If the Sony hack has proved one thing, it's that the Amazing Spider-Man franchise is a mess and things are in shambles. Will Sony be able to get things back on the right track? More emails have leaked, and they indicate that Sony is planning a complete reboot for their iconic superhero, and that Andrew Garfield has already been fired.
A quick recap for anyone who has missed the ongoing saga behind this superhero series, things began when it was confirmed that Marvel was negotiating to use Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. It was then revealed that Sony wanted to bring Sam Raimi back into the fold. Talk of an all-new Spider-Man series was put on the table, with Marvel offering to foot a majority of the bill while Sony held onto the creative rights. Captain America: Civil War directors The Russo Brothers have offered to produce this new trilogy. But, Sony wanted Captain America: Civil War to set up their The Sinister Six spin-off. Also, the directors of The Lego Movie are developing an animated Spider-Man comedy, and an all-female spin-off is still being planned.
While it was reported that Marvel wanted to bring in a new actor for Peter Parker, and that a deal between Disney and Sony may still be on the table, it is now being revealed that Sony wants to reboot the series by itself, and Andrew Garfield may have already been shown the door. The Daily Beast has gotten their hands on an 8-page document that outlines the new Spider-Man reboot for Sony, sent from Studio 8 head Jeff Robinov to Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal. He has this to say about a reboot, comparing the franchise to James Bond, claiming that another origin story is out of the question:
"To argue that there's plenty of other superhero movies with levity in the marketplace, so why make more Spider-Man movies, would be akin to saying there's no room for James Bond films because of all the espionage films and franchises that have come out over the years. There will always be room for this beloved, iconic hero. In the next Spider-Man movies, we can't go back to his origin story. Think of the 25 films in the James Bond franchise; just because a new creative team comes aboard, and breathes new life into a classic property, doesn't mean the origin story has to be retold."
Jeff Robinov goes onto list a number of well known directors that he'd like to see approached for the project, including Brad Bird, Edgar Wright and James Gunn, just to name a few. He also wants the director to figure out the story, as opposed to deciding on one himself. He does, however, suggest Kraven's Last Hunt, which ran across Amazing Spider-Man #293-294, Spectacular Spider-Man #131-132, and Web of Spider-Man #31-32, as a potential way to relaunch this new series of films:
"In it, Kraven the Hunter tracks down Spider-Man, shoots him repeatedly, and leaves him for dead, buried underground. He then dons a Spider-Man costume and savagely starts attacking criminals. What makes this story resonate with fans is that it proves it takes more than just the costume to become "Spider-Man." No matter what he's wearing, or what predicament he's facing, Peter Parker is sensitive, passionate, and connected to those he's interacting with in a very powerful way. It's not Peter's powers that make him special - Kraven, and every other superhuman in the Marvel Universe, all have powers. Peter is special because of his values, because of what drives him, because of the lessons he's learned from Uncle Ben's death, and because of his love for Mary Jane. I've pasted a few pivotal pages from this book so you can see just how intense this storyline is. We also get to see how Mary Jane deals with Peter's disappearance, and how she would react if Peter ever died in action."
Jeff Robinov then goes onto suggest that Peter Parker be presented as an adult as opposed to a teenager or college student. This opens up a number of casting possibilities. In one of the recent emails, Amy Pascal suggests the idea that Captain America: Civil War be used to 'introduce' Peter Parker, hinting that she wants to see a new actor cast in the role, which goes along with what we've heard about Marvel's plans.
Mashable also received emails indicating that Andrew Garfield's past comments about studio interference being responsible for The Amazing Spider-Man 2's bad reviews upset Sony. It is further implied that Andrew Garfield upset Sony's Tokyo bosses after he missed a dinner event, giving less than an hour's notice that he wouldn't make it. This is reportedly been seen as an affront by Sony, and is said to have placed the actor on their bad side. At this time, there is no confirmation, from the Studio to the public or in the most recently leaked emails, that Andrew Garfield has indeed been fired, but it does sound like he may not be coming back.