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The Amazing Spider-Man opens today, giving audiences the chance to finally work out those Emma Stone-as-Gwen Stacy issues, and see if Andrew Garfield is less annoying than Tobey Maguire as everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood wall crawler (But, really, how could he not be?). But there’s one question that everyone’s been asking: Did we actually need it to be a reboot?
After all, the last Spider-Man movie was only five years ago, and the original Sam Raimi flick only ten years old, a figure that seems almost meaningless considering its continual availability via DVD and BluRay releases as well as the apparently never-ending re-runs on FX. It’s not as if anyone doesn’t already know the details of Spidey’s origin, so the need to retell it seems… unnecessary, for want of a better way of putting it. Plus, it’s not as if the three previous Spider-Man movies had used up all of the character’s mythology or villains; only the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Venom and Sandman had been taken, and even then, creative/ridiculous means could be used to bring any or all back if the moviemakers so desired. So, the reboot becomes a matter of creator choice rather than any “need” at all, ultimately.
So… is it going to end up being a smart move? I’ve earlier (and elsewhere) worried over whether or not early reboot will impact box office success for the movie; that doesn’t seem to be happening, thankfully, but now I’m curious: Everyone reading this is not only pop-culturally-aware, but also genre-culturally aware. Does the prospect of being told the same story over again put you off rushing out to see Amazing Spider-Man, or is the appeal all in how that familiar story is told? After all, it’s not stopped the numerous versions of Batman’s origins that we’ve sat through in the past…