey Maguire are out. There will be no Spider-Man 4. Instead, Mike Fleming is told, the studio will focus on a reboot script by Jamie Vanderbilt with a new director and a new cast. All this took place today at meeting on the lot today. An official Sony Pictures news release about it is expected. My sources tell me that Raimi told Sony Pictures: “I can’t make your date. I can’t go forward creatively.”


 This is frustrating in so many ways.  Spider-Man 4 was originally set to be released on May 5, 2011, and if Sony believed that anyone could shoot, edit, and finish special effects on a $200+ million superhero movie with any shred of quality, then they were setting an impossible standard.  What’s more frustrating to me, though, is the ridiculous need to reboot the entire franchise!  The last Spider-Man movie isn’t even three years old, yet, and audiences really connected with the original cast.  Sure, Spider-Man 3 was a big disappointment, but Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 showed us how great these films could be, I had faith that Raimi and the rest of the cast could turn it around!  Really, I just don’t understand why Sony is so insistent that they must restart the entire Spider-Man story.  It makes them look ashamed of the previous films, and if the issue was really all about the release date, then I don’t understand how this is an effective solution, for it will only delay a new Spider-Man even longer.  My guess is that the problem was that Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and Sam Raimi were asking for too much money.  Whether or not that was even the case, though, why not just recast them and continue the story?  It’s not like we audiences are too stupid to understand who each of the characters are.  It’s a strategy has worked for the Bond franchise for years! 

Honestly, I love Spidey.  I have all the movies, tons of the old comics, a Spider-Man poster on my wall, a an old Spider-Man blanket under my bed.  Raimi’s films exuded love for the character of Peter Parker and a huge respect of Stan Lee’s story.  I’m frustrated that Sony doesn’t seem to share any of that.  Anyone else with me?

New And News: I See Estranged Brothers, Vampires, And Armored Cars! How Is Everything Fine?!

November 30, 2009

Every Monday, it’s time for New And News, where we accomplish two things in one column.  First, I look ahead and preview each of the new releases for the upcoming week.  Then, I look back and collect some of the news articles that I found most interesting over the past week.  This time around, four new films are hitting screens, and if nothing else, we’ve certainly got a diverse crop of movies on our hands.  Let’s get started:

New:

Everybody’s Fine (Miramax) – 2,200 theaters – Reviews

This is a dramedy starring Robert De Niro, Kate Beckinsale, and Drew Barrymore about a widower trying to strengthen his relationships with his children.  This is trying to tap into the same niche as The Family Stone did in 2005 on its way to $60 million. With a super-marketable story and wholesome values, I’d expect this find a large family (and elderly) audience, and the schmaltzy feature to do pretty well over the holiday season.

Brothers (Lionsgate) – 2,000 theaters – Reviews

Here’s the movie I’m definitely most excited about this weekend.  In Brothers, Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal portray just that: brothers.  Maguire, an officer in the army, is married to Natalie Portman, but when he is at battle in Afghanistan, his Black Hawk is shot down in the mountains.  Believing him to be dead, Gyllenhall steps in to care for his brother’s wife and family.  (Sidenote: Perhaps he’s simply following The Bible’s recommendation in Deuteronomy 25:5-10 that a man should marry his brother’s if her husband dies!  Seriously, I kind of think his actions sound admirable.) Over time, a romance begins to form between Portman and Gyllenhall, but everything gets turned upside down when it turns out that Maguire is not dead.  Alive and very angry, how will Maguire’s sudden return change the messy situation? 

Armored (Sony) – 1,900 theaters – Reviews 

This is a movie about a group of armored car guards who decide to steal one of the armored cars that’s transporting $10 million.  It’s like a more serious, less elaborate version of Oceans Eleven.  Things get complicated when an upstanding cop gets in the way and tries to thwart their plans.  In terms of tone, Armored looks a lot like Law Abiding Citizen, and in the Era of Easy Entertainment, it might do well. The trailer looks fairly compelling, though fairly generic, and it also shows Milo Ventimiglia getting shot.  As a bitter former Heroes fan, that’s the most compelling reason for me to go see it.

Transylmania (Full Circle) – ??? theaters – Reviews

This movie’s release is so confusing.  Originally titled Dorm Daze 3, this was intended to be a direct-to-DVD sequel, but it appears that with the success of vampire-themed entertainment like Twilight and True Blood, producers saw an opportunity to make another one of these horrific spoof movies that Hollywood seems to love.  Therefore, they quickly slapped this piece of junk together, and it’s being rushed out into theaters in the wake of New Moon.  Please, if you are reading this, don’t see this.  I saw about five minutes of Epic Movie on TV tonight, and I was legitimately angry at how bad it was, and this looks equally shameless. Transylmania must be a slapped together wide release, because even though it’s reportedly getting a wide release, there has been almost zero promotion for it, and there are no early theater counts.  This one is really doing its best to put the “suck” in the vampire genre.

News:

First Photos Of The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader Released!

Set for release on December 10, 2010, Disney’s Fox’s The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader has just released new photos of the production on their Facebook page.  I gotta say, they look pretty elaborate and cool, and I’m already more than a little excited for this to come out!  For Narnia and for Aslan!

