Untold Tales

I’m not sure why this story hasn’t yet gotten more attention today, but “Amazing Spider-Man” director Marc Webb has confirmed to MTV that the film isn’t just re-telling the title character’s origin story… it’s re-writing it, too. More after the jump:

Speaking to MTV, Webb delivered the “headline” story that – as pretty-much everyone has been guessing since the first teaser – the mystery of what happened to Peter Parker’s biological parents will form the background continuity of the (hoped-for) new series. But buried amid the quotes was this doozy, which seems poised to confirm some of the speculation that came out of the “sizzle reel” presentation back in February:

“This is probably a reveal,” [Webb] said, “but there is no wrestling match in this movie. The character is evolving in a different way. It’s about finding a balance between iconic elements of the ‘Spider-Man’ mythology—like how Uncle Ben’s death transforms him emotionally—but it happens in a different way.”

No Wrestling? Well, okay, maybe a necessary concession to reality – unlike the early 60s, people pretty-much know that pro-wrasslers don’t generally issue take-on-all-comers challenges to random folks off the street now. But the circumstances of Ben Parker’s death – shot by a criminal who pre-vigilante Spider-Man had earlier let escape – strikes me as one of those perfect/necessary details you just can’t change without essentially creating an entirely different character. Then I think back to some educated-guessing Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci did back when the aforementioned “sizzle reel” showing took place. Said Devin:

“There’s one more thing I took away from this footage presentation: I’m worried that Uncle Ben’s death is changed. In the footage Ben has to come to school when Peter gets in trouble for humiliating Flash Thompson using his new powers. He tells his nephew that because of this incident, he had to change his shift at work. I am willing to bet that this shift change leads to his death in some way. But the footage (which felt really comprehensive) doesn’t have Peter using his powers to make money, or a scene where he lets a criminal go. Could Ben’s death just come from the shift change? That would be a massive disappointment, as the set-up of his death in the original origin is, frankly, perfect. Again, there’s not enough to know, and I’m not against this film changing up things to find its own identity, but not having Ben killed by a crook Peter let get away is like having Bruce Wayne’s parents killed by a drunk driver. It just doesn’t work.”

Sigh. Still waiting for something significant about this movie to look interesting/optimistic without some kind of gigantic caveat.

16 thoughts on “Untold Tales

  1. LeVar says:

    The necessary element is that Peter feels directly responsible for Ben's death. If Ben changes his shift to help a Peter Parker who is using his powers without proper responsibility, that would be enough. Do you need it hammered home that Peter himself let the future killer get away? I dont know. Maybe that guy he webs up on the wall was Ben's killer? I was actually wondering if Ben even dies in this film. I guess so.


  2. JUSTINtimeforalaugh says:

    Changing Ben's death? That is a dangerous place to go. Then again, they already kind of did that (slightly) in Spider-Man 3… and it felt forced. Same with The Joker killing Batman's parents in the first Burton film.

    I dunno… I'll have to see, but so far nothing is impressing me about this movie, and that is a shame.


  3. Matthew says:

    like I've learned from ME3 recently. Its completely up to the creators what they want to do with the story, we can only like it or not like it. If you don't like it then don't go see it. Spiderman is in the hands of these amazing artists their creative spark is the priority not even the cannon of the known universe can limit it.


  4. Anonymous says:

    matthew, the difference is all these changes are happening to cannon Spider-man stories, ME cant even compare. That was their story from beginning to end.


  5. Anonymous says:

    The way it's written it sounds like Webb is saying the emotional change is going to happen differently, not the way Uncle Ben dies, He's just mentioning Ben's death as the catalyst.


  6. Joe says:

    I don't mind that they change the origin slightly. Him being a wrestler never made that much sense to me. Nowadays Wrestling is less engaging than it was in the 80s or 90s.

    Also…Bob, you are a cool guy, I like your videos, your very thought engaging and well versed in many different geek and pop culture facets, but enough with your hate on this new version of Spider-man. Since its inception after the fallout of Spider-man 4 you have been picking on it and continue to do so. As a fan of comic book movies also we should all know by now that getting the perfect comic book movie formula is impossible. Studios, Writers, Directors, and the Actors have and never will get the perfect balance between comic book fantasy mixed with reality of them living in our world. The Fantastic 4 films were the best example of this, everything about the Fantastic 4 is so riddled with Science Fiction that it would be impossible for the regular movie goer to grasp. Dr. Doom a master of science and sorcery, awesome in the comics and it makes sense, Dr. Doom in the movies= Bad translation. Hopefully now that Thor showed you can pull of Scientific sorcery that we may see a true version of Dr. Doom in the eventual FF Reboot.

    Where am I going with this, oh yeah, Comic book movies can never be perfect because theres always going to be something that a distilled movie can never capture what decades of continuity and character development a comic book has. Let the movies be what they be, they don't connect with comic canon and they can be fun no matter the premise.


  7. Sam says:

    Those comments are a bit too vague to say that they're scrapping an important bit of Spider Man's origin. I just hope Webb realizes that having someone Peter loves and respects die from a common criminal (one that he could've stopped at anytime) is the ultimate catalyst for Spider Man as a crime fighter. If Ben dies in an accident at work, what lesson will Peter learn? Don't be an angry douche bag? Always be on time?

    I always viewed the wrestling match origin as kinda necessary because it's a part of setting up Spider Man's personality. He has to endure bullies like Flash at school and this weasel wrestling promoter screwing him out of money and then some asshole kills his surrogate father for little more than petty cash. Learning that he could've stopped that last part from happening is the big push over the edge for Peter in my view. To me Spider Man's motives for fighting crime are very personal, he hates bullies, thieves, and killers. He wants to turn the tables on them, and that's also kinda why he can be snarky about it.

    That said, I'll be interested to hear more about what kind of mood they'll create for Spider Man's origin in this movie.


  8. Chris Cesarano says:

    It really sounds like they want to change it while keeping the important elements, but the circumstances don't work out as well. As someone mentioned earlier, it was the circumstances of that common criminal being the one who killed Uncle Ben and Peter's choice to let him go.

    You can technically work this around in other ways. Perhaps Peter has the chance to stop a guy from robbing Flash Thompson at gun point in an alleyway, but choose to let it happen. Then that crook ends up killing Uncle Ben later.

    Okay that's a crappy idea, but you get the point. Or if you want to just “modernize” it, have Pete try to be a UFC fighter or something. The shift change can still lead to a guilt trip, but…

    …actually, here's a proposal.

    Uncle Ben has to change his shift. Wherever it is he works, The Lizard has cause to be there. The Lizard kills Uncle Ben and is the impetus for revenge or some such, not to mention tying in with Peter's parents.

    That's the theory I'm gonna run with.


  9. john says:

    If this is true, I assume it's because giving Peter a serious concern about how to use his new power appropriately wouldn't jive with the entitlement-to-power part of the “you, Mr. Ordinary Teenager, are the Special Destined Hero, good on your awesome self” angle the teaser looked like they were taking. The less direct culpability he bears for this loss, the less the theoretical teenaged male viewer feels put-upon by the idea that power comes with responsibility and crap like that. You know, like how in Eragon it's the hero's own stupidity that leads to his mentor getting Obi-Wanned, but since he didn't actually go so far as to give a thumbs-up in passing to Jeremy Irons's killer he gets away with a dopey stare and some glycerin tears and then Irons barely gets a mention for the entire rest of the movie.


  10. Aiddon says:

    Changing Uncle Ben's death…that's not something you do. There's a difference between updating an origin appropriately (like Tony Stark's kidnapping happening in Afghanistan instead of Vietnam) and then doing something pointless with it (like somehow the Joker being the killer of Batman's parents in Burton's badly aged film)


  11. Anonymous says:

    Ironically, this change makes this version of Spider-Man slightly closer to the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle from his first run at DC Comics.


  12. KevinCV says:

    @Cypher DS Ah, yes. Because some fans just LOVED that in Tim Burton's “Batman” film it turned out the Joker -before he was the Joker- was the one who murdered Bruce Wayne's parents instead of some ordinary thug like Joe Chill.

    I'm with MovieBob on this. I'm actually kinda getting sick that “contrived coincidence” stuff some superhero movies pull where a villain just so happens to be responsible for why the hero becomes the hero. It also gives some petty “justification” to the hero to exact revenge on said villain, even if it means killing them.

    I've said it before, but it bears repeating: The more I hear about this movie, the less interested I become. It's really sad, too. Spider-Man was the hero who got me into comics when I was a kid. 😦


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