Amongst the massive amount of unbridled enthusiasm for The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, it seemed for a bit that Sony’s reboot The Amazing Spider-Man might hit theaters with little fanfare. The pic finally premiered this past Tuesday to a record-setting $35 million and fairly positive reviews, and though we won’t know the full box office impact until later this weekend, the film is certainly off to a promising start. With a healthy box office take, a sequel for The Amazing Spider-Man is all but guaranteed (writers were recently hired to perform a rewrite of James Vanderbilt’s follow-up screenplay). Now an official message from Sony confirms what we already knew: The Amazing Spider-Man is the first in a planned trilogy.
Hit the jump for much more, including evidence that a great deal of Spidey’s origin was cut out of The Amazing Spider-Man at the last minute, and the possible inclusion of the Sinister Six in further films. Beware, MAJOR SPOILERS for The Amazing Spider-Man follow.
Sony made the formal announcement of the planned Spidey trilogy on the film’s official Facebook page:
“It’s finally here! The Amazing Spider-Man is the first installment in a movie trilogy that will explore how our fave hero’s journey was shaped by the disappearance of his parents.”
The disappearance of his parents is what leads Peter Parker down the path of eventually being bitten by a radioactive spider in The Amazing Spider-Man, and thus is key. He’s engrossed by his parents’ disappearance and goes snooping around Oscorp after finding some notes left behind by his father. He’s bitten by the spider, shares a formula with Dr. Connors and then…he basically drops his whole investigation into what happened to his parents altogether.
This is one of the many fractures found in The Amazing Spider-Man, and now we may have a good idea as to why some of the film’s scenes feel a little odd. Devin over at Badass Digest did some investigatin’ to put together a great piece that looks at some of what was edited out of the finished film. It’s no secret that director Marc Webb performed significant reshoots, and a number of images that were released just a few months ago show scenes that don’t appear in the finished film.
Rumors swirled that the reboot would be tweaking Spider-Man’s origin story, with Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker discovering that there’s something already in his DNA that activates after the spider bites him, thus making him predestined for superpowers. This revelation doesn’t occur in the finished film, but hints of its existence are all over the plays.
Dr. Connors’ superior, Rajit Ratha (played by Irrfan Khan) is set up as a villainous presence at the beginning of the film, but after his confrontation with the Lizard on the bridge he disappears entirely. Images and trailers show a confrontation between Ratha and a Lizard-fied Connors in his sewer lair, with Spider-Man showing up as well. Someone at the Supherhero Hype message boards assembled the following based on screengrabs and images:
All evidence points to there being an expository scene during the sequence above, in which Ratha and/or Connors reveals to Parker his true origin. A specific line from one of the trailers, “Do you think what happened to you, Peter, was an accident? Do you have any idea what you really are?” definitely sounds like Ratha, and could have been his dying words.
Another hint to Peter’s true origin actually appears in the finished film, per Badass Digest:
“The first major hint is still in the movie. Curt Connors is talking about how every other subject upon whom cross-species DNA merging was attempted died. He does not know that he is speaking to the one success story. But how did Peter survive? The movie leaves this sort of dangling there, but the clues are in front of your face. Peter was bitten by a spider… a spider that Peter’s father bred. A spider like the one under glass in the film’s prologue. A spider like the one on the chalk board in his father’s office.”
If you read Devin’s full piece, it becomes clear that some major, major changes were made to The Amazing Spider-Man just before its theatrical release. All evidence points to Peter’s origin being the main focus of the changes, but the question now becomes why? It’s possible that Sony just didn’t like how the film played with this “new” origin story, so they opted to go the ambiguous route. Based on their announcement of a trilogy focusing on “how our fave hero’s journey was shaped by the disappearance of his parents,” it’s also possible that decided to save the origin reveal for a further sequel.
Whatever the case may be, I assume we’ll find out “the real meaning” behind Parker’s parents’ disappearance in one of the two sequels that are sure to follow. In the meantime, I highly suggest you read Devin’s full write-up on the matter over at Badass Digest. But while we’re on the subject of Spider-Man sequels, two of the main Amazing Spider-Man producers recently talked a bit about the franchise going forward, and hinted at including the notorious Sinister Six group of villains in further films. Click over to the next page for more.
Producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach recently spoke to the folks at SHH, and during the interview they revealed their affection for the Sinister Six:
SHH: Do you feel like you need to stay away from some of the villains that have appeared in the Sam Raimi movies? Or can you redefine them within the context of this new Spider-Man?
Arad: Well, not really. There are so many ways to paint these villains, all of them. As you know, one of the great sagas in the Spider-Man universe is of course the Sinister Six. I think Avengers did okay the last time I looked.
Tolmach: It’s going to be okay.
Arad: Yeah, it will survive.
SHH: So are you suggesting you’re going to do five Spider-Man movies introducing each villain and then the sixth movie will have the Sinister Six?
Tolmach: It seems like a good model.
Arad: It all depends on the stories that one wants to tell, because Spider-Man is really more a depth kind of a story, we have to be careful how many villains we can service, because a relationship with a villain has to be such that it’s a story on his own. We attempted to do multiple villains–you’ve been there–you just need screen time to do it.
For those unaware, the Sinister Six is a group of supervillains from the comics led by Doctor Octopus that was comprised of Vulture, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, and Sandman. Doc Ock also sent invitations to Green Goblin, Doctor Doom, and the Lizard, but they turned him down (poor Ock). Tolmach and Arad are in no way confirming that the Sinister Six is their definite plan for the franchise, but it’s certainly an exciting prospect. The whole “six film” idea seems to suggest that Garfield’s Spidey would be facing an arc different than that of his parents’ disappearance in a second trilogy, with the sixth film bringing back a number of villains from the previous movies.
Obviously everyone has Avengers on the brain, but it’d be great to see a culmination of past villains in a later Spider-Man film. The tag at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man was frustratingly ambiguous as to who the direct sequel’s villain might be, but Norman Osborn can’t be far off.
Hit the comments to sound off on who you think the next film’s villain should be, and if the late/haphazard omission of Spidey’s origin affected your viewing experience of The Amazing Spider-Man. We’ll surely be discussing the film in great detail (and with great debate) on next week’s edition of our podcast The Collision, so be sure to check back.