Even Marvel Admits Spider-Man’s Worst Story Was a Mistake

WARNING: The Following Contains SPOILERS For Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #5.

Marvel Comics may have finally admitted that one of the most controversial Spider-Man stories of all time was a mistake. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man accomplished this by broadly recreating the circumstances of that earlier story… before spinning the tale in an entirely different direction.

The first issue of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man ended with a short story showing Peter Parker’s Aunt May writing a letter in a doctor’s office waiting room, trying to find the right words to tell Peter that she had been diagnosed with cancer. It took four issues for May Parker to finally catch up with her nephew, tell him the bad news, and ask him to come with her to her first chemotherapy session. While Aunt May’s ill-health has been a recurring plot-point since the days of Stan Lee, it was quite rare for her illnesses to be defined this specifically or treated with the gravity that writer Tom Taylor handles the announcement here.

Related: Spider-Man: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Aunt May

Afterward, Peter took to the streets as Spider-Man, hoping to find some situation that would distract him from things for a time and help him to clear his head. The action of the issue sees Spidey helping one of Peter’s neighbors escape from a bad situation and eventually ends with him taking the troubled teen to Doctor Strange to treat his broken wrist. While Doctor Strange is willing to help, he is also quick to point out that there are trauma centers that Spider-Man could have gone to just as easily and Peter finally admits that he had another reason for visiting the Sorcerer Supreme.

Despite Doctor Strange knowing his secret identity, Peter just refers generally to someone he knows being very sick and wondering if Doctor Strange could do anything to help her with his magic. Doctor Strange says there are things they could do, but they’d involve making “a deal with an inter-dimensional demon” and that could lead to “an eternity of torment.” Both heroes quickly agree that’s not a realistic option.

This reference to making a literal deal with a devil to heal a loved one is a pretty clear reference to “One More Day” – a 2007 Spider-Man storyline considered by many to be the worst Spider-Man story of all time, if not the worst thing ever published by Marvel Comics. The plot of “One More Day” saw Peter  making a bargain with the inter-dimensional demon Mephisto to rewrite reality and erase his marriage to Mary Jane Watson in exchange for healing his dying Aunt May, who had been fatally wounded by hired guns shortly after Peter revealed his secret identity to the world. The story was blasted by many readers for many reasons; from the idea that Peter would ever try to dodge the consequences of his actions with a satanic bargain to the notion that everyone in the Marvel Universe, from Doctor Strange to the many mutants with healing-touch powers, said there was no way they could save Aunt May from a couple of common bullets.

Unfortunately, while Taylor may have been allowed to making a teasing jab at the most controversial storyline in Spider-Man history, that does not mean that the events of “One More Day” are going to be undone anytime soon. Indeed, a recent storyline in the new Champions series saw Miles Morales strike a bargain with Mephisto to save the lives of his teammates. Given that, it seems unlikely that The Powers That Be at Marvel Comics have learned their lesson regarding having the heroes meant to exemplify responsible behavior taking the easy way out with Faustian pacts.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #5 is now available from Marvel Comics.

More: Spider-Man: 20 Things About Peter And Mary Jane’s Relationship That Make No Sense

2019-04-13 04:04:27

Matt Morrison

MCU Theory – Spider-Man: Homecoming Set Up Ultron’s Return

Although Ultron was destroyed in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel’s first Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, potentially set up the AI’s return. Ultron is a classic Avengers villain, created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema back in 1968. In the comics, Ultron was an artificial intelligence created by Hank Pym, in part modeled on Pym’s own brainwaves. It developed a sentience of its own, and suffers from an Oedipus Complex, desiring to supplant its “father.” Over the years, Ultron has continually upgraded itself, becoming one of the Avengers’ greatest villains. It’s come within a hair’s breadth of conquering the Earth.

The MCU version of Ultron is slightly different. It was created by Tony Stark rather than Hank Pym; Stark imagined Ultron as the Earth’s ultimate defender, a protection against cosmic threats like the Chitauri. Unfortunately, he’d unwisely used the Mind Stone to create Ultron, and something went badly wrong; the AI went rogue, going so far as to attempt to wipe out the entire human race. Just as the comic book version of Ultron hated Hank Pym, the MCU’s Ultron burns with an irrational hatred towards Tony Stark.

Related: Avengers: Endgame Can Set Up Marvel’s DARK Guardians As Phase 4 Villains

Ultron is a major recurring villain in the comics, but in the MCU the AI appears to be a one-and-done type of big bad, both created and destroyed in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Is that really the case, though? Or could Ultron come back in a future MCU movie?

  • This Page: How Ultron Is Defeated & Where He Turns Up In Homecoming
  • Page 2: Ultron Could’ve Survived Sokovia & May Reappear In Phase 4

The Avengers spent the bulk of Avengers: Age of Ultron on the back foot, reacting to the AI’s complex masterplans. It was only by the third act that they’d begun to get the measure of their opponent, and, fortunately, when they headed to the Battle of Sokovia they had the support of Vision. Without Vision’s help, the Avengers would undoubtedly have been unable to defeat Ultron and save the human race.

