The Reckoner!

How Soon Is Too Soon to Reboot a Series? The Spiderman Edition!

If we had to choose one superhero who dominated the 2000s, I think Spiderman could put forward a good fight. Three Spiderman movies released in 5 years and a smash, U2-scored Broadway musical make a pretty good argument. 

In 2002, Tobey Maguire donned the Spidey-suit to much acclaim. A good story and slick filming made for a good movie. The sequel in 2004 proved the adage that the best superhero movie in a series is always the second one. It had its angst -- boy that Peter Parker sure was going through a lot -- but it also had its pathos, and it just all seemed to work.

Then came Spiderman 3. A few liked it, most noted it was a step down from the others. Peter Parker's angstiness took on the annoying dimensions of an entitled teen, and the move tried to cram about four plots into 87 minutes. And that was 2007. Sam Raimi and the cast were supposed to continue on with a 4th and 5th sequel, but Raimi dropped out and the franchise fell apart.

But not to fear! Because coming up from behind is the Amazing Spiderman, to be released this year. Starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, the love interest, this film rewinds us back to the beginning of Peter Parker's journey. We again witness Peter Parker encounter the radio-active spider, learn of his super powers, and probably witness the death of his Uncle Ben--all events covered in the first Tobey Maguire film not all that long ago. 

It's only been ten years since the first Spiderman movie appeared on screens, and only four since the last franchise wrapped up.  Is it too soon for a re-boot or is it never too soon as long as the movie's good?

Reckoning Results!
Too soon!
Give the Re-boot!
Why restart from scratch?
Never too soon!
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Reckoning Comments!

Why reboot the thing?  Everybody knows how Peter Parker got his powers, why take the time to rehash that story again, instead of just starting with a different story in the Spiderman universe and just going with it?  We can figure it out.  

We know this doesn't necessarily have to be a direct sequel to the Spiderman movies we saw before.  Just go with it, and spare us the details, because the whole origin thing can be t-e-d-i-o-u-s.  That's why the second movie in the series is always better.

Exactly!  I think too many superhero movies spend way too much time on the origins, which in many cases isn't all that important.  It's ridiculous to re-tell the origin in a reboot movie.  Movies are expensive to make, compared to monthly comics.  Stick with telling the story and be done with it.

No more origin stories!  It's one of the worst crutches screenwriters rely on.

Yet, I'm actually kind of torn as to the "too soon" question.  The gap between Batman and Robin and Batman Begins was 8 years, and the gap between Incredible Hulk and Hulk was only 5 years.  Whereas I thought that was a perfectly acceptable for those movies, a similar length of time feels rushed here.  (Maybe because unlike with the Batman and Hulk franchises, it doesn't look like the Spiderman filmmakers have learned the lessons of their previous failures?)

In any event, look forward to shoddily tossed together Spiderman sequels until the end of time.  As long as the licensing agreements are contingent on the studio making a movie featuring the character every few years, they'll continue to as long as there is any juice left to squeeze from the franchise.  (The same can likely be said for the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, and Punisher.)

The Reckoner!