The new Amazing Spider-Man trailer looks impressive, and I’m definitely looking forward to the film. But I’m still not sure it ws worth jettisoning the Raimi/ Maguire film series, without giving that series (which included the highest grossing films of 2002 and 2007) a proper sendoff.
It would have been better for Sony’s finances if they had released a Spider-Man film that was known to be the conclusion of the Raimi/ Maguire saga by the cast, crew and public at large. Just look at the hype for Dark Knight Rises as the conclusion to Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the way Warner Brothers promoted the last two Harry Potter films (and the corresponding box office) and even the advertising for the last Twilight films. Sony gave up the opportunity to advertise a film as the conclusion to the series, when they had their arguments with Raimi in Late 2009.
Here’s what could have been had they all decided to wrap up the storyline. They could have filmed Spider-Man 4 and Spider-Man 5 back to back, to bring the series to a satisfying conclusion. Spider-Man 4 would have been 2011’s film of the summer. I’d cheat a bit, and save Spider-Man 5 for 2013. That way it wouldn’t have to compete with Dark Knight Rises or the Avengers. A Turn Off the Dark adaptation, with a new cast, in 2015 could also provide the perfect “buffer” allowing Sony to delay the inevitable reboot, during which a new series could start from scratch at some point in 2017.
By that point, Andrew Garfield would probably be too old. But I’m sure there are other actors who could play Peter Parker five years from now. The decision to provide a conclusion to the Spider-Man saga would also have increased the long-term appeal of the first films, which remain a major revenue stream for both Sony and Marvel, although I’d imagine that it’s diminished with the coming relaunch.