By this point, Tony Stark had begun to understand just what kind of life form he was dealing with. While Ultron should be considered a sentient (albeit insane) being, it isn’t life as we know it. Ultron is an artificial intelligence, essentially a rogue computer program, and that means its natural habitat is a virtual environment rather than a physical one. It exists in digital systems, transmitting itself like a virus across computer networks. Fortunately, for the Avengers, a quirk of Ultron’s psychosis meant the AI wanted to beat the Avengers on their plane of reality, and as a result it craved a physical form, building bodies for itself with which to battle Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Putting all this together, Stark worked out how to beat Ultron once and for all. First of all, you had to isolate Ultron so it only existed on local networks; Vision’s role in all this was basically to act as a living firewall, keeping Ultron from jumping to any other networks. Then, you had to destroy every single piece of Ultron tech. Stark knew that, if a single sample of Ultron technology survived, then the odds were good that Ultron would return. Ultron would be destroyed when its final form was reduced to slag.

Given this is the case, it’s reasonable to assume that Tony Stark personally oversaw cleanup after the Battle of Sokovia. He’d have done so through Damage Control, the former S.H.I.E.L.D. department he’d taken charge of after the Chitauri invasion of New York. And his instructions would surely have been quite clear; every single sample of Ultron tech would need to be reduced to scrap, in order to ensure no compromised system was ever hooked into a computer network.

Unfortunately, Stark was unaware of the existence of Adrian Toomes. For years, Toomes had been operating at the center of an illegal black market in advanced and extraterrestrial technology. He and his gang took advantage of the chaos left in the Avengers’ wake, visiting sites of superhero activity and quickly procuring as much tech as they could before slipping back into the shadows. Over the years, they’d successfully acquired everything from Chitauri anti-grav systems to Dark Elf singularity grenades. Crucially, in one key scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man learned they’d also managed to get their hands on the head of an Ultron drone. If Toomes had managed to obtain one piece of Ultron tech, it’s reasonable to assume he’d acquired – and sold on – other samples too.

Page 2 of 2: Ultron Could’ve Survived Sokovia & May Reappear In Phase 4

According to Avengers: Age of Ultron, if just one piece of Ultron technology survived Sokovia, then it meant Ultron could potentially return. Now, it’s important to note that the drone seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming certainly couldn’t contain the full Ultron consciousness; at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Vision had successfully trapped Ultron within its last operating body, which he then destroyed. A fellow artificial intelligence, Vision is the only one of the Avengers who Ultron wouldn’t have been able to fool. But that doesn’t mean the Ultron drone the Vulture has obtained is benign, and the threat of Ultron is dead. Rather, it’s more likely that Ultron planted seed-like fragments of code within every one of its drones. Ultron has taken this very approach in several comic book plots; the moment the drone is exposed to a network, the code would expand into the network like a computer virus, and create an inexact copy of Ultron.

It’s not so much that Ultron survived Sokovia, then; rather, it’s more as though the AI had reproduced. Ultron 2.0 would essentially be the “son” of Ultron, sharing most of the basics of Ultron’s code, and likely dedicated to continuing the same mission. What’s concerning is, it’s possible some of Ultron’s flaws – such as the depth of its irrational hatred of Tony Stark, or its psychotic desire to take on a physical form – would not have been passed on to the next generation. So Ultron 2.0 could be an entirely virtual being, a challenge the Avengers would find even more difficult to handle, and lacking some of the psychological weaknesses possessed by its progenitor.

Related: Avengers: Age of Ultron May Have A Big Clue Nick Fury Is A Skrull

Should Ultron 2.0 be introduced in MCU Phase 4, it will emerge in a very different world. Firstly, this new Ultron would find itself dealing with a whole new generation of heroes. Avengers: Endgame is expected to be the swan song for the OG Avengers, with the likes of Chris Evans’ Captain America and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man going out in a blaze of glory as they save half the life in the universe. For Ultron, the loss of some of these OG Avengers would potentially be keenly felt; if the AI retained its “father’s” obsession with Tony Stark, it would grieve his loss in a strange, twisted way. No doubt Ultron would swiftly research the next generation of Avengers, of course, and would swiftly identify the key threats.

Meanwhile, it’s also likely Ultron would be fascinated by Wakanda. At the time of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wakanda was still an isolated African community, and its computer systems were closed to the world. With no network links into Wakanda, Ultron probably didn’t have a clue how advanced their technology really was. But Black Panther has committed his nation to revealing itself to the world as a beacon of hope, and in so doing it’s quite possible he’s unwittingly provide Ultron with a way behind Wakanda’s borders. Ultron was able to threaten the world with a relatively small amount of Vibranium; Ultron 2.0 would jump at the chance to obtain far greater quantities. Fortunately for Wakanda, according to the Avengers: Infinity War Prelude comic, Shuri is an expert in programming artificial intelligence. Marvel has insisted that Shuri is even smarter than Tony Stark; but is she smarter than Ultron as well?

Whatever the case, though, Ultron’s goal would remain largely the same. It would still want to destroy Tony Stark’s legacy, which would mean taking on the Avengers – whoever their members may be at the time. Meanwhile, it would likewise presumably launch another attempt at global genocide, raising the stakes once more. Hopefully this time, the Avengers would learn from their mistake and make sure no samples of Ultron tech survived.

More: The MCU Can Have A Stronger Avengers Team After Endgame

2019-04-06 05:04:05

Thomas Bacon

Spider-Man Actor Tobey Maguire Is Open To Another Superhero Movie Role

Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire would be up to returning to the world of superheroes. Our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has a long history of adaptations, the first one being an unauthorized short back in 1969, followed by a TV film in 1977, but its first truly successful cinematic run came in 2002 with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man with Maguire as the web-slinger.

Maguire reprised his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in two more films also directed by Raimi before the franchise was rebooted, with Marc Webb in charge of directing and Andrew Garfield as the new Spidey. Since then, Maguire has stayed away from the world of superheroes, but he doesn’t rule out a comeback at some point.

Related: Spider-Verse Considered Casting Tobey Maguire As Older Spider-Man

In an interview with THR, Maguire shared he doesn’t have a “would or wouldn’t do” mindset when it comes to choosing roles, so playing a superhero one more time is not completely off the table for him – it’s just a matter of what he feels called to. Maguire said:

“I just don’t really have an ‘I would or wouldn’t do’ mindset, I’ll just do whatever… whatever it is that comes that I feel called to, that may or may not fit in any kind of box.”

He added that, although he hasn’t watched all Spider-Man films that have come after Raimi’s trilogy, he likes the actors that have taken over the role (Garfield and Tom Holland), saying they’re both “super talented” and that he appreciates them and likes the choices. Garfield played the role in two films, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Holland has played the part in three films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far (including one solo film, Spider-Man: Homecoming), and will do so again in Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home.

The first two Spider-Man films with Maguire as the lead were well received by critics and fans, but the third one got a mixed response (and is still a widely debated topic amongst Spider-Man fans). Maguire’s last on-screen role was Nick Carraway in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, and he had a voice role in The Boss Baby as adult Tim/narrator, but he has been mostly working behind camera as producer with his production company Material Pictures.

Maguire’s portrayal of Spider-Man has a special place in the hearts of fans all over the world, with some even campaigning for him to come back to Spidey’s world one way or another. It seems like a long-shot having him play a role in the current Spider-Man narrative, but at least there’s a slight hope of seeing him back in a superhero suit, whether with Marvel or DC.

More: Tom Holland Wants Tobey Maguire To Play Uncle Ben In The MCU

Source: THR

2019-04-05 12:04:47

Adrienne Tyler

How Spider-Man’s Logo Has Changed Over Time

Just like the actor playing him, the Spider-Man logo has changed many times across his live-action movie appearances – here’s how its evolved over time. Despite being one of the popular superheroes in comics, it took Spider-Man a long time to receive a big screen adaptation. B-movie studio Cannon tried to adapt the character into a movie numerous times throughout the 1980s, with directors such as Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) attached.

James Cameron wrote a treatment for a Spider-Man movie too, and he was the one who thought of the controversial organic web-shooters that made it into the eventual 2002 movie. Tobey Maguire donned the suit for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, with the character being rebooted numerous times in the years since. Each actor and filmmaker brought something different to the material, and just like with James Bond or Batman, fans have their own favorite era of the live-action character.

Related: James Bond Movies In Order: The Best Way To Watch

Spider-Man’s logo has changed shape and size many times too, so let’s look at the logo’s onscreen evolution.

Nicholas Hammond – Spider-Man

While not technically a theatrical movie, Nicholas Hammond was the first to don the Spidey suit for a CBS movie in 1977 that served as a pilot for a short-lived TV series. Stan Lee wasn’t a fan of this production since it lacked the humor of the character, and Hammond’s suit isn’t particularly flattering in motion. Still, the Spider-Man logo is quite faithful to its comic counterpart.

Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

The success of the Spider-Man movie really cemented the growing status of comic book movies, with Raimi’s trilogy having a big impact on the genre. Peter Parker’s homemade suit looks pretty much the same between Spider-Man 1 & 2, but with the spider logo becoming noticeably larger in the sequel and again in Spider-Man 3.

Andrew Garfield – The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2

When Sam Raimi decided against making Spider-Man 4, Sony rebooted the character with The Amazing Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield would take the lead in both entries, with the sleek reinvention of the suit leaning towards a more traditional look in the sequel. The thin spider logo of the Amazing Spider-Man suit fits the sleeker style, but it becomes much more prominent in the sequel.

Related: Exclusive: Spider-Man Far From Home Prelude Comic Preview

Tom Holland – Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War

The response to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was disappointing to Sony, so they eventually worked out a deal to share the character with the MCU. Tom Holland thus stepped into the role for Captain America: Civil War, where Tony Stark recruits Peter Parker to help him capture Steve Rogers and gifts him with a new suit and he later wears in Homecoming.

This comic accurate has a small, modest little spider at the center, but Stark little gifts Peter the Iron Spider armor in Avengers: Infinity War. This suit has a much larger logo that wraps around Spider-Man’s chest, with golden highlights around the legs.

Next: Every Way Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense Is Shown On-Screen

2019-03-28 02:03:19

Padraig Cotter

Spider-Verse Producer Wants Sam Raimi To Direct An Animated Spider-Man Movie

Longtime producer Avi Arad wants Sam Raimi to return to Spider-Man with an animated movie after the success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Before the days of shared comic book movie universes, Raimi helped reestablish superhero movies as lucrative projects in Hollywood, as his initial installment had the first $100 million-plus opening weekend ever. He directed a trilogy of Spider-Man films starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker in total, which came to an unplanned end with Spider-Man 3 in 2007.

Raimi originally had plans for Spider-Man 4, but ultimately had to leave the project due to how quickly Sony wanted it done. The studio wound up rebooting the franchise with director Marc Webb and star Andrew Garfield in 2012, but then ended that franchise after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014. Sony then agreed to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Tom Holland playing the part. The partnership with Marvel Studios has been incredibly successful, but Sony also found hits of their own with Venom‘s surprise box office run and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse becoming an Oscar-winning feature.

Related: 10 Cancelled Marvel Movies We Wish Got Made

Throughout all of these decisions, reboots, and recastings, producer Arad has been involved. He was even the one who pushed Raimi to include Venom in Spider-Man 3, even though the director didn’t want to use him. After all this time and the newfound success Arad and Sony have with these characters, Arad wants to get Raimi back. He revealed this during an interview with Deadline, where he said, “I would love to see what kind of animated Spider-Man movie we’d get from Sam Raimi so if he sees this, ‘Call me Sam!'”

While this may be a long shot at this point, as Raimi has moved on from the superhero world and is next directing Kingkiller Chronicles, this is an exciting possibility to consider. Raimi has never directed an animated movie before, so it would be a chance for him to spread his wings as a creator. That said, the possibilities of animation and the multi-verse introduced in Spider-Verse opens up the door for Raimi to have the ability to actually do the Spider-Man 4 he always envisioned.

There’s been several details on Spider-Man 4 that have surfaced over the years, including who Raimi may have cast for certain roles. Vulture and Mysterio appeared to be part of the story, with rumors pointing to John Malkovich being eyed for the role of Vulture. Raimi also confirmed in the past that Anne Hathaway auditioned for Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat, with concept art teasing the romantic relationship between her and Peter. Since the movie never happened, Spider-Man 4 is a major what-if story that many fans would like to see, and since it would just require voice work from the cast, it’s feasible that an animated Spider-Man 4 set within the Spider-Verse world could happen. The chances of this materializing may be slim, as Raimi could decide to do a different story altogether if he did want to return, but hopefully Raimi does give Arad a call and something can happen.

MORE: Every Animated Version of Spider-Man Ranked

Source: Deadline

2019-03-20 02:03:05

Cooper Hood

Andrew Garfield Reflects On His Time Playing Spider-Man

Andrew Garfield, star of The Amazing Spider-Man films, opens up about playing the web-slinging hero. Debuting in Marc Webb’s 2012 The Amazing Spider-Man, the actor reprised the role again in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 alongside Emma Stone who played Peter Parker’s love interest, Gwen Stacey. The movie received mixed reviews and was a let-down compared to its predecessor. It also earned less than the original film despite an increase in production budget.

There had been plans for a third film in The Amazing Spider-Man franchise after the sequel, which was originally touted to kick-start Sony’s own superhero film series with several spinoffs hingeing on the sequel, including Venom and Sinister Six. The studio still moved forward with Venom starring Tom Hardy, which made decent money despite mixed reviews, and is now being positioned to launch the halted universe with Jared Leto’s Morbius and the Black Cat and Silver Sable films on the way on top of Venom 2. The main Spider-Man saga, however, met its unexpected end with Sony striking a deal with Marvel Studios to share the character, who is now played by Tom Holland in the MCU.

Related: Spider-Man in the MCU: The Marvel/Sony Deal Explained

Almost four years since he vacated the Spider-Man role, Garfield has moved on with other projects outside the superhero genre. However, a specific moment in his latest film Under the Silver Lake subtly references his days of playing the iconic Marvel hero, re-energizing conversations about that time in his career. During a recent appearance discussing the David Robert Mitchell film caught on video and shared on Twitter by schnapvsideer, the actor was asked about the said scene causing him to open up. Toward the end, he called his relation with the character “very complicated.” Watch the full clip below:

In the Under the Silver Lake, Sam (Maguire) gets his hand stuck on a sticky Spider-Man comic book. It clung to his left hand for a few seconds before he got very frustrated with it, causing him to fling it out of the frame. The scene was hilarious, but it also says a lot when one considers how the role (and him eventually losing it) haunted Garfield for a while. It was no secret how passionate Garfield was with Spider-Man – even making a surprise appearance at San Diego Comic-Con where he made a moving speech regarding being able to play the character. Even now, he remains a fan of the hero, but having the experience he had portraying it understandably made him develop a bit of distaste to it.

What makes Garfield’s history with the character much worse is the fact that it wasn’t his fault that The Amazing Spider-Man franchise wasn’t as well-received as Sony wanted it. While it was quite jarring that the actor was playing a teen given his age at that time, he sold the role effectively and his chemistry with Stone was off the charts. It all boiled down to the studio not really knowing how to approach the character as evidenced by leaked emails from their top executives. Whether or not Garfield will ever be involved in another Spider-Man project remains to be seen. His version of the hero was supposed to be featured in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse alongside Tobey Maguire’s and Holland’s versions but was ultimately scrapped out. That doesn’t mean, however, that it won’t happen in the planned sequel.

More: How Sony Ruined (And Then Saved) Spider-Man

Source: Andrew Garfield (via schnapvsideer)

2019-03-18 05:03:43

Ana Dumaraog

Avengers: Infinity War’s Spider-Man Death Scene Was Filmed Very Early On

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has revealed that Spider-Man’s death scene in Avengers: Infinity War was filmed very early on during production. Peter Parker, along with half of all living beings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, perished after Thanos finished collecting the Infinity Stones for his gauntlet and snapped his fingers in last year’s Avengers movie. Of all the painful deaths that fans had to endure while watching Infinity War, however, Peter’s was easily the worst for a whole lot of people. While watching Peter turn to dust was hard enough, the fact that he struggled to resist his passing and died in Tony Stark’s arms made this particular superhero demise all the more emotionally wrenching.

In about a month, the surviving MCU superheroes (Tony included) will try and undo what Thanos did in the Infinity War sequel, Avengers: Endgame. Ahead of then, the creatives behind the two films (directors Anthony and Joe Russo included) have opened up a bit about the culminating chapter in the MCU and revealed some previously-unknown details about Infinity War. Indeed, as Feige has now explained, the filmmakers were planning to have Thanos’ snap kill off some big names from the very beginning, Peter’s included.

Related: Endgame Directors Considered Drastically Different Marketing Plans

During an interview with Empire to promote Endgame, Feige talked about the test screenings for Infinity War and how audiences went dead-silent during The Decimation (as Thanos’ snap is officially called). He went on to confirm that the plan was always to kill off several major superheroes in the movie and that Spider-Man’s death was “filmed on the first or second day of what would be an almost two-year process”.

It’s good to know that Spider-Man’s death scene wasn’t a last-minute addition to Infinity War, if not particularly surprising. It had already been established in 2017’s MCU entry Spider-Man: Homecoming that Tony feels responsible for whatever happens to Peter, which was part of why he tried so hard to prevent his protégé from following him into outer space during Infinity War. Since the whole idea behind Infinity War‘s conclusion was to leave the MCU’s surviving superheroes feeling like they had truly failed to save the day for once (thus setting the stage for their arcs in Endgame), it only makes sense for Peter to die in a way that weighs extra heavy on Tony’s conscience. In the end, that meant having Peter perish in Tony’s arms and the latter being literally unable to do a thing to prevent it.

On a lighter note: it’s also kind of funny that Holland managed to avoid spoiling Peter’s death for as long as he did. The actor’s pretty infamous for blabbing details about the MCU by now – something that Marvel Studios even poked fun at by having him “accidentally” reveal the title of this summer’s sequel, Spider-Man: Far From Home, ahead of time. Indeed, Holland’s had to be extra careful to not reveal exactly when in the MCU timeline Far From Home picks up, lest he inadvertently confirm Peter’s inevitable return from the dead (well, the land of the dusted) before Avengers: Endgame arrives.

MORE: Avengers: Endgame Trailer #2 Breakdown & Story Reveals

Source: Empire [via CBM]

2019-03-18 03:03:45

Sandy Schaefer

Brian Bendis: Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse Interview

For comic book writer Brian Bendis, the success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is personal. Bendis is one of the co-creators of Miles Morales, the character who’s made his big-screen debut in Sony’s animated blockbuster. The film has been a tremendous success, grossing over $360 million in the global box office and even winning the Oscar for Best Animated Movie of 2018.

Brian Bendis is one of the most celebrated comic book writers today, and over his years at Marvel he wrote popular and influential runs of AvengersX-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy. He received a Peabody Award for his work as co-creator of Jessica Jones on Netflix, and for years served as part of Marvel’s Creative Committee, consulting on every Marvel movie from Iron Man through to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. All in all, it’s impossible to overstate Bendis’ influence on the current comic book industry.

Related: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Blu-Ray Contains Longer Alt-Universe Cut

We had the opportunity to speak to Brian in the aftermath of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse‘s Oscar win, and ahead of this week’s home release of the film. He shared some details about Miles’ creation, and the reason he believes Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has been such a hit.

Screen Rant: First of all, congratulations! How did you celebrate that Oscar win?

Brian Bendis: We got invited to a bunch of Hollywood stuff, and instead we decided to stay at home and watch it with my family, I did it with my closest friends and family who were with us when I was sick last year. My family and Kelly Sue, who was the author of Captain Marvel.

A lot of people don’t know this, but we were living in a house together when I was developing Miles and she was developing her Carol run. So it’s very emotional and weird for us to watch both our debuts go into this next level, like, right on top of each other. Like, just as Spider-Verse gets to DVD, here comes Captain Marvel. And they were literally made in the same house.

Screen Rant: It was just meant to be.

Brian Bendis: It was just a very strange eight years.

Screen Rant: OK, let’s do a quick dive into the creation of Miles Morales. So how did you come up with the idea of this particular all-new Spider-Man?

Brian Bendis: Well, it was a long gestation period with a lot of people, but it started back at Marvel, with Ultimate Spider-Man, a comic book I did with Marvel for many years. It featured a 16-year-old Peter Parker, the base idea of Spider-Man, in a modern setting, not unlike what the Tom Holland movies are right now. One of the things I liked working with Joe Quesada at Marvel, Joe would never bask in success, that’s when he would be questioning, “What can we do better, what more can we do in this time of success?” – and we started talking. I said, I don’t think I’m representing Queens or Brooklyn as well as I could, I’m gonna do better in my representation of that part of the world, and then from there came the conversation of, does Spider-Man himself represent that part of the world as best he could? And from that, why is he even a Caucasian? And once that idea’s out there, and I’m thinking about it, and — but, people really like Peter Parker, no-one’s saying hey can you replace Peter Parker, we’re so sick of him! So it was a conundrum, but we had a story we really think we might want to tell here, but y’know, no-one’s asking for it. So, we just decided once we had all the pieces together — it took about a year, a year of thinking about the charter school, thinking about his name, what his powers are, what’s different about his perspective of the world versus Peter’s? And once we had that, we were off the races.

And one of the reasons I’m most proud of this movie is that it goes, well, what if this boy had a very happy home life? That his parents loved him, and it’s because they love him so much that he feels this deep obligation to make the world a better place. Like, you don’t see that in comics. Everybody’s parents – particularly the father, in Marvel Comics – their father has betrayed them, has been blown up, y’know, or isn’t living. And I wanted it to be like this, to have one whose dad loved the crap out of him, and I’m so happy that that’s represented in the film and I was also so moved that the filmmakers were eager to use that idea. So that was very important to me.

Screen Rant: Did you always suspect Miles was going to be a hit?

Brian Bendis: No, I had that nervous energy of, “This could go either way.” And – for the sake of other writers who are reading this – that’s the best feeling. You have to do it. A lot of people back down from that, and sometimes it blows up in your face, but when it doesn’t, you end up with a Miles Morales.

