Back when Sony abandoned its plan to press ahead with a Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man 4 in favour of bringing in a new team, it released a press statement explaining that it decided it was moving on with a “new chapter in the Spider-Man franchise”. It never used the word ‘reboot’ in anything official, but that was widely assumed to be what we were getting.
Chances are that’s still very much what we’re getting. Marc Webb is now in the director’s chair, Andrew Garfield has taken over as the webslinger, and we now have a title for the film, The Amazing Spider-Man.
However, producer Avi Arad, talking to Entertainment Weekly, has thrown a different light on things. The article reads “Exec producer Avi Arad says the film won’t erase what came before but will try to weave a narrative that could take place within the framework of the earlier films. ‘It’s not a comeback,’ he says. ‘You have to look at it this way: Do you want to know more about Spider-Man? This movie is going to tell stories that you didn’t see in movies 1, 2, and 3.'”
If you follow that line of thinking exactly, then it’s a prequel of sorts that’s on the cards, given that the new film takes Spider-Man back to high school. That, therefore, is why Mary Jane wouldn’t be quite the part of Peter Parker’s life that he became in Raimi’s trilogy of films, and also covers the absence of J Jonah Jameson.
What it doesn’t do, though, is make strict chronological sense. It’s pretty much certain that Rhys Ifans will be playing The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man, having transformed from Dr Curt Connors to do so. But Connors was a character in the last two Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, played by Dylan Baker. So, it’s hard to see just how the new film will mesh with the old.
Furthermore, it’s been confirmed that Spider-Man will be shooting from mechanical, rather than organic, web shooters in the new film. So, once again, it’s hard to see how the new film can convincingly fit into the world of the old.
We’re not grumbling here, we might add. We’ve long since accepted that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 will go down in the annals of lost blockbusters. Just that, even if the word ‘reboot’ isn’t being banded around by the filmmakers, it might be better to admit that’s just what The Amazing Spider-Man is.
The movie arrives in the summer of 2012.
Follow Den Of Geek on Twitter right here.