Wednesday, January 6, 2010

On A Wing And A Prayer

Followers of both Spider-Man and director Sam Raimi, who has shepherded the web-slinger's movie adventures to date, got some troubling news this week with reports that Sony and Raimi are at an apparent gridlock over who the villain should be in Spider-Man 4. Raimi wants to use the old-school baddie The Vulture while the studio doesn't know what it wants - except that it doesn't want The Vulture.

Now, even the most ardent admirers of the original Lee/Ditko Spidey villains probably aren't jumping up and down at the prospect of seeing The Vulture on screen. After all, he's an old guy who flies - how exciting is that? I mean, after seeing The Green Goblin, Doc Ock, the Sandman, and Venom - all villains with pretty neat sets of powers - make their live-action debuts, The Vulture seems to be a big "so what?" But the more I think about it, the more I think that everyone - besides Raimi - is selling The Vulture's cinematic potential short. The possibilities for dizzying, vertiginous ariel battles would be ideal for Raimi to realize and instead of just an old coot flapping his wings, Raimi's Vulture could be a sleeker, swifter, more stealth presence - a villain that can strike with lightning speed, dive bombing his prey from great heights. And from a character standpoint, I think it'd be interesting to show someone who is feeble and nonthreatening on the ground that becomes lethal in the sky.

If Raimi has it in his head that The Vulture is his guy, then I have to think he's already got big plans for how he wants to use him. And the news that John Malkovich is cast sounds perfect. He's younger than the Vulture of the comics, but then again, if you cast the Vulture to look as old as he does in the books, he'd have to be one step away from a pile of dust. You'd have to cast Abe Vigoda, basically.

In the wake of bar-raising critical and commercial success of The Dark Knight, and given the general dissatisfaction with how Spider-Man 3 turned out, I have to imagine Raimi wants to come back to Spidey in a big way and restore some luster to the franchise. If Sony would only relent and let Raimi go with the high-flying Vulture, I have a feeling that the sky could be the limit.


Matt-suzaka said...

Ah, man...I can't stop smirking about the Abe Vigoda line!

I don't know how I feel about The Vulture myself either, but if Raimi does have something special in his back pocket, than I'm all for it - if not just to get another good Spidey movie.

I would prefer The Lizard.

Jeff Allard said...

Yes, I'm all for The Lizard. In fact, I think it's idiotic not to go with that character. I read that Sony, for whatever reason, didn't want the Lizard. I don't know if that's true but whoever is against having the Lizard in the next Spidey is missing the boat.

Anonymous said...

I agree with a swifter, more vicious incarnation of the Vulture. I like the idea of the Lizard too. BTW, I had that Amazing Spider Man issue number 64 up until about 7 months ago. Along with a box full of other books, I sold part of my collection for an engagement ring. I was terribly sad that day and my fiance couldn't understand why.

Anywhos, check out our site. You won an award dear sir!!!

I Like Horror Movies said...

As much as I agree with those that feel The Vulture will be a lame villain, I give Raimi enough credit and trust with the series to make him a fleshed out and interesting character. I just hate that things are stalled.. I just want to see the movie regardless, it is the cathartic release I need in order to sate need to kill >=D

Jeff Allard said...

Yeah, I just want to see another Spider-Man movie. A really good one, hopefully.