Listen, you’re writing for Screen Rant, you’re a pop culture professor, you know your stuff. It’s filled with things that should not have worked. Nobody was bored of Peter Parker, nobody wants more out of Peter Parker, people like it, y’know? Also, the story of Miles Morales involved Peter Parker dying. That could’ve really blown up in our face. All of these choices and elements could’ve literally backfired, but we felt from our deepest honesty of storytellers we were coming from a good place. So, we had to go for it.

Also, we haven’t mentioned Sara. I had the backbone to put Sara Pichelli and Joe Quesada just constantly keeping it as real as it could possibly be. Sara is an amazing designer, and she’s been doing amazing design work on all the characters in the Ultimate universe. And the idea of designing somebody new with her was just overwhelming to me, based on what I’d seen her do for Gwen Stacy.

Screen Rant: How did Sara come up with that brilliant costume design?

Brian Bendis: Well, Sara started playing with it and I don’t remember whose idea was, like, a reversal — like, black and red — but I got excited because, that’s kind of like, black and red is kind of like my favorite look, and had been for like 20 years, so I was like, yeah this is my favorite kind of look. So, it was being developed along these lines and I gambled a lot, and then Joe came in, I think it was Joe who put on the reverse-webbing. And I remember thinking, “Oh, that looks amazing,” and what a dick move from Joe because it looks amazing, and now he’s gonna go and do something else and now Sara has to go and draw that every issue. Reverse-webbing is very difficult to draw. But yeah, it was Sara with a little help from Joe, and it was super-exciting to watch it develop.

It was one of those things that happened very quickly – sometimes it takes a long time to create, but this one y’know, it just really came to be.

Screen Rant: Obviously, now we’ve got an animated hit, what do you think has made Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse such a great success?

Brian Bendis: They found the stuff that I thought was special and they built upon it, and made it more special for them. It really leaned into the stuff that made Miles special, and by doing so — I’ve learned as a storyteller, later in my life but you do learn it through experience that the more specific the details of your story, the more universal it actually becomes. So by leaning hard on the very specific family life and the charter school and everything in Miles’ world, way more people who have never had any of those elements in their life somehow find a connection to it. And I was so grateful that they kept that stuff in, and then built upon it. Like, they had reached deeper into Miles’ connections with his family in a way cinema can. And I was so happy to see that, and I know when I hear from fans that that’s the stuff that they feel connected to.

Screen Rant: What moment in the film really stood out to you as your favorite scene?

Brian Bendis: Mine is gonna sound weird, because it’s not gonna be anything to do with me. But, the Kingpin sequence morphs into a Bill Sienkiewicz Valentine — he’s one of the great artists of comics, who had done this Daredevil graphic novel, it wasn’t even about Spider-Man — where he had created a visual of the Kingpin that was so striking, that other artists can’t get over it. So it became a Valentine to this Daredevil graphic novel, not even a Spider-Man, so we’re now turning the Spider-Man references into Daredevil references, into great artist references, because he had made the greatest contribution to that character. And I said, “Now it’s not just me liking a movie ’cause this is so awesome and builds on the stuff I did,” now we’re into this, like, film-making. And also, I’m a big Bill fan, seeing that was lovely to see.

Screen Rant: So, I couldn’t resist asking – the relationship between Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen was so much fun in the film. What are your thoughts on the potential romance plot going forward?

Brian Bendis: It doesn’t matter what I think, I’ll tell you what my seven-year-old daughter thinks! So, remember, my daughter was a baby when all of this was being gestated in the world that she lives in, right. But now, she’s the biggest Spider-Gwen fan in the world. So, I’m in my office, she comes storming in with one graphic novel that I and Jason Latour did together, where Miles and Spider-Gwen team up and they kind of go back and forth between the universes.

And in there, there’s um – Miles is very taken with her, as he would be because she’s awesome, right? And so we do a cover with them making out. And also, just for those people who don’t know, in this version of the story Miles and her are much closer of age. And, so the cover of the two of them kissing. She comes storming in my office, and she goes, “What is this?” And I go, “Oh, we did that when you were like two years old,” and she goes, “Was I old enough to talk? ‘Cause if I was old enough to talk I would’ve said, ‘No!'” and then stormed out of my office. And I think that would be the definitive statement of that.

Screen Rant: So, what other characters have you created that you feel could work in a similar sort of animated movie like Spider-Verse?

Brian Bendis: Oh, all of them. Honestly, after seeing Spider-Verse, the flexibility of animation and for those of us who really study storytelling really diving in there and looking at what they’ve done, it somehow is a perfect film and then also an invitation to other people to pitch further with their stuff. Every comic book artist felt, not only was this a Valentine to them, but it was also a call to get to work. Do more, do better. It’s up to us. And so, it’s hard not to imagine anything being adapted by excellent people.

Screen Rant: Do you think Miles Morales will make his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well?

Brian Bendis: I have no idea, I would love to see it, but not my call! This is where I become Zen, and hope for the best for all involved. And listen, we are so far beyond what I had dreamed of as my dream for Miles. We are so far beyond that. I have a Campbell soup can with Miles on it! What more could I possibly want! All I ever wanted for the character was exactly what the message of the movie was; which is for empowerment, and people to see themselves in a different way because that was from our very first issue what we were talking about. So for them to take that, and for them to offer it to the global stage. My Twitter feed is filled with kids from all over the place, looking at it right now, writing this little note, and I love how empowered they are. It’s all I could have ever wanted. So, right now, I’m gonna just enjoy what we have.

More: Every Animated Version of Spider-Man, Ranked

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is out now on Digital and is available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on March 19.

2019-03-17 01:03:36

Thomas Bacon

GIVEAWAY: The Girl in the Spider’s Web Gunpowder Art & Blu-ray

To celebrate the release of The Girl in the Spider’s Web on Digital and on Blu-ray February 5th, we teamed up with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and LA artist Kevin Rolly to host a live stream of the creation of unique piece of art for the film. And by unique, we mean explosive.

Made with actual gunpowder, the creation process was a sight to behold and you can watch that video here or below. And now we’re giving it away to one lucky Screen Rant reader alongside a copy of The Girl in the Spider’s Web on Blu-ray!

Related: The Girl In The Spider’s Web’s Ending Explained

For details on prizing and information on how to enter out The Girl in the Spider’s Web giveaway, see below.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web Giveaway Details & Prizes

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An explosive celebration for ‘The Girl In The Spider’s Web’ out on digital today and on Blu-Ray Feb. 5th!

Posted by Screen Rant on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

One (1) winner of the giveaway will get:

  • A one-of-a-kind gunpowder piece of art made for Screen Rant by artist Kevin Rolly
  • One (1) copy of The Girl in the Spider’s Web on Blu-ray

How to Enter Screen Rant’s Girl in the Spider’s Web Giveaway

The Girl in the Spider’s Web Gunpowder Art & Blu-ray

If the widget doesn’t appear, enter here.

Eligibility: Open to legal residents of Canada and USA who are 18 years or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor, prize supplier and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (collectively, the “Promotion Entities�), and members of their immediate families and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize.

About Artist Kevin Rolly

Kevin ‘Kevissimo’ Rolly is an award-winning mixed media artist. For over 20 years he has lived and worked in downtown Los Angeles exploring the medium of analog photography. With the intentional deprivation of digital methods, Kevissimo sought a new, emergent look with organic texture. In 1994 he encountered his signature style of ’oilgraphs’ while mixing traditional darkroom prints with black oil paint.

Beginning at first with simple black and white prints, his technique grew to include extensive montage, collage and encaustic wax. By 1997 the artist had started to ‘perform’ his work live, completing the paintings in just 10 minutes or so.

Kevissimo’s photographs and oilgraphs have been exhibited internationally and are found in numerous private and corporate collections. The Pasadena Museum of California Art hosted the artist’s debut museum exhibition “Until the Road Forgets.� His current showing of “In the Time of the Judges� is on display through December 2016 at Art Essentials in Santa Barbara, CA. Magazines in Europe and North America such as ELLE, Mirabella, W, Brides and Detour have printed work by Kevissimo.

In 2015 Kevin was asked to create a nine-piece original series as the centerpiece for the upcoming movie ‘Magnum Opus’ directed by Kevin Elliot. The film centers around soldier-turned-artist, Daniel Cliff, and explores highly charged political and national security issues with allusions to Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks-style activism. The cast includes Louise Griffiths, Adam Harrington, Clark Johnson, and Pej Vahdat.

Having modeled the main character’s artwork after Kevissimo’s own oilgraphs, the artist lent completed works, cameras, lights, easel and his favorite ham radio to the set to truly capture his surroundings.

As a resident of the Brewery Art Colony, the largest and most historic complex in the world, Kevissimo immerses himself in a lifestyle of continuous making. He is a co-owner of the once abandoned paint factory and now repurposed 24/7 makers space known as Big Art Labs; a neighboring 163,000 square foot warehouse compound serving sculptors, fabricators and technology driven artist.

About The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Claire Foy (“The Crown�) stars in a new Dragon Tattoo story as Lisbeth Salander, the highly-skilled vigilante from the acclaimed Millennium book series. Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials, as they race to rescue a dangerous program capable of global destruction held by shadowy figures linked to Lisbeth’s past.

Directed by Fede �lvarez and screenplay by Jay Basu & Fede �lvarez and Steven Knight, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB is based on the novel written by David Lagercrantz. The film was produced by Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Ole Søndberg, Soren Stærmose, Berna Levin, Amy Pascal and Elizabeth Cantillon; with Arnon Milchan, Robert J. Dohrmann, David Fincher, Line Winther, Skyum Funch, Johannes Jensen and Anni Faurbye Fernandez as executive producers. THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB is a Columbia Pictures and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures presentation.

More: What To Expect From The Girl In The Spider’s Web’s Sequel

The Girl in the Spider’s Web is available on Digital and releases on DVD and Blu-ray February 5, 2019.

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2019-02-02 01:02:28

10 Reasons Mysterio Could Be The Best Cinematic Spider-Man Villain

Spider-Man Far From Home Mysterio Explained

With the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home just released, excitement for the film is at an all-time high. One of the standout elements of that first footage is Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio, one of Spider-Man’s classic foes from the comics.

We’ve already seen some of Spider-Man’s most iconic villains brought to the big screen in previous films, such as Doctor Octopus, The Lizard, and a few Green Goblins. However, Mysterio is one of the most exciting bad guys to get the live action treatment. From both the comic book history of the character and all the new directions the film could take him, Mysterio has the makings of a classic big screen villain. Let’s look at 10 reasons Mysterio could be the best cinematic Spider-Man villain.

RELATED: Far From Home Sets Trailer Views Record For Sony

10. A Fresh Villain

Mysterio in Spider-Man Far From Home

Bringing Mysterio to the big screen is further evidence of how confident the MCU is at this point. They could have played it safe with a well-known character, but instead, they embraced the craziness of the comics with a more obscure choice.

