Superhero movies are officially everywhere and there doesn’t look to be a single year that goes by without one to three coming out. The extensive range of characters that inhabit the Marvel universe alone has been invested, de-constructed, brought back, killed and cancelled time and time again over the last 75 years; it’s their anniversary don’t ya know.
Spider-Man made his initial swing across the big screen several years ago, but fell short after a disastrous third instalment that seemed to lack much plot in favour of ramming in as many villains as possible. In a way, this was also seemingly the nail near the coffin of the X-men franchise. Thankfully, Brian Singer is a director with the skill to merge both the revival, X-men: First Class, and those stellar original movies together in what is sure to be the superhero movie of the year X-men: Days of Future Past.
The Amazing Spider-Man meanwhile, a reboot which took from an alternative universe, managed to capture the audience in a less cheesy way than the first run. I think this was in large part down to an understanding of what the modern audience wants from their superhero movies. Avoiding the trap of catering mainly to serious comic book fans that relish the classic sixties and seventies style of story-which many of the early superhero movies recreated-instead it focussed on a hyper-realistic, real-world fantasy story. Glitz with gore, minimal morality and absolutely no brightly coloured spandex in sight.
Grounding the Spider-Man villains in semi-plausible real-world situations such as making them tech geniuses (genii?) and gangsters allows the viewer to suspend just enough belief to find these movies hard hitting yet fun. Thus giving the movie world room to expand and create movie-verse versions of classic heroes and villains that new audiences can call their own.
On April 18th the yearly Amazing Spider-Man universe movie kicks off proper with The Amazing Spider-man 2. It (re-)introduces Harry Osborne as well as Electro and Rhino. The angle taken, particularly with Rhino, means that the over the top costumes are thoroughly kept away-and thank goodness for that! A giant Rhino costume was ridiculous even in the comics. Having these two, along with the suggestive teasers, plays heavily into who will be taking over the screen in super-villain team up movie Sinister Six in a couple of years time.
Before that though we get the spin-off movie Venom, which will fill the inevitable gap needed for production of The Amazing Spider Man 3 as well as Sinister Six. But this is just the Spider-Man area of the Marvel universe, we are going to be bombarded with Avengers and X-men characters year after year through to 2018 at least.
The biggest question that now awaits fans is who will form the Sinister Six on film. We’ve likely got Electro and Rhino, assuming they aren’t killed in TASM2. It has been suggested that classic enemies Doctor Octopus, Vulture and Green Goblin will be enlisted one way or another. Additionally, Venom showing up in his own movie (not to mention his membership in the comic book incarnation of SS) means he could certainly be in the running.
However, if Venom ends up on the fence then there are some classic members of the SS who could take his place; though bringing them to screen would require tweaking. Sandman was seen in SM3 but all he boiled down to was a lot of CGI. Mysterio is a notable contender, however, his look is a bit…goldfish bowl… Finally, there’s Kraven the Hunter and he likes to wear a lot of fur, sorry PETA but it’s probably not fake.
Who knows where this could all go, but with a LOT of forward planning and a strong team keeping a firm hold of plot, direction and characters, we may yet be entering a golden age of superhero movies that could, in 2020, lead to some Marvel event movie with all the heroes joining together for one big showdown. My vote is for a Skrull invasion or Thanos attack (look ’em up). Spider-Man year after year is happening, I hope it’s worth the wait.