Tobey Maguire Talks About Brothers, Spider-Man 4

The Boston Globe published this very solid writeup about Tobey Maguire’s preparation for Brothers and his thoughts about the Spider-Man franchise.  I love straightforward interviews with actors like this one.  No frills, no gimmicks, no tabloid fodder. Just good questions and good answers- it really gives you much better insight into an actor’s mind.

Wes Craven Will Direct Scream 4

This feels like the time that MTV brought Chris Rock back to host the VMAs, hoping they could capture the same magic (and ratings) he brought the first time.  Is that feat possible with the Scream franchise, which is pretty tired at this point?  Even with the original director, I’m not so hopeful.  Unless they get a new mask, it’s hard to get super scared of something I see every kid wearing on Halloween… BlackBook reported on the story.

New And News: If Your Family Depresses You At Thanksgiving, These Movies Won’t Cheer You Up

November 24, 2009

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for The New And The News, the weekly column where I go over each of the new wide releases coming out this weekend, as well as post the news stories that really caught my eye.  This week, I’d like to not only summarize each of the new releases, but also propose a reason why you should see each of these films over your Thanksgiving Weekend.  Let’s get going.

The New

The Road (Weinstein) – Releasing In 31 Markets – Reviews

This is a grim movie based on Cormac McCarthy’s similarly grim novel of the same name.  The Road‘s story follows a father and son as they struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.  Doesn’t it sound uplifting?
Why you would see this on Thanksgiving Weekend: This is a good choice for those families that are wealthy, happy, well-educated, and like to feel pseudo-intellectual by seeing artistic films like this one.  I imagine they would live in New England and probably eat tofurkey instead of an actual bird… For everyone else, this is just depressing.

Old Dogs (Disney) – 3,300 theaters – Reviews

Wonderful, John Travolta and Robin Williams starring in a Disney comedy about men having to take care of children.  It’s like RV or Daddy Day Care, only it’s even less original!  Expect many, many obvious jokes…
Why you would see this on Thanksgiving Weekend: Because you’re a normal, American family, and even though you know this doesn’t look good, you think it looks good enough, and you trust that Disney will keep it appropriate. You’re happy to find a diversion for the kids, and you’re willing to settle for mediocrity.

Ninja Assassin (Warner Brothers) – 2,500 theaters – Reviews

A hyper-stylized martial arts movie with a very complicated plot that involves government conspiracies, CG-embellished fight scenes, and ninja stars galore.  It actually looks kind of cool.
Why you would see this on Thanksgiving Weekend: You’re aunt keeps judgmentally whispering about you, your grandfather won’t stop asking what you’re doing with your life, and no one is even touching the sweet potatoes you made.  You’ve got some built up aggression that you need to let out.

The News

Avatar’s Running Time Set At 2.5 Hours

The Hollywood Reporter let us know that James Cameron had officially cut Avatar at 156 minutes, the last 6 minutes of which are credits.  This is very good news to me, as I don’t like sitting around for too long, and I know that this will help its benefit its box office tremendously.  When audiences hear that a film is 3 hours long, they stay away.  Ask King Kong about it if you don’t believe me.  Also, a shorter running time means that Avatar can play more times in each theater every night, which will help its box office.

The Top 10 Most Overpaid Actors

Forbes released this interesting list of the actors who demand ridiculously high salaries, yet don’t provide solid box office results.  It’s a fun read.  Will Ferrell takes the number one spot.

Spider-Man 4 And Its Slew Of Potential Female Stars
There have been tons of rumors floating around the internet for a few weeks now about Spider-Man 4‘s casting decisions.  Lately, the focus has been on actresses that are being contacted to play Black Cat.  On the short list are Rachel McAdams, Julia Stiles, and Anne Hathaway, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out what kind of character the producers might want Black Cat to be if those are the top three choices.  Basically, there’s been a lot written about this, but I think CinemaSpy explained things pretty clearly.

News The Caught My Eye: X4, X-Men: First Class, Paranormal Activity, Venom, And Iron Man 2

September 29, 2009

Welcome to the new Monday feature: News That Caught My Eye.  In this feature, I’ll post some of the coolest news articles I spot each week.  I might write a few of my own thoughts, but really, I’m just hoping to pass along relevant, useful information to YOU, my faithful readers!  I guess that’s enough of an introduction, so let’s go ahead and get started:

Future Of The X-Men Franchise

This is a cool write-up via SlashFilm of X-Men producer Lauren Schuler Donner on the upcoming projects within the franchise.  She talks about the status and/or possibility of features like  X4, Deadpool, and X-Men: First Class. Personally, I think X-Men: First Class should be at the top of the list. I think Deadpool would be an egregious mistake to shell out too much money on…

As well as the eventual New Class, then – whenever that might be – Shuler Donner revealed that she has been cooking up plans for several other mutant films. The two she named? An X4, reuniting the X-Men and a big screen outing for The New Mutants. X4, she said, had yet to be pitched to the studio, however.

5 Minutes on Iron Man 2’s Set

Entertainment Tonight provides us with a look at Iron Man 2 with their exclusive set visit.  Collider posted both of ET‘s videos, one of which you can see here.  The longer (though less informative) one is over at Collider.

Paranormal Activity Director Says “Thanks”

The director of Paranormal Activity, a little horror movie that is socially networking itself into getting a wide release, took a moment to thank excited fans this week.  Latino Review posted the YouTube video of the director, as well as the list of cities that Paranormal Activity is headed to next.  I definitely want to keep my eye on this movie, as it’s release strategy completely fascinates me.

Are We Getting A Venom Movie?

According to Sci-Fi Wire, Sony is going to be producing a Venom movie, despite the incredibly negative response to the character in Spider-Man 3.  Hopefully, they actually spend some time developing him this time!  The article also talks about how this will affect the production of Spider-Man 4.

Today Wernick confirmed to us that the project is still moving forward and the writing team has turned the script in to the suits at Sony. “We’ve written two drafts of Venom, and the studio has it, and they’re pushing forward in whatever ways they push forward,” Wernick told SCI FI Wire in an exclusive interview.

Sam Raimi Should Personally Pay Everybody Who Sat Through Spiderman 3

May 21, 2009


Remember when you walked out of Spider-man? Remember this was before the superhero craze. X-Men had done decently, but really, who expected Spider-man to be such a hit? Sure, it had absurdly cheesy moments, but damn you really enjoyed yourself.

Then came Spider-man 2, a film that once again took everybody by surprise. Wait, this Superhero movie was… incredible. I actually just sat through a fantastic movie. It wasn’t just a fun popcorn action film, it was amazing as its hero claims to be. The genre was legitimized, and it took off into the whirlwind we see today. And Spider-man 2 was, for many, the superhero movie to beat until they got caught up in bat-mania last summer. (Though I thought Batman Begins was just as great).

And to keep up with surprises, Spider-man 3 shocked audiences as well, though much differently. There’s a label on the side of the DVD: “Warning, watching this movie has been known to cause depression, self-mutilation, eye-gouging, vomiting, paranoid schizophrenia, and gout.” Audiences everywhere wondered how in God’s name a series could turn that bad in one film (evidently they had forgotten about the Superman series). It was just awful, we all remember. Peter Parker dresses emo and dances dumbly, which somehow shows he’s ‘evil’ or ‘brooding.’ Apparently, nobody on that set had ever brooded before. Thinking about it makes my blood boil, which is unsavory for me, so I try not to. That picture at the top isn’t a dark, brooding Spider-Man. He’s actually mourning the disaster that was that movie.

Now they’re making Spider-man 4, hopefully trying to redeem themselves and recapture 2‘s glory. It’s a risky move: fourth films are rarely good (Superman IV is regarded as one of the worst movies ever, Batman and Robin was… You remember, even as kids we hated it. Does The Phantom Menace count as a fourth film?) You get it. It’s typical (not guaranteed) in movies that the third is a step down from the others, and then the fourth is somehow even worse. So I’m hoping that Spider-man 4 realizes this and acts accordingly. They have a Pulitzer Prize winning writer penning the screenplay, so that’s a good start. It also seems Sam Raimi knows how royally he f***ed up:

“As far as Spider-Man, I’ve learned a lot of lessons about what people didn’t like and missteps that I’d made. But I learned those lessons on the previous two, I was just a little quieter about them. I made a lot of mistakes, and it’s part of the reason I so want to make this next story of Peter Parker.”

Raimi continued, “I really think I know in my heart who the character is, and I haven’t quite been able to sing the song yet, or bring it out to the extent or degree of detail that I feel in my heart that I can. And I may not be successful, but I still feel like I know it better than I’m able to play it; I feel like the kid that really practiced at the piano recital, with years of comic books, and when I got to my other recitals, I sometimes made some missteps with them. There’s a whole crowd there and they think that’s as well as I know the piece, but I really do know it a lot better than that and I would like one more chance at that character. The Spider-Man films, I’ve made mistakes, but I really do look at them as things that I’ve learned, and hope that when I apply what I’ve learned to this next one, I really make a film that people enjoy and is really true to the character in a fresh, original way. That’s my goal.”

Alright, Raimi. You get this chance to get this right. It looked like Spider-man 3 was just a joke, and that nobody was taking it seriously since they knew it would make more money than the treasury. It’s one of those films where you sit and wonder how it made through so many steps and alterations and checkpoints where somebody didn’t stop and say, “Well, this is just terrible.” Who thought that was a good idea?! I always imagine Raimi telling Tobey Maguire what to do, and having four people behind him with their face in their palms. What I hope is some coffee boy had the nerve to say, “Mr. Raimi, this is really bad.” Then Raimi got really pissy, but after the movie came out he hired that coffee boy full time for having both courage and the common sense to recognize something that sucks more than God’s vacuum cleaner.

At least he recognizes his faults. I have to remember that he also Spider-Man 2, so I can’t judge too harshly. I know he has the capability to give us a more serious movie in line with the second in the trilogy. But he had that same capability for 3 and didn’t just miss the mark, he missed the entire hay stack that the target was pinned up on. So this time, please, don’t make Peter Parker dance.