Mysterio is so unlike any other Spider-Man villain we’ve seen on the big screen. As fun as some of the past villains have been, it’s exciting to have something totally new. Just imagining how they are going to handle the many outlandish aspects of this character is enough to make him one of the most anticipated movie characters of 2019.

RELATED: Spider-Man’s 16 Best Movie Villains, Ranked

9. Bad Guy Abroad

One of the most exciting things about Spider-Man: Far From Home is that it removes Peter Parker from his usually New York City setting. The “school trip” concept allows us to see how Spider-Man operates in Europe for the first time. This also means Mysterio gets to face-off with Spider-Man outside his element.

The change in location might not seem like much, but given just that brief glimpse of Mysterio battling the Elemental in Venice shows how much fun some new scenery can be in movies like this. There is so much potential for the havoc Mysterio can cause across European destinations.

9. First Post-Thanos Villain

Thanos armor in Avengers Endgame

Spider-Man: Far From Home has the distinction of being the first post-Endgame film in the MCU. We still don’t know how Avengers: Endgame will end, but it’s safe to say the MCU will have changed as a result of that film.

Some of the world’s Avengers will likely be gone. Peter will probably be affected because of what happened to him. The world will know about threats far bigger than they could ever imagine. How will a villain like Mysterio work in a new world like this? It will be the MCU’s first response to bad guy in a post-Thanos world. It will be interesting to see where they take things.

8. The Design

It’s safe to assume one of the main reasons we have yet to see Mysterio on the big screen is because he looks absolutely ridiculous. With his colorful costume, over-the-top cape and fishbowl helmet, he always seemed like one of those characters that only worked on the pages of a comic book.

Judging by the first footage, the filmmakers were not afraid at all to embrace that classic look. He looks surprisingly accurate to the comic book design and it is awesome. While it might elicit some laughs, seeing such a comic book look brought to life is a lot of fun.

RELATED: What Is The Song In The Far From Home Trailer

7. Unique Powers

Despite his unusual look, Mysterio is, in fact, a very cinematic character. He is not a typical comic book villain. He doesn’t have any superpowers and he is not particularly physically imposing. Instead, Mysterio uses his intellect and special skills at illusion and trickery to fight Spider-Man.

In comic book films, we tend to see the heroes face-off with bad guys who have similar powers to their own. Even in the Spider-Man movies, he’s usually battling some evil genius in a tech-based battle suit. Mysterio is bringing something fresh to the table and abilities with endless possibilities.

RELATED: Spider-Man: Far From Home – Every Update You Need To Know

6. The MCU’s Recent Villains

After years of having their villains criticized as bland, the MCU is on a roll with their recent bad guys. The studio now seems to be more invested in creating compelling antagonists for their films. Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger was unforgettable and Thanos has already become iconic.

There’s so much we don’t know about Mysterio in the new film. However, given these recent examples, it seems unlikely Marvel will go back to churning out boring baddies. Expect some real depth to Mysterio’s motivations in the film.

5. The Mystery

When a villain appears in a comic book film, it’s usually pretty straightforward. We know they are the bad guy and we know they want to kill the good guy and take over the world. In the case of Mysterio, there is actually – and appropriately — quite a bit of mystery involved.

Is he the classic villain comic book readers know, or is he actually a hero? The first footage seems to confirm the theory that he is a good guy. But is there more mystery than that? Where does he come from? Are his powers real? All things are pointing to an intriguing character with plenty of twists and turns to him.

4. A Wannabe Avenger?

The filmmakers seem to want us to believe Mysterio is a good guy. The trailer shows that he is battling the Elementals and being quite effective. There are even reports that Nick Fury tries to recruit Mysterio. It could be that he is the newest addition to the Avengers.

However, it’s important to remember that in the comics, Mysterio is a master of illusions. What if these Elemental monsters are his own creation meant to make him appear more heroic? Could he be an Avengers fanboy trying to con his way to superhero stardom? It could be a fun twist and a mirrored version of Peter’s own desire to be an Avenger.

3. A Connection To Peter?

Casual Costume Spider-Man Far From Home

Many nervous fans noticed the absence of Tony Stark in the trailer. While it doesn’t confirm anything, it is possible that Peter loses his mentor in Avengers: Endgame. With Peter seemingly teaming up with Mysterio, could they be setting up a similar relationship in this film?

With the two fighting side-by-side, Peter could begin to look up to Mysterio, similar to how he idolized Stark. This would be a fitting way to cement a strong connection between the two and would be heartbreaking when Mysterio probably (definitely) turns on him. It could bring some real emotional stakes to their showdown.

RELATED: What Spider-Man: Far From Home’s Trailer Reveals About Avengers: Endgame

1. Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal Nightcrawler

Even those who don’t know or are not interested in the character of Mysterio are likely still intrigued by the amazing casting of Jake Gyllenhaal in the role. We’ve seen some amazing actors play Spidey villains, like Willem Dafoe and Michael Keaton, but Gyllenhaal is an unexpected and inspired choice.

Given his movie star status, you’d more expect Gyllenhaal to be headlining a superhero movie rather than playing the villain. He’s continuously shown his amazing range as an actor and is one of Hollywood’s most in-demand stars. The fact that he chose to play this guy wearing a fishbowl suggests there must be something special about the role.

NEXT: The MCU’s Spider-Man Just Lost A Key Uncle Ben Connection

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2019-01-21 01:01:40