Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tyrrany of a Construct Pt. 7

According to this website, there has been a falling out with Raimi and the Spider Man 4 movie. Raimi couldn't deliver a movie up to his standards in time for Sony. So Sony's solution is to...reboot the franchise. This becomes problematic, because otherwise what is the point of a franchise?

A movie franchise serves many purposes for both concerned groups: the movie producers and the movie viewers. For the producers, the franchise concept allows them to continue to profit from the original idea or concept of the original movie. Essentially, the audience is "built in," and fans will be likely to continue to see the next film.

For the viewers the idea of a franchise allows for creating a "setting" that can become more immersive over time. It allows for examination in further detail either the core concept, or other secondary concepts. It also -- more importantly -- allows for character development.

The problem here -- like any Hollywood reboot (which is a shorthand for a "reimagining") is that [i]any[/i] character development from the previous is lost, wasted. The essential connection we might have (as a viewing audience) is broken. While there is some merit in "refreshing" a character, for a franchise like Spider Man, which has had only 3 movies over 8 years (averaging a movie every 2.67 years -- a reasonable interval) is that the characterizations are still "fresh" and the movies still relevant.

It's hard not to be cynical about this development. It has become apparent to me that I am not relevant as a movie goer because I am an adult. With this reboot Sony will return Parker back to his high school roots, which already feels less relevant to me. But no doubt will feel more relevant for the legions of teens that have come of age in the meantime. Also undoubtedly (or at least there is a fair certainty) this will include a new origin story -- something we have already seen. Unless Sony is clever and does a move [i]in medias res[/i] with the backstory being alluded to (so that it can for example be rationalized as taking place between the first movie and the second), I don't have high hopes for this.

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