So this morning we've learned that the next Spider-Man film will have a budget of about $80 million. That puts it on a lower budget than Sherlock Holmes, lower than X-Men Origins: Wolverine (by nearly half). Heck, it's less than Fast & Furious, which cost about $85m, and only just more (not adjusting for inflation) than the first X-Men movie. So what does this mean for the film, and might Spidey have been better going for balls-out 3D instead?
Let's look at what the budget means first. That sort of money certainly implies that we're going to see less action - or at least less newly-developed, complicated, CG action. Wall-crawling and web-shooting is probably in; multiple trips around the city by web, massive fire effects, large things collapsing and CG character work* is probably out. The first X-Men movie is the one to think about here: the action there was pretty small and scattered until the final show-down (which would barely make the opening reel of most modern superhero movies). Those who dislike the (really rather good) first X movie tend to cite this lack of action as a criticism, but people still turned out to see it, right? Also, hey, these days you can do a lot with a relatively small amount of money: Push may have tried to cram a TV season's worth of plot into 90 minutes, but its effects looked pretty sweet and its budget was about $38m.
And of course filmmaking should never be just about money, trying to outspend what went before. Just because the third Spider-Man cost a reported $258m doesn't mean this one should spend higher. So there's a sense in which this budget is to be applauded - and you can see why the studio would go for it. Think about it: people will turn out for the Spider-Man name. Even if you count on getting fewer people than the $890m-worth worldwide who went to see Spider-Man 3 (allowing for the loss of Raimi fans, those so disappointed by that movie that they've left the franchise, and those who don't want to see a teenage Spidey) and maybe losing a few more with a trailer that promises less action than before, you could still comfortably project a take of $500-600m worldwide. Get pretty enough stars and maybe you can even nab some of that teenage Twilight buzz (New Moon cost $50m and has made $686m to date), because the success of that franchise has all of Hollywood abuzz trying to replicate its success. So why spend $200m chasing the same amount in cinemas? From a purely monetary perspective, this makes perfect sense.
But there is one loser here, and that's 3D. Spider-Man in 3D would look fricking awesome. In fact, there's no "would" about it: I've seen it and it is awesome. A few years back, Imax did a demonstration of what their cinemas could do, including a piece of technology they'd come up with to turn 2D films into 3D. And the film clip that they used (stressing that it was for demonstration purposes only and in no way represented any plans to 3D-ify this particular film) was from Raimi's first Spidey film, showing the webslinger flying around New York in glorious 3D. However, the sad fact that Sony is very unlikely to 3Dify an $80m movie means that we may have forever lost the chance for a 3D Spidey (unless they 3D-ify the old ones). Obviously Sony thinks that the Avatar effect isn't worth chasing, that the huge 3D bump Cameron has had is something peculiar to that film's widely reported groundbreaking, gamechanging reputation and not something that will bump every film that uses it above a billion - but for my money, that's a shame.
But what do you think? Can a teenage, low-budget Spidey work? Can it be more than Twilight in tights? And would you pay to see Spider-Man in 3D?
*In the sense of creating CG characters or detailed human models for stunt work and action scenes.
sirius Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 10:29
Great news, i love spiderman and the first 2 raimi movies were great, 2 being the better of the movies, but 3 was too much of the same with some seriously bad moments. I was saddened to hear raimi was going to do another i dont think he had any more to give. Webb will do a great job, i can see the movie now, it will be more of an american highschool movie but with spiderman in the mix. It'll probably be bright and fast paced but focus more on the growing pains of peter and his spider puberty. Think of the Ultimate spiderman series and i think were pretty much there. Should be good, there are many takes on spidey and normally different representations running concurrently. I want to see a new spiderman, the raimi adventure got too old and kept covering same ground and not progressing. New spidey should rock. Bring it on.
lisamoorish Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 11:41
Yet more evidence of how Sony are short-changing the webslinger. $80m?? It's a joke, as is the very idea that we need a reboot in the first place. A Spidey movie that plays like a 2 hour episode of fucking Smallville. Great. This movie reeks of a lack of ambition and pure count-the-bucks profiteering.
Ambition Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 12:21
The 15 minutes of x-men are great, all atmosphere and character, all wolverine does power wise is chop a shotgun in half, but it's all he needs to do! That said, I'm one of those big Raimi fans who might not see this new spidey. Infact i'm barely even thinking of it as a spiderman film now...
Nerky Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 12:23
The 80 million dollar budget could work if they got someone like Weta to do the effects. And they'd want to get relativley unknown actors to keep the budget down too. 500 days of summer was one of the best of last year, maybe Marc Webb can pull some strings (or webs) and make a great spiderman reboot
Workshed Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 13:03
I agree this is fantastic news. It forces the film maker to rely more on ingenuity and less on extended, weightless CGI sequences which, all too often, stand in for story and character development. For a fantastic example of this, look no further than last year’s District 9, made with £30m and looked like it cost at least 3 times that. It was rich, interesting and had almost photo real effects, which is more than I can say for X-Men Origins. Heck, look at Moon. One of my favorites films of the year and made with a humble $5m. I’m sure I can’t be the only one tired of all this mindless CGI at the expense of a good script rather to enhance it. Less cash, forces the filmmakers into using their noodles a bit more and in my opinion, $80m is enough to make a Spidey movie and if the worst cones to the worst and they run over budget, I’m sure the studio can afford to help out.
topalbums Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 13:35
1) Who gives a fuck about twilight and all its success? I don't want to see an emo, teen romance popcorn 'flick' spider-man thanks.
2) 3D would not enhance the film at all, I stand by people like Mark Kermode who believe that 2D will always be the primary way to view films.
You seem to mention these two because they bring in loads of cash, what happened to pleasing the spidey fans first of all?
The Todge Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 13:51
3D 3D 3D
Just drop it. Just drop it now for the love of christ.
It's not clever, or funny.
lisamoorish Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 14:16
District 9 was made with total unknowns in South Africa, which meant a tiny budget went a long way. Spider-Man is almost certain to end up shooting Stateside, which means a lot less for your $80m, unless Sony force the filmmakers to go to Toronto or another of those totally unconvincing New York stand-in cities.
ThismonkeyhasRAGE Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 14:34
What Todge said.
Get a grip.
P84 Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 14:36
First off spiderman 3 was exactly the same as the other two. Nice effects, not a terrible story but made miserable by the mary jayne "i love you, but i cant be with you and it pains me so". How could a new teen emo version, out emo the old ones. Wear more black perhaps.
also anyone who thinks the old spiderman movies are really good is a muppet. They are watchable action flicks and there are terrible moments in ALL of them. Manly because Tobey Maguire and James Franco are awful and Kirsten dunst just had to be miserable. Oh and dont get me started on aunt may and her damn "jerry springers final thought" moments. *pukefeast*
they severley need the Nolan treatment. A proper story, really delving into the characters psyche, which could easily be done on a lower budget. In fact it'll prob force them to go down that route. I really dont want to see another superhereo cgi borefeast. Am i the only one who would have loved to see Raimi do spidey with old skool evil-dead-esque effects. loads of CGI ruins creativity in films.
and finally 3D can smeg off and all. yes it would be pretty cool to see spidey swing past your head. But that would be fun for about a second. then 3D is boring. Look at the "ground breaking" 3d in the Avatar. I was expecting to be blown away, but it did nothing really for me. It was just normal 3D. Yes, it made some of the initial shots on pandora cool with the firefly things fly past you, but thats it. But then the story did little in the Avatar too. but i digress.
Oh and the new spidey better have him creating the web, because he is a science nerd or else!!!!!
ok rant over
thenarrator Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 14:45
Teenage Spiderman - No care
Replicating the success of Twilight - No care
Sam Raimi's involvement - No care
Mark Webb's involvement - No care
3D - No care
sirius Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 17:35
In relation to my earlier ultimate spiderman comment it appears this is the way they are going, see superherohype for updated details.
Aaronmantium Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 18:27
Well i think the lower budget could be good i mean that way they cant rely just on snazzy special effects to make it look good though the other spiderman films never really did they did have good storylines ....3rd film aside. But i'll be interested to see where this goes could be good things coming but i would have liked to have seen a 3D spiderman maybe one day
Lemure Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 20:06
3D is irrelevant to a good film. The issue is that they're going to reboot a franchise which is barely a decade old. What can they do with a new one that they didn't do in the first film? Raimi's done the origin story already. Damn you Christopher Nolan. If you hadn't rebooted Batman so beautifully none of this would have happened.
Maybe we'll get an Iron Man reboot too in a few years.
otacons folly Posted on Thursday January 21, 2010, 02:19
As a fan of all things Spider-man related and a big fan of the ultimate series,i am intriuged as to how this will go. It won't be a Twilight clone,that much i can surmise,Vampires are a hell of a lot more goth/emo/whatever these kids are calling it now than spidey at his most angsty. Hey it's just a theory,but it might be something surprisingly fresh and wonderful,lets wait and see what can be done before joining the hate parade.
Zestril Posted on Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:54
Spidey in 3D is such a missed oppurtinity. Years ago I went on the Spider-man ride in Universal Studios - the action fitted 3D perfectly. In fact, it was so exciting back then, it got me back into the comics.
Hopefully the first film will be so successful that they put more money into the second and make it fully fledged 3D.
Mopictures Posted on Thursday January 21, 2010, 13:34
3D Spiderman would be awesome. But ONLY if they use the 3D technique of "Avatar" so the action will be receding infinitely into the screen, like a window to another world, as opposed to the frankly awful Zemeckis "I'm throwing stuff out of the screen to hit you in your very important ocular organs" 3D.
Just watch the 3D trailers before Avatar if you don't believe me. It's enough to put an audience off 3D until the REAL 3D masterpiece arrive.
Also, as a little extra point, Raimi's "Spiderman" style I don't think I would have liked in 3D. Especially as one of his visual calling cards was one of my least favourite type of shots - I'm talking about the oft-used "Spiderman swinging straight into camera so he wipes out the lens (And if it was a real camera move, killing the cameraman.) If you're going to use 3D, use it make Spiderman feel like he's swinging through a real world, hundreds of feet up, not taking the audience OUT of the movie. Just my opinion.
Maybe for the sequel. "X2" was choka with kick-ass.
SickBoy1122 Posted on Thursday January 21, 2010, 20:38
Yeah, they shouldn't be making this movie in any dimensions. The first one's probably not even out yet in like, Uzbekistan. With the budget and director it sounds like they're basically going to make Diet Spider-Man. As in, the version of Spider-Man that girls can drink.
I don't know what I find more sad, the fact that they're doing this or the fact I'm not surprised they're doing this. What a bunch of wet-ends, but hopefully it means Raimi will make Drag Me 2 Hell instead.
Also, which Spidey villains are there that don't demand crazy special effects? Basically it's going to be the Teen Goblin, isn't it, and they're just going to be arguing for two hours over who gets to take whichever blonde teenage newcomer from the latest popular American TV show is playing Mary Jane's virginity, aren't they. It's gonna be like that, isn't it. Tell me God it won't be like that!
The joke's on me though, I'll still watch it if you guys give it a good review, and you probably will if it's got Zac Efron in it.
dexy9000 Posted on Thursday January 21, 2010, 21:31
A lower budget could mean they'll work to get the character right finally. Sony should just hand it over to Marvel studios to produce for them.
cannygeet Posted on Friday January 22, 2010, 11:11
Spiderman, to stay true to the comics, is not all about specatcle and explosions. As long as they can convincingly get him swinging throught the city (and have plenty of it) then we should be fine. Just make sure we have a good story and excellent character work. Save the big budgets for The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor et al. No need for Spiderman to cost a fortune.
lisamoorish Posted on Friday January 22, 2010, 11:41
@Aaronantium - " the other spiderman films never really did they did have good storylines ....3rd film aside" - Are you on crack or something? I assume you maybe meant the second one, otherwise I fear for your sanity.
peterkeely43 Posted on Friday January 22, 2010, 23:39
it seems sony are trying to pull the twilight fans to a new franchise once the last twilight film is made- how better to do this than to start over with spidey and introdue mr pattison to the role- hands up who wants to see a tall skinny spidey -no wonder its not going 3d that would scare the hell out of most people
sunflies Posted on Sunday January 24, 2010, 09:45
Could the whole thing be animated (and possibly even 3D) on $80m? I know that probably doesn't make sense if the objective is to max out revenue from the teen market, but I guess it's not impossible that Effron (or whichever identikit Pop Idol-generation haircut with plastic hanging off it they bring in) COULD just be doing voice duties.
Iago 1979 Posted on Sunday January 31, 2010, 13:58
I think that I will simply wait for the finished article, before I make any snap judgements. 3D filming options? I am not one to scream about this issue either way - if it suits the film, then great! I'm all for it.
All I will say is that taking an established series and shining a new light on it is progressive. I will look forward to this new direction in the Spiderman franchise and hope that I won't be disappointed.
jokerpoker123 Posted on Saturday February 6, 2010, 12:49
NO!!!!!! because I can't see 3D.
ryaan4001 Posted on Saturday July 17, 2010, 12:21
Spider Man is best hero