I’ve gotten so caught up in blogging about politics and racism and sexism and stuff lately that I haven’t been remember to talk about silly geeky comic book stuff. Clearly I need to fix that. So the big news I’ve been seeing people rave about is the “reports” that Marvel and Sony have reached a deal to put Spiderman in the third Avengers movie (you know, the one AFTER the one that’s not out yet). That sounds interesting. Let’s think about that for a bit.
Back in my day (for the purposes of this post, my day is the 80s… it was also Thursday), being a geek (or nerd or whatever you want to call it) usually meant that you were smart. It was a stereotype, sure… but the idea was that you were a smart kid, maybe without much physical and social skill, so since you didn’t have to go out and play football or have sex with cheerleaders, you had plenty of time to read comic books and do other geeky shit.
Sure you got excited about rumors. “Oh my god, there’s going to be a Punisher movie starring Dolph Lundgren. That can’t possibly suck can it?” But for the most part you took them with a grain of salt. “Ok, it will probably suck. But at least they’re making a Punisher movie, right?” The point is, you were smart, for the most part. So when someone said something like “I hear they’re trying to make a movie of that Watchmen book that came out last year” you correctly said “bullshit! No one in their right mind would do that. Watchmen is unfilmable!” And you moved on with your merry little life.
So that brings us to now. Random geek sites have been going apeshit the last couple days because “OMG, the deal is done, Sony is going to let Marvel use Spiderman for Avengers 3!!!”
Calm down junior.
Ok, maybe Spiderman will end up in Avengers 3 (aka Avengers: Infinity War: Part 1, because nothing geeky is ever simple). Maybe not. I actually don’t care. I’m far more interested in seeing a good movie than specifically which characters show up in it. Form a pure narrative point of view, there’s nothing you just magically *get* by putting Peter Parker in a story that you couldn’t do just as well by using say Richard Ryder (Nova), Sam Alexander (Nova II), Greg Willis (Gravity), Kate Bishop (Hawkeye II), Eli Bradley (Patriot) or any of a billion characters that actually DOES own the rights to. Hell, if they wanted to, they could toss Daredevil in, right out of the Netflix series and he will nicely perform any function that Spiderman possibly could in the storyline.
But let’s think smart about this. Because we’re geeks and we’re supposed to be. Right?
There was once a time where Marvel/Disney really could have used the Spiderman license. That time ended on May 1, 2008. Ever since the first Iron Man movie, they’ve been pretty steadily building a movie franchise that doesn’t need the Spiderman character. Remember that first Avengers movie? It grossed nearly $700million dollars domestically. $1.5billion worldwide, on $220M budget. Compare that to the second Amazing Spiderman movie which did $200M domestic on a $200M budget. It made $708M worldwide, but that’s still considered a commercial flop (the first one did slightly better but not much). Guardians of the Galaxy, released 3 months later, did $333M ($772M worldwide) on a $170M budget and no one had ever heard of any of those characters before. Sony is not going to GIVE Spiderman to Marvel, they would rent him to them. And at this point, unless they’re willing to do it for pocket change, there is no upside to Marvel because anyone who is going to go out and see a Spiderman movie would be seeing the Avengers movie anyway.
But now, consider the source. People are raving about this because it was reported by Latino-Review.com. You know the Latino Review, right? Oh you don’t? EXACTLY! It actually has nothing to do with being Latino, really; it’s a fanboy blog (proudly). Actually, the guy who writes it has had a couple scoops in the past (he somehow managed to be one of the people to know that Bradley Cooper was going to be Rocket Raccoon), but he basically bats .500 at best and most of what he “reports” are just the same rumors that you can find on any other fanboy website. But did anyone actually bother to read what he said in his exclusive breaking news on Spiderman and the Avengers? Not only does he claim to have an exclusive inside source that has told him the specifics of a deal between lawyers for Disney and Sony, two of the biggest most powerful media conglomerates on Earth, but he has given the spoilers for how Ant-Man, Avengers 2, Cap 3, and Thor 3, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther all end in order to get there.
If you believe this news, that means that you believe that a company that allegedly didn’t tell the cast of the SHIELD TV show how their season was going to end until the last-minute, has somehow leaked intimate details of no less than 8 films, most of which are not even written yet, over the next four years to a random blogger on a site that no one has ever heard of. Not only is Disney/Marvel, a company that against all odds decided to launch a movie franchise 7 years ago without their signature character, now putting all of their plans for four years into the future in the hands of another company, which they have not been able to prove they can get along with, but they somehow just let the plans for what they could easily expect to be about 10 of the highest grossing movies of all time, just get leaked by some guy. All because they really want a character that hasn’t been able to make a profitable film in a decade.
Yeah… that totally happened… I thought we were supposed to be smart… Why else did we waste our childhoods not playing football and having sex with cheerleaders?