From this NYTimes article on Avatar and its impact on blockbusters:
And a new “Spider-Man” episode is not due until 2012, now that Sony Pictures has canceled a planned fourth installment from the director Sam Raimi and the star Tobey Maguire, choosing instead to focus on a reinvention of the series, with a new director and cast.
The first Tobey Maguire Spider-Man came out in 2002, was generally well received, made $114 million dollars its opening weekend, and finished with $820 million dollars between its domestic and foreign takes. The next two movies in the series combined for $1.67 billion dollars in combined worldwide box office gross.
Now, 10 years later, they’re going to “reinvent” the series with a new director and cast? I guess Hollywood really is the least creative place on Earth. Don’t mistake me for a big Spider-Man fan. I imagine this is how that studio conversation went:
Big Suit One: We need more money.
Big Suit Two: Remember Spider-Man? Those movies made a shit ton.
Big Suit One: Yeah, but Toby Maguire is lame now, and won’t do another movie.
Big Suit Two: We don’t need him. We’ll make the same movie again! Call it a reimagining!
Big Suit One: The first movies still look fine. What is there to change?
Big Suit Two: Nothing! People are suckers!
This is worse than the current trend of taking simple touchstones from a 1980’s childhood (Transformers, Where The Wild Things Are, G.I. Joe) and turning them into blockbusters. This is taking blockbusters from ten years ago and turning them into blockbusters. It’s even less creative. What’s next?
- Gladiator, with Johnny Depp as a wacky pirate Maximus!
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, with Robert Pattinson and Emma Watson replacing Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. Do I hear the sound of a million tweens swiping credit cards?
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, with Sean Connery! Same premise, but you need special effects for the younger parts of his life!
- Capote, still with Philip Seymour Hoffman! He just can’t play the character like he did it last time! What will he come up with!?!?
- The Dark Knight, with a ton of famous actors playing Batman! It’d be a cross between I’m Not There and The Last Waltz, but for Superhero movies!