How to Not Make Spider-Man 4 A Total Mess

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The original Spider-Man (2002) film was released to rave reviews, garnering a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, and the sequel (2004) was even more critically acclaimed with an average of 94%. Now, the similarity between these two movies (besides the cast, setting, and name) is that each one only had one villain, allowing a great deal of focus on just him and Spider-Man. Now, the biggest difference between this incredibly popular sequel and the “threequel” was that the third movie had three villains. Oh, yeah, and the ratings were different, too. About 32% different.

So, what was the cause of this? Is there simply a curse on these so-called “threequels” (like the 34% drop from x2 to X-Men: The Last Stand), possibly because “threequel” is such a stupid word? Or perhaps it’s because Sam Raimi packed as many villains as he could into a movie, which was easily the biggest complaint critics had regarding the movie. But that may oversimplify the problem: going back to one villain may not be a quick fix for the next installment in the Spider-Man franchise.

*SPOILER ALERTS FOR SPIDER-MAN 3 FOLLOW* The nearly two and half hour movie left a lot of loose ends. Harry Osborn died, leaving open the position of who would run Oscorp, Peter and Mary Jane had never officially “made up”, and Sandman’s fate was left unanswered. Where do you pick up from there? Well, fans have been clamoring for the Lizard and Carnage, and Dr. Connors does still has a piece of the symbiote…

The best bet for a Spider-Man 4 would be to have just one villain, leaving director Sam Raimi with the difficult choice between Carnage and the Lizard. Like I said, Dr. Connors still has a piece of the symbiote, and using Carnage as a villain would tie that up – but in the comics, Carnage is nearly unstoppable, at least by Spider-Man alone. Spider-Man was always forced to team up with Venom, at least temporarily, to take out the much more powerful foe. With Venom’s death in Spider-Man 3, it might just be impossible to have Carnage and Spidey face off.

Because of that, and although it would leave Dr. Connors with a piece of the symbiote, the Lizard would be a much more practical villain for the movie. Spider-Man would have the ability to actually defeat him, and Dr. Connor’s appearances in all the previous movies would finally have meaning. In fact, if Raimi truly did want to fix the mistakes of Spider-Man 3, he could somehow integrate the symbiote into Connors’ transformation into the Lizard, even if it would make all the geeks grab their pitchforks (or plastic lightsabers).

As for the relationship between Peter and MJ, why have them make up now? Sure, more love drama might seem like it would make the movie drag on like the last one, but with just one villain, Peter’s interaction with other people would have to step up. Although it bothers me greatly that Raimi threw away the possibility of having Gwen Stacy be a major character, why not give Peter another romance, with, say, Betty Grant?

And finally, the problem with Oscorp. Sam Raimi has said that he would love to do a Spider-Man 4, 5, and 6, and while  each movie will likely have a different plot and villain, there is the possibility that Spider-Man 4 will be the beginning of a three-movie story arc. In the comics, Norman Osborn returned from his supposed death, and because the lead position of Oscorp is empty, that leaves the perfect chance for Norman to come back, or at least have a “puppet” to control the company for him while he plots revenge on Spider-Man. And since Raimi isn’t really paying attention to the comics, wouldn’t it be amazing to see Osborn come back in the sixth movie as the Hobgoblin?

But these are all just ideas, and shouldn’t be taken as actual news. While it would be great if Sam Raimi listened to these, don’t count on it (hey, since it’s the fourth Spider-Man movie, why don’t you just have four villains!?).

Author: Nate Kimmey

Writing is one of my favorite past-times, as is watching movies. Writing about movies was, of course, the natural progression. I also have my own little blog here: yuhn.wordpress.com
  • http://www.zoombits.de/kabel Kabel

    I have heard that the next spiderman movie is going to be 3D. Whats the truth about that?

  • http://www.zoombits.de/kabel Kabel

    I have heard that the next spiderman movie is going to be 3D. Whats the truth about that?

  • http://www.youtube.com/xin0 xino

    Spiderman 1 felt like a comic adaptation! Everything clicked.
    Spiderman 2 has the best good and evil fight scene I’ve ever seen in my life, I had my mouth dropped open while I was watching it.
    Another good thing is when I watched Spiderman 2.1 on Blu-Ray, extended fight scene just had my laughing because it was too damn awesome!
    But I just think Sam was focusing more on story than comic adaptation and connection between the villains. Because in Spiderman 2, you had story with peter, ant may, harry, mary jane etc And the way the story and fight scene were split, just didn’t feel like a movie you’ll never get tired while watching it. It just felt long and boring.

