Many props to BadAssDigest for their excellent post on “the untold story” of Amazing getting cut from the film.
Pretty crazy theories huh? I mean, pretty crazy theories that I completely believe because I think Sony/Columbia is sticking it to Marc Webb in a way that we’re not even seeing in public.
I think Marc Webb made a pretty amazing (pun intended) 3-hour long ‘Spider-Man’ that would have changed the Spider-Man mythos and made Peter not an accidental Spider-Man, but THE ONLY PERSON capable of being Spider-Man.
The mysterious Rathar character, who we last see getting knocked unconscious in his car on the Willamsburg Bridge before he disappears for the rest of the movie, tells Curt Conners that 15 years ago, the Parker’s had to be controlled in some way that Conners was complicit in.
In the Ultimate version of the Spider-Man comic books, that secret was actually a suit that was built to cure cancer, a suit that malfunctions and becomes Venom. Which is still a path Sony/Columbia can take now that they rolled back Peter’s origin story.
The way it plays in the movie now, Parker Senior’s greatest contribution to Oscorp is their bio-cable, made by collecting the super-webbing of Oscorps genetically-engineered spiders. The movie doesn’t say that the spiders have ANYTHING TO DO with cross-species genetics. Why? Because in the original, BadAss-says-was-cut-and-I-agree-with-them plot of the movie, they were a catalyst, not the cause. Curt Connors wouldn’t have been a more stable lizard monster if he was bit by a lizard instead of injecting himself with a serum. The spider bite unlocks something in Peter that would have killed anyone else. Think about it. That spider was built for only one reason we’re shown in the context of the film: it makes super-strong bio-web Oscorp packages and sells (in convenient web-shooter canister-size), but that’s the one power it doesn’t pass on to Peter: organic webbing.
So, yes, we’re missing a plot here.
I think there was a full-length director’s cut earlier this year that screened for Sony execs, bombed and got this movie taken away from Marc Webb is a nasty, nasty way. And when I say “I Think” I mean I’ve heard through sources that I believe that the screening went down and that certain executives got really pissed.
Why a “nasty-nasty way?” Because we haven’t heard about this in any of the press coverage. It almost feels like Sony/Columbia would like The Dark Knight Rises to sweep in after a few profitable weeks so they can shuttle Marc Webb off all future Spider-Man movies in a quiet manner.
In other movies with questionable last-minute plot changes, it becomes part of the mythos of the film. If you’re Ridley Scott, it can even be used as a way to sell Blu-Rays while simultaneously battling criticism by suggesting there was/will be/can be more that explains it all. That scene exists in “Amazing Spider-Man” but it was cut and no one is talking about it in production.
It’s starting to make a lot more sense to me why I feel so weird about the plot of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ being one Macguffin Dispersal Device away from the exact plot of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man.” Why would anyone do that? It seems like even studio executives should know that telling the same story 10 years later after billing in in the ad campaign as the “The Untold Story.”
Now it makes sense that the studio freaked when they saw Mark Webb’s - GASP! - original take on their valuable property, so they had someone re-cut the film to the tune of Raimi’s Spider-Man which meant, in the end, the movie was about nothing.
Seriously, that’s the most glaring detail after seeing this flick or a second time. Peter becomes Spider-Man, but that’s about the only thing that changes. Gwen likes him at the beginning, Gwen likes him at the end. Connors is alive and had betrayed Peter’s father at the beginning, same at the end. Not enough changed because the thing that changed isn’t there anymore.
That BadAss piece, together with watching Amazing in IMAX 3D and scanning for Easter Egg after Easter Egg (Donald Glover poster is signed, directly to the left of Peter’s computer, I didn’t notice before but The Daily Bugle is the TV news station, Gwen’s apartment number is 2016 which will likely be the year she dies in Amazing Spider-Man 3), made me feel that there was another film there. Too much stuff just happens in this cut for no apparent reason.
Curt Connors could have had a family, which would have given him pathos instead of making him a weaker Green Goblin, Rathar could have played into the plot instead of just playing into the exposition. As it plays now, the guy is assaulted by a giant lizard, then disappears like the trauma motivated him to finally take that arctic vacation he was thinking about.
Like the mid-credits scene, which I suspect might have had more meaning if we knew who that character was supposed to be. He has different hair than the shadow-faced Norman Osborn does, and there’s a shot that very much focuses on his fedora. The actor is Michael Masse who is NOT the person in the picture of Norman Osborn NOR Peter’s Father NOR the kind of actor you cast to just throw him away in later installments.
Doing press for Spider-Man, both Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield made reference to scenes that were cut. Rhys Ifans kept talking about coming back for the sequel, and the producers of the film specifically walked me through what they thought the plot was:
Avi: He’s taking unnecessary risks because he’s getting deeper and deeper into it. That’s a very unique spot for a movie.
Matt: There could never be, in our minds, a version of this movie without the spider bite because it;s a different interpretation of Peter Parker. What Avi’s saying is: What’s unique about this Peter Parker – his parents leave him and he’s left with, what? A briefcase. That’s all he knows. And what’s in that briefcase is a piece of paper and on that piece of paper is a forumla, and what he does with that is goes on a quest, this quest takes him to Oscorp. At Oscorp, he ventures into a room that clearly says: “Do not come in” and gets bitten by a Spider. So it’s a different idea than a spider drops down when he’s on a field trip and bites him.
Avi: It’s not a casual thing, it’s part of the search.
That felt weird while it was happening, because I was being told what the film was about in a way that doesn’t apply to the second half of the move. Here’s the thing - what’s being described to me above is a “Peter opens Pandora’s Box” movie. What I think the movie was involved Peter’s father making Peter “special,” which is a “sins of my father” theme instead of a “Pandora’s Box” theme. And the fucked up thing is “we’re responsible for the sins of our parents” would have set Gwen up to be badass next movie, it would have contextualized why Peter has to be Spider-Man outside of some generic “goodness.” If Conners had a son (the original thing that can calm him down in the comics), that son could be the only thing that keeps him from being a full-on monster.
I just don’t get it. There was a thematically whole movie here and just because it didn’t work for a roomful of executives, they shredded it and made it something that genuinely can’t work as a stand-alone film.
If you want to see something interesting, pay attention to what happens to Marc Webb now. If the movie does the numbers it’s supposed to over the weekend, Sony will have a chance to shrug, say “bygones” and let Webb go. If Sony feels slighted, look for some venom (and, ironically, some Venom) later in the year after DKR clears the zeitgeist.