Also, IIRC, weren't the Stacys put in by Marvel's decree as well? There was a plot-line that could've been skipped for sure. The only purpose Gwen served (other than being a hottie) was for the scene where Peter tries to make MJ jealous, and they could've used the already established Betty Brant or the landlord's daughter for that.
Strange. I understand that there would be immense studio pressure to put Venom into the story because he is one of the most popular & visible villains in Spider-Man's rogues gallery. (Really, beyond the Green Goblin & Dr. Octopus, Venom is the only one that seems big enough for a feature film.) But why force the Stacys into the story? If Columbia had thought that Gwen Stacy had enough mainstream popularity, they probably would have put her in the first movie rather than cannibalizing her backstory for Mary Jane. Furthermore, I recall them saying in the director's commentary that it was originally going to be Gwen that Venom kidnapped at the end of the movie but they decided at the last minute that the movie hadn't invested enough into Gwen to make it an effective climax, so they put Mary Jane in jeopardy... again.
Norrin Radd wrote:
I've long heard that Raimi was supposedly "strong armed" into including Venom and if true it just doesn't change anything.
I don't care if Venom was forced upon him...if he can't come up with a better introduction to the character than through a meteorite that just happens to contain a deadly alien creature that just happens to land right next to the main protagonist, then come on...that's not even B-movie level plotting. I can accept plot contrivances in films, but there's just no excuse for that crap.
That's just one example. Look at all the other things...oh-so convenient (and ultra-cliched) memory loss...embarrassingly EMO Parker...incessantly crying Parker...all-knowing Butler who comes out of nowhere...it goes on and on.
Well, I suppose some of the Venom problems can be blamed on not just having him forced into the movie but on forcing Raimi to include him when I think they were already locked into a start date, not giving them enough time to develop the idea well.
However, some of the other problems should have at least been noticeable enough in editing that they could have worked something out. The emo montage & butler-ex-machina especially. But then, I thought that Raimi made some very weird, campy, indulgent choices on Spider-Man 2
that made that film far less than it could have been. I was less surprised than most when Spider-Man 3
turned out the way it did.
For the record, I actually enjoyed Spider-Man 3
more than Spider-Man 2.
It's not quite as well crafted but at least it's so cluttered with plot points that the suckiness is more difficult to notice.
As for Spider-Man 4,
I'll see it. I'm not sure if I'll like it but I'll see it. I'm with everyone else in hoping that they bring the Black Cat into this. I'm kinda sick of Mary Jane (even if Kirsten Dunst looks like the cute Mormon girl I was sweet on in high school).
I'm not surprised that they're paying Tobey Maguire that much. Columbia has made SO much money from these movies that they would be very careful to not change the cast or the formula any more than they have to. (And now we also have a target amount that Christian Bale can ask for when he negotiates for Batman 3.