    And as for Spiderman 3, putting 3 villains didn’t bother me. It was the way Sam (and the writer) farked up the story! I mean, Sandman turning into a big sand? Venom only 15min, worst teaming up with Sandman. Actually there was a fourth villain, and that was Dark Peter. Spiderman 3 was a total mess, but not as bad as G.I Joe, Dragonball, Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li, Dare devil, Cat woman, Elektra and other trash movies!
    It’s alright if Peter and Mary Jane are not fully back together, they can still make a story out of that.

    Remember in Spiderman, when Peter was looking for a job, he said that Dr Connors fired him. O_o
    Carnage is a good villian, but I don’t like him. He’s just Venom 2.0, more evil and crazy. Because Venom is bad, but the human side gives Venom a good conscience. The villain for Spiderman 4 should be Lizardman or that vampire guy!

    And shouldn’t Harry be Hobgoblin? Because in the cartoon, Harry was actually the hobgoblin. Villains such as Kravin, Vulture, Shocker, Rhyino are just minor villains.

    Anyway, Wolverin Origin is out, only the stupid PG13 made suck, but was still good. Now we just have to wait for Iron Man 2! And then Spiderman 4.

    • matt

      hey dude, i totally agree with you on spider-man 1 and 2. they were great movies, and 3 was definately a total mess. i hated how they made venom, it just…wasn’t venom. haha. but sorry i jave a little disagreement against one of ur comments. coming from a fan of g.i joe i’ve loved it since a boy, i had the toys/dolls, i have the dvds of the 1st season cartoon and many of the old comics and some of the new. i just definately think tht movie was good for what they could do with it. yes, the story is verrrry different. but not bad and not trash, they had a pretty decent cast. i actually thought knowing channing tatum was in it that i would hate it. but, it was much better than i thought. of course my favorite is still snake eyes, he’s always been. ray park did a great job. but i just think they made the story simplistic with gettting most characters in it including zartan even though he looks nothing like him.

      i also cant wait for iron man2. whiplash should be awesome. spider-man4 can be great if they do have dr. connors in it, they kinda did leave it off in three to put that in. good ideas man. long live comics and the people who read them.

  • http://www.youtube.com/xin0 xino

    Spiderman 1 felt like a comic adaptation! Everything clicked.
    Spiderman 2 has the best good and evil fight scene I’ve ever seen in my life, I had my mouth dropped open while I was watching it.
    Another good thing is when I watched Spiderman 2.1 on Blu-Ray, extended fight scene just had my laughing because it was too damn awesome!
    But I just think Sam was focusing more on story than comic adaptation and connection between the villains. Because in Spiderman 2, you had story with peter, ant may, harry, mary jane etc And the way the story and fight scene were split, just didn’t feel like a movie you’ll never get tired while watching it. It just felt long and boring.

    And as for Spiderman 3, putting 3 villains didn’t bother me. It was the way Sam (and the writer) farked up the story! I mean, Sandman turning into a big sand? Venom only 15min, worst teaming up with Sandman. Actually there was a fourth villain, and that was Dark Peter. Spiderman 3 was a total mess, but not as bad as G.I Joe, Dragonball, Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li, Dare devil, Cat woman, Elektra and other trash movies!
    It’s alright if Peter and Mary Jane are not fully back together, they can still make a story out of that.

    Remember in Spiderman, when Peter was looking for a job, he said that Dr Connors fired him. O_o
    Carnage is a good villian, but I don’t like him. He’s just Venom 2.0, more evil and crazy. Because Venom is bad, but the human side gives Venom a good conscience. The villain for Spiderman 4 should be Lizardman or that vampire guy!

    And shouldn’t Harry be Hobgoblin? Because in the cartoon, Harry was actually the hobgoblin. Villains such as Kravin, Vulture, Shocker, Rhyino are just minor villains.

    Anyway, Wolverin Origin is out, only the stupid PG13 made suck, but was still good. Now we just have to wait for Iron Man 2! And then Spiderman 4.

    • matt

      hey dude, i totally agree with you on spider-man 1 and 2. they were great movies, and 3 was definately a total mess. i hated how they made venom, it just…wasn’t venom. haha. but sorry i jave a little disagreement against one of ur comments. coming from a fan of g.i joe i’ve loved it since a boy, i had the toys/dolls, i have the dvds of the 1st season cartoon and many of the old comics and some of the new. i just definately think tht movie was good for what they could do with it. yes, the story is verrrry different. but not bad and not trash, they had a pretty decent cast. i actually thought knowing channing tatum was in it that i would hate it. but, it was much better than i thought. of course my favorite is still snake eyes, he’s always been. ray park did a great job. but i just think they made the story simplistic with gettting most characters in it including zartan even though he looks nothing like him.

      i also cant wait for iron man2. whiplash should be awesome. spider-man4 can be great if they do have dr. connors in it, they kinda did leave it off in three to put that in. good ideas man. long live comics and the people who read them.

  • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

    Okay. Spiderman 4 writers should really take a page from “The Spectacular SPiderman” cartoon currently running on Disney XD. It has EVERYTHING. Character development(hero, villain, and supporting), great action, a quipy SPidey, and great storylines ripped and adpated for modern times right from the Ditko/Lee/Romita eras. You know what would step up Peter’s interaction with other people…INTERACTING WITH OTHER PEOPLE! He talks to MJ, May, Doc Connors, and JJ. That’s about the extent of his social circle. Throw some of the supporting cast in there. Gimmie more Cpatain stacy, and throw in Jean DeWolf. Gimmie more Robbie, and where’s Liz Allen? Play up the mentor angle with Doc Connors some more, and have Peter be part of the reason he becomes The Lizard. make him actually the tragic figure he used to be. Also have May finally tell Peter she knows or vice versa. I thought when that happened in the comics it was an amazing revelation and completely changed the dynamic making May an even more loveable. Since Kingpin has become such a Daredevil villain (Last time Spidey fought him was in jail during the Back in Black storyline. The Kingpin one was a great story unfortuntately it led into One More Day and then Brand New Day) do what Spectacular did and have Tombstone stand in for him, or Silvermane. There should definitely be two villains in the film but one should be cannon fodder, like the SHocker, Rhino, or someone that he’s fighting in the early part of the film and captured by mid-film.

  • Dedpool

    Okay. Spiderman 4 writers should really take a page from “The Spectacular SPiderman” cartoon currently running on Disney XD. It has EVERYTHING. Character development(hero, villain, and supporting), great action, a quipy SPidey, and great storylines ripped and adpated for modern times right from the Ditko/Lee/Romita eras. You know what would step up Peter’s interaction with other people…INTERACTING WITH OTHER PEOPLE! He talks to MJ, May, Doc Connors, and JJ. That’s about the extent of his social circle. Throw some of the supporting cast in there. Gimmie more Cpatain stacy, and throw in Jean DeWolf. Gimmie more Robbie, and where’s Liz Allen? Play up the mentor angle with Doc Connors some more, and have Peter be part of the reason he becomes The Lizard. make him actually the tragic figure he used to be. Also have May finally tell Peter she knows or vice versa. I thought when that happened in the comics it was an amazing revelation and completely changed the dynamic making May an even more loveable. Since Kingpin has become such a Daredevil villain (Last time Spidey fought him was in jail during the Back in Black storyline. The Kingpin one was a great story unfortuntately it led into One More Day and then Brand New Day) do what Spectacular did and have Tombstone stand in for him, or Silvermane. There should definitely be two villains in the film but one should be cannon fodder, like the SHocker, Rhino, or someone that he’s fighting in the early part of the film and captured by mid-film.

  • chris

    lets see the lizard,and kraven for spiderman 4. that right there would work out great.and they could even throw in scorpion in one of the films, because a spiders natural enemy is a scorpion.and useing scorpion would bring j,johna,jamson into the story deeper. then in spiderman 5 bring back venom,and use carnage because dr conners does have a symbiote.then in spiderman 6 have dock ock come back,and have the mysterio.they could use these villains and things because uncle ben,and harry are now gone so there is a little room to add a character or two.but i hope gwenn stacy is back because she is way hotter than m j in the films,even blaqck cat would be nice to see.

  • chris

    lets see the lizard,and kraven for spiderman 4. that right there would work out great.and they could even throw in scorpion in one of the films, because a spiders natural enemy is a scorpion.and useing scorpion would bring j,johna,jamson into the story deeper. then in spiderman 5 bring back venom,and use carnage because dr conners does have a symbiote.then in spiderman 6 have dock ock come back,and have the mysterio.they could use these villains and things because uncle ben,and harry are now gone so there is a little room to add a character or two.but i hope gwenn stacy is back because she is way hotter than m j in the films,even blaqck cat would be nice to see.

  • http://www.bleedgreenforever.wordpress.com/ Eagles Fan

    Great debut article. Looking forward to reading your work on BeyondHollywood.com.

  • http://www.bleedgreenforever.wordpress.com Eagles Fan

    Great debut article. Looking forward to reading your work on BeyondHollywood.com.