I have long been an apologist for movies that tweak the details of a classic character (be it from comic books, toys or literature) to make them work on the big screen. The original Transformers film was acceptable in my mind. I gave Watchmen a shot and mildly enjoyed it even though I knew all the essential details from the graphic novel could never fit into a movie any shorter than thirteen hours. I am even holding judgement on Michael Bay's conversion of the Ninja Turtles into aliens.
But I know a lot of other people, call them nerds if you want (because it's probably accurate), are sticklers to detail. When Optimus Prime's front end stuck out instead of being flat in vehicle form, they were enraged. When Wolverine was obviously taller than 5'7", they cursed Hugh Jackman, then subsequently embraced him as the films, most notably Wolverine: Origins, drove the character and several others (*cough* Deadpool *cough*) into the ground.
It is the great debate over just how much change is too much change that is now on my mind after watching the newest trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man, which is due in theaters July 3rd and which you can watch here. I recall that when the Tobey Maquire's first Spider-Man movie was released, many a geek was upset over the fact that Spidey's web shooters had become biological in nature rather than his own invention. It didn't seem a major deviation from the original character to me, but it made a lot of enemies at the time. So how will Spidey fans around the world react now that a slew of other changes are apparently being made to the story-line?
To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about it myself. For once, it appears that the changes made for the sake of conversion to film may even be too much for me. Sure, they got it right by making Gwen Stacey his first girlfriend and having Peter Parker build his own web shooters, but there now exists the suggestion that Peter's real parents are somehow linked to Oscorp. Also, the specific choice of words is that his parents "left" when he was a kid. Is there a big Darth Vader reveal moment in mind down the road? Because that would be lame. What's more, listen closely and you'll hear the one-armed Dr. Curt Conners suggest that it was no mistake that Peter acquired his Spider powers. Is this to suggest that Spider-Man is being rewritten as a biological experiment? Has Marvel gone Weapon X all over Spider-Man's origin tale?
More questions than answers have arisen from the newest trailer and it makes me feel all icky inside as I fear what the new movie might do to my beloved Spider-Man. I suppose I'll let you know what I ultimately think after going to see it in the theater at the first chance I get.
You can lead a nerd to a super hero movie, but you can't make him see it more than three times.
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