One of my favorite things about ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, besides Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone’s performances, was the direction by Marc Webb. For the first time in a superhero flick (excluding Christopher Nolan, of course, but his Batman franchise feels like it’s only incidentally a superhero movie, it’s so different) a filmmaker put a higher emphasis on character as opposed to action. This was really ‘(500) Days of Spidey’, and I really appreciated that. He handled the action just fine, but he shined with the characters. With a sequel inevitable and in fact scheduled already for release in May 2014, complete with writers (Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are rewriting the script by James Vanderbilt, who co-wrote this last one) and all, it’s not unreasonable to consider who will be directing the flick. I’d love to see Webb do it, but it’s certainly not a forgone conclusion that he will, and in fact, it may be more likely that he doesn’t. After the jump I’ll weigh the pros and cons of him doing it, as well as suggest a few possible replacements for the chair.
Working in favor of Webb returning is quite simply how good a job I think he did. He understood the character much better than Sam Raimi ever did (not to knock him at all, it’s just clearly a different take on the character), making Peter Parker a real person. Webb didn’t re-invent the action scene with his direction, but he handled it just fine, so it’s clear he’d be up for raising the stakes without ruining anything. For my money, Marc Webb did one of the 10 best directing jobs of anyone this year so far, so I’d love to see him come back for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′. The question is, will Webb or the studio actually want this to happen? That’s something that no one has a clear answer to, but it may not be as happy a relationship as has been previously suggested.
Against Webb is the rumors circulating that the studio wasn’t thrilled with his initial cut. Furthermore, if you study the promotional clips for the film, there are a bunch of excised scenes and even plot points that suggest a far different vision for the flick initially. My best guess is that the studio got cold feet about this more sensitive version of the comic and wanted to make sure it was action heavy, leading to a potential clash and a possible struggle in the editing room. This makes even more sense considering Kurtzman and Orci are rewriting Vanderbilt’s script, since they’re action writers. This all doesn’t necessarily preclude Webb from returning, but neither side may be too keen on a reunion. This begs the question of potential replacements, which I’ll get into now.
If not Webb (who I’m pulling for), them whom? Don’t expect previously discussed filmmakers like Wes Anderson, James Cameron, or David Fincher to be interested, so another offbeat selection is more likely. Here’s a half-dozen possible choices I think might be solid picks:
Brad Bird- Technically, Brad Bird has already made a superhero flick, since he did ‘The Incredibles’, so that’s certainly working in his favor. Also, he did a great job with ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’, so I’m sure most franchises have their eye on him. I don’t know that another sequel/for hire job is what Bird wants to do, but if he expressed interest in the project, I’m sure he’d shoot to the top of the list. I doubt he’s chomping at the bit to do this, but you never know.
Evan Glodell- Perhaps an out of the box choice, but Evan Glodell showed an infinite amount of skill and promise with ‘Bellflower’, so he’d be a real interesting indie filmmaker to tap. He won’t have to worry about making the camera on this flick like he did for his debut, but he could use his creativity and strength with characters (especially romance, as his movie had a love story that could be great training for dealing with Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy) to carry on what Webb began. Glodell is probably a real long shot, but he’s my top choice for the job if not Webb.
Rian Johnson- All Rian Johnson needs to become an A-list director is one blockbuster, and this could be the perfect one for him. He’s now going the bigger route with his flicks, and if ‘Looper’ is as good as I’m hoping it might be, then he’s likely to become a real sought after man. A discussion about this sequel could only be a matter of time for Johnson.
Duncan Jones- This is a choice that really makes too much sense to me, so either this is a slam dunk or a pipe dream. Duncan Jones is another director right on the verge of ruling the world, and was under heavy consideration for the job directing ‘Man of Steel’ before Zack Snyder got the gig, so he’s already got the eye of studios. Jones is a visionary and would do some great things with this job, but a lot will have to do with if he even gets the call to come in and chat about the position.
Matt Reeves- Another director with a strong sense of character, Matt Reeves could do for Spidey what he did for vampires in ‘Let Me In’. He turned in one of the best remakes ever, so why not let him try to make one of the best sequels ever? He was mentioned as well for ‘Man of Steel’, so ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ seems like a meeting just waiting to happen for Reeves. Mark this one down as a decently strong possibility.
Mark Romanek- Visually, it’s hard to match Mark Romanek. I’m almost salivating at the idea of giving Romanek a canvas as big as this one to paint on. He’s also worked with Andrew Garfield before, so that’s a plus too. He’s probably not too interested in this job, but if they call him (and I think they should), I hope he listens.
A lot is still to be decided here, but it’s fun to speculate, so why not speculate along with me? Who do you want to see tackle the sequel to ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’? Should it be Marc Webb? Should a sequel even be happening? I open the forum to you, so have at it!
-Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!
Tags: franchise, Marc Webb, musing, random, rumors, sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man, upcoming projects