With the shocking news of Sony Pictures’ decision to drop director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire from the future of the Spider-Man franchise and re-visit Peter Parker’s high school beginnings, it’s hard for anything to come to mind other than, “Umm…what?”
Comic books and superheroes have long been an escape from reality for young and old alike. From 1978-2000, only two were relevant in Hollywood: Superman & Batman. Both had spawned franchises, both lasted four installments, both initially had two great films, and both, in the end, had two shitty films. In 2000, the next big comic book franchise arrived in X-Men, directed by Bryan Singer (whose previous film was the modern classic The Usual Suspects). X-Men may have been the experiment to see if audiences were interested in comic book adaptations. After grossing $157 million domestically, X-Men proved the public, movie-going draw of superheroes. You may call X-Men the birth of the comic-book-to-screen adaptation frenzy, but the real catalyst was the release of Spider-Man two years later.
Here’s a fun time waster…an epic showdown of movies in which you have no choice (a lie) but to select which one you like better and your list of favorite movies is automatically formulated. It’s addictive, and sometimes harder than you think. How are you supposed to respond when it asks you which movie is better, The Shawshank Redemption or The Matrix?