Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The New Spider-Man Flick Has a Director!

And it's Marc Webb, who recently directed the "Golden Globe nominated Best Picture (500) Days of Summer," according to the press release Sony Pictures dropped in my email inbox.

Here's how they justify their choice:

Commenting on the announcement, Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, said, "At its core, Spider-Man is a small, intimate human story about an everyday teenager that takes place in an epic super-human world. The key for us as we sought a new director was to identify filmmakers who could give sharp focus to Peter Parker's life. We wanted someone who could capture the awe of being in Peter's shoes so the audience could experience his sense of discovery while giving real heart to the emotion, anxiety, and recklessness of that age and coupling all of that with the adrenaline of Spider-Man's adventure. We believe Marc Webb is the perfect choice to bring us on that journey."

Actually, it was merely because they wanted bloggers, entertainment news pundits and random jackasses to make bad Spidey-puns based on Webb's name. Like the one in the subject line for Sony's email announcement, "A New Webb For Spider-Man." Oh you clever ducks!

I refuse to pun. Too obvious. All the good ones will be taken. Plus, while I may be a scummy, degenerate comics blogger, I like to pretend to at least some dignity. When I'm not typing my entries naked but for striped toe socks and filled with rage at DC's latest mistreatment of Cassandra Cain, that is.

All stupidity aside, this news sounds encouraging to me. It gives me hope they not only hired James Vanderbilt, who wrote the screenplay for Zodiac, one of my favorite films, but also chose a director without slam-bang summer tentpole event action movie experience. Of course, the same directorial approach failed miserably for the Fantastic Four films, but it could work here. I hope it does. I haven't seen (500) Days of Summer, but I did read part of the screenplay. The English-language tabloid Asahi Weekly has a regular feature where they take a new film release and spotlight a couple of scenes from it, with lots of vocabulary and cultural-explanation notes for Japanese ESL learners. Webb's romantic comedy flick was last week's selection.

Speaking of ESL, here's a little gem from the press release:

Written by James Vanderbilt, Webb will work closely with producers Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin in developing the project, which will begin production later this year.

What is that? A misplaced adjective phrase? I highly doubt James Vanderbilt-- talented screenwriter though he may be-- wrote Marc Webb. Unless this is an argument in favor of more sex education in our schools. When a boy writer and a girl writer love each other very much, they put their laptops on top of each other and nine months later, they have a first draft.

Chances of these three teaming up for the new Spider-Man? I'd put them at around 50-50. Or less. But I'm pretty happy about the choice for director and screenwriter. Now they need a solid Peter Parker and Mary Jane. I would like to note , Mr. Webb, I'm available starting June 1. I do have some headshots I could send you...

Does this news mean Valerie D'Orazio over at Occasional Superheroine and I will get our wishes-- Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Zooey Deschanel as Black Cat?

Heck, I want Zooey Deschanel to play Spider-Man in this movie.

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