Spider Man, don’t throw away that line

May 8, 2016

Minor spoilers, like really minor. Like,”if you already know that Spidey is in the movie, this isn’t even a blip on the radar,” type spoiler. Been warned.

“It’s a long story.”

That’s Peter Parker’s answer when someone asks how can he climb walls in Civil War. And with that, I’m got my fingers crossed that Marvel Studios is making us a promise.

You see after Supes and Batman, Spidey probably has the most iconic origin story. And it’s an origin that’s been rehashed in every possible medium, repeatedly, for almost two generations.  Heck, we seen it on the big screen twice within just the last fourteen years.

But there’s another reason we should hope that Marvel is going to skip SM’s origin this time around. It’s the economy of storytelling in action movies.

With only ninety minutes to wrap up a tale, every story beat in a blockbuster action flick has to count, even better if a beat can pull double duty.  Hence why the revenge plot is an action movie staple. In one scene, you can motivate the hero, set the stakes and define who the villain is. It’s a very streamlined and efficient use of the time you have to tell the tale.

That need for multi-tasking beats is why Burton’s Batman created the Joker and Nolan’s Batman found out his mentor was a bad guy.

It’s also why Spidey’s origin has been intimately tied to both the Green Goblin and the Lizard who turned out to be father figures who managed the labs where he was bit and eventually saw them lose their minds as they literally transformed into villains. Not only the same origin, but the same major story beats, whole cloth. For most studios, it would be a big temptation to go down that same road.

But Marvel’s been know to do the unexpected. One of their best strategies to keep the MCU fresh has been mish-mash a different movie genre with their superheros, Winter Soldier with Conspiracy Thriller, GotG with Space Opera and Ant-Man with heist films. It already has me guessing what genre they’ll pick when it comes to Spidey’s movie.

And I think that the writers — and fans — should be thinking about. More on the hows and whys of where Marvel is going with the next chapter of Spider Man’s story and less on repeating his past.

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