08 January 2010


Our Spidey-sense has been going ape-@#%! all week, and even a Friday night can't keep the Wallcrawler's  sticky situation from getting even stickier.  We should say that superficial scans of the the last two days' Spider-press would make it seem so; but cut through all that layered webbing, and things are far more dire.

While most reports have boiled the film's main conflict down to, well, what the movie's real story is or should, could, or needs to be, the one commonality among them all is that Spider-Man 4 has no story.  That's The Dabbler reading between the lines, which is more than one could do with 4's non-existent script.  

Getting beyond that 'concern', an email from Josh R. Jaggars, Spider-Man 4's Senior VFX Producer, was brought to the media's attention yesterday afternoon, in which the executive encourages his VFX crew "...to look for other work.  If/when the situation changes, either Rachelle, Spencer, or I will be in touch..." Forgive us if we're wrong, but that sounds like those folks have been laid off -- probably the motive for the email leak in the first place.  This at the same time Sony Pictures is engaging in the Spider-spin one might expect.

In our opinion, matters were made only worse today by two people whose intentions were exactly the opposite -- namely, 'Spider-Man' himself, Tobey Maguire, and actor Willem Dafoe, the first movie's 'Green Goblin'.   Promoting his current movie, Daybreakers, Dafoe commented he'd be very willing to reprise his role as Spider-Man's foremost nemesis, the subtext then being that a storyline -- and script - would both be easier to (a) write and (b) agree upon by using a more tried-and-true approach.  Dafoe's gesture is well-meant, but it conjures pictures of someone offering chewing gum to patch a hole in the Titanic.  Spider-Man 4 is way beyond an easy fix; if it wasn't, we wouldn't be blogging right now.

In mid-December, when the Spider-Man rumor mill was working overtime about the casting rumors of 4's villains, Maguire was coy and had this to say: "In terms of Spidey 4, I will plead the Fifth and not say anything."  While interpreted to be keeping secrets, Maguire was really just being smart.  Today, however, Maguire addressed his film's delays as just being part of a (natural) process, one that, to paraphrase Tobey, is simply just more involved than those of other movies. 

Unfortunately, he then went on to dig himself in deeper:  "...the actor insists that there are great ideas coming from the Spider-Man creative team, including himself. Not only do I have specific ideas, but the ideas are evolving on the page, he said.  It's all happening right now. It's all sort of coming together. It's very exciting to me. I think the evolution of the character is really exciting, to be rooted in the history of what we've done already and to have a continuity, yet have a progression or evolution."

Assuming the disagreements between Raimi and Sony over the story and script are true -- which we have no reason to believe they're not -- we have to think that Sony's proverbial kitchen has  too many cooks in it without Tobey -- not to mention that same kitchen isn't just hot, it's on fire.  We also can't conceive the movie's 'creative team' can solve disputes previous screenwriters have been dismissed over; few directors -- even likable Sam Raimi -- would get talent involved in a dispute of this caliber.  It's not wise, and it's certainly not in Tobey Maguire's job description.  

Ultimately, Maguire said a lot today while somehow not really saying anything at all.  We didn't think we had this much to say about Spider-Man 4 today, either.  Perhaps everyone involved, for least to greatest, should consider what their 'great responsibility' is in this matter.  For Spider-Man 4 tonight,those two words are sounding hollow, indeed.

No comments: