Whither Spider-Man? After franchise director Sam Raimi's abrupt departure, Sony has intrigued and confused film fans by signing an unlikely replacement. Marc Webb — best known for directing the indie dramedy "(500) Days of Summer" — will helm the blockbuster series' next installment, a prequel focused on the private life of Spider-Man's alter-ego, Peter Parker. Can Webb, however aptly named, overcome his rep for whimsy and deliver another Spidey hit?
Webb will be a studio puppet: "I'm worried about this," sighs J. Pines at Brand New Cool. Sony hired Webb because he's "good enough to do the job" but not sufficiently high profile to "go against the studio's ideas." Equally troubling: A plot focused on Spider-Man's "private life"? We don't need to know "what's on his iPod" — and we don't need another "superhero movie that doesn't focus on the superhero part."
"Spider-Man's New Webb"
Webb's the right director for a softer Spidey: Given that Webb's only prior movie, "(500) Days of Summer," is charming, but "ultimately lightweight," says Edmund Mullins at Black Book, expect a "toned-down" Spider-Man with "softer edges" than its predecessors. Still, if fans have to deal with an "angst-ridden" Spiderman who's more likely to fight "acne" than "big league villains," Webb's probably an appropriate choice.
"Marc Webb to direct (sensitive?) Spider-Man Re-Boot"
Give Webb a chance: Alright, he has "big shoes to fill," says Adam Sweeney at Film School Rejects.com, but we can't think of anyone "better equipped" to "balance the tightrope" between "humor, action and suspense" that the Spider-Man movies require. Our bet is that this acclaimed director will "breathe new life" into a "franchise that was gasping for air."
"Marc Webb, And Why Spider-Man May Work"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- Sex can't explain the culture war
- How a drafting error could doom Obama's carbon regulations
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How the battle for religious freedom became a nonsensical free-for-all
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- This simple hack for slicing cherry tomatoes will astound you
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
Subscribe to the Week