Spider-man movies seem to be good again and that’s is indeed something to be happy about, though what could’ve been done to fix Spider-man 3?
If you think about it, Tobey Maguire could still be Spider-man and Sony could still have the rights to make Spider-man movies. Maybe Sony would’ve built their own universe? I guess we’ll never know since Spider-man 3 happened.
This is all thanks to a script because of Sony wanting director Sam Rami to slot Venom in somehow so they could sell some black suited Spider-man figures. The hype was that Rami wanted to do a Sandman and Vulture team up, but of course this didn’t happen and couple it with a few cringey aesthetic choices, you have a franchise killer on your hands.
Not Batman and Robin bad, but just enough to break the machine.
Though let’s say we called in the n3rdabl3 script doctors? How would we have fixed Sam Rami’s Spider-man 3? Here’s my thoughts on how we could make Spider-man 3 a decent movie.
An overall theme I’d want is that Peter Parker thinks he needs to toughen up. The world he lives in his rough and his goofy Steve Ditko-inspired personality isn’t cutting it. Cue the edgy black suit…
First off, we get rid of Sandman. Rami can have him and Vulture for a later sequel. We compromise and he does the commercial Venom movie Sony wanted, however we keep it simple. One main villain and Venom at the end.
As for Harry Osbourn? He bids his time in the shadows as he prepares his Green Goblin guise or even forms the Sinister Six, failing that maybe he tries creating Hobgoblin? Maybe Hobgoblin is a henchman to test Spider-man? Either way, only a few scenes and tease for the future, just like in Spider-man 2?
Back to the script.
So yeah the opening is pretty much the same, Peter proposes to MJ and things are going well for Spider-man. The movie is pretty much the same until Peter proposes and the black Venom goo crashes to Earth as he proposes. Then we change. If you think about it, the Venom suit is a metaphor for performing enhancement drugs.
So Spider-man needs the suit for that extra edge but he needs a villain he hasn’t really had to deal with yet. In comes The Lizard. Why the Lizard? Peter hasn’t come up against a super powered villain yet. The Green Goblin is, kind of, but they roughly had the same strength levels.
Add in some new powers for The Lizard and some exaggerated strength and Spidey has met his match. So, let’s say at the start of the movie Kurt Connors is experimenting with his formula to regrow his arm after he’s been fired from his teaching position, he needs the formula to work so he can sell it to support his family and mounting debts because of his unwell ex-wife and son.
Mutating into The Lizard he finds out his family has been moved out of the city by wife’s new husband (insert a name from the comics?). Remeber how Sam Rami’s first demonstration of the Sandman was so cool and emotional? Do something like that.
From bad to worse…
Meanwhile, we give an out for Kirsten Dunst, who was looking for an out at this point. MJ is thinking of leaving New York to go to LA for her acting career? Like in the comics how writers we’re always trying to split Peter and MJ up? This causes tension between MJ and Peter, and since Peter is being shown up by Topher Grace as Eddie Brock (yes he works) at work.
Add in that his mentor has gone missing, who in my version of Spider-man 3 is much closer and more like a father figure, Peter is down in the dumps. Then things go bad from to worse when’s he schooled publicly by The Lizard whose gone on a divorced dad rampage mid life crisis by robbing a bank.
This leaves Peter vulnerable and the suit bonds with him as socially, Peter is feeling the pressure and overwhelmed. So, instead of camp, emo Peter Parker, we go a different direction. What if the suit makes Peter bulk up instead? What if it makes him really muscly, going from lean to ripped. To help beef up the steroid metaphor.
This makes Peter act way more macho and he strolls around with his guns and making him prone to fits of rage and a euphoric cocky attitude, not taking any guff from anyone.
Meanwhile, The Lizard in his demented clouded mind has been employed by Harry Osborn to destroy Spider-man. Harry hides his face at this point, but it’s revealed it’s him all along near the end of the movie.
He convinces Eddie Brock to doctor photos to make Spider-man to look like a thief and cover up robberies The Lizard is committing for parts to a super weapon. What is the superweapon? Well it’s a device that creates monsters that look like this:
That’s right, in comes Carnage. Another meteorite lands on Earth with a red goo that Oscorp finds and tries to create their own Spider-man monsters out of. Unleashing the goo on central New York to make it look like Spider-man was the fore front for an invasion of monsters.
Osborn uses The Lizard’s genius to build this weapon and hires gangs of crooks with high tech weapons to commit crimes across the city to distract Spider-man. Meanwhile, Black Suited Spider-man is a success, using his geeky science whizz, Peter sees an improvement in his powers by at least 10 percent. He’s kicking butts and his public approval rating his gone up after his loss to The Lizard taking down all of Harry’s distractions.
Peter’s private life is getting better as well, since he’s more confident and tougher his day to day is better all while his muscles growing at the same time. Then, things go wrong. MJ doesn’t like the new Peter and calls off the engagement and decides to go to LA.
Spidey is slated in the press with image Eddie Brock has taken, and we begin to see the dark side of the suit begin to take over. Spider-man angrily confronts Eddie Brock at the Bugle and gets him to confess that he doctored the images. It goes too far when Peter takes Eddie up to the roof of the Bugle. Horrified and fearful for his life, Eddie reveals the location of The Lizard. Peter wants a re-match and fuelled by rage leaves Eddie to be fired from his job.
At his lair, the Lizard notices the effects of his serum is starting to wear off when Spider-man explodes into his lair. He violently assaults The Lizard and in the process, he turns back in Kurt Connors who is very badly injured. Peter is disgusted with himself. Later that night, he rejects the suit just like he does in Rami’s Spider-man 3 and it merges with Eddie Brock.
A moment of clarity…
Acting like a jealous girlfriend, Venom seeks out Harry Osborn and proposes an alliance. Harry accepts as he prepares to unleash his Carnage cannon in the city, letting Venom lead his new army to destroy Spider-man once and for all. Also he gets a much creepier voice than he did in the film.
Meanwhile, Peter visits Kurt in hospital guilty and ashamed, the two have a heart to heart and Peter is almost back to being himself. It’s quite an emotional scene and Kurt confesses to the what he’s been doing for Harry.
The two are interrupted when a breaking news report shows that Carnage weapon is firing red goo over the city turning people in Carnage Symboites lead by a black suited monster people think is Spider-man.
Peter dons his old red and blue and with the knowledge provided by his Mentor of how the Symbiotes hate the sound of high frequencies, he swings into action. Swinging through the streets he lures the monsters to NYU and after a tough battle, a monologue or two with Venom, and a creepy Rami style scene in a close confined area Peter activates an experimental sound generator that destroys the suits.
When the police turn up, everyone is OK. Though Venom can’t be found and neither a can escaped killer called Celtus that would lead into the proposed Venom spin-off originally planned.
Maybe Geroge Stacey leads the cleanup? Setting up a potential love interest for later sequels. Bruce Campbell gets his cameo as goofy cop here as well.
Meanwhile, Harry is enraged with his failure as he orders his butler to get the number of Adrain Toomes, AKA The Vulture. Lastly, we cut to Peter at the airport as MJ leaves for a flight to LA. They look at each other from across the crowded terminal and we fade into the black with a “will they or won’t they” cliff hanger depending on what Kirsten Dunst wants to do next.
If she wants to stay, she stays. If she leaves, she leaves, either way, the franchise gets to live for another day. Peter has more love interests and a franchise that still works with Rami still getting his team up and a spin off so the studio can make more money.