“I like being bad. It makes me happy.” — Eddie Brock / Venom
Remember last November when I posted some ideas from a Facebook acquaintance, Martin Glynn, about how to improve the 2011 Green Lantern movie? Well, a couple years later he came up with a few ideas for revamping Spider-Man 3, too.
Now, in my opinion, SM3 had some pluses. It had a lot of familiar names in the cast, which made it fun from that standpoint. The best casting coups were J.K. Simmons as ‘J. Jonah Jameson’ and Rosemary Harris as ‘Aunt May Parker’. But, the writers/producers tried to put too much, too many villains (Venom, Sandman, Goblin) in all at once; and, we got the emo-Peter-with-attitude, which was just silly. Much as I like Topher Grace, Thomas Haden Church, and James Franco, they just didn’t fit their characters. (Seriously, Brock/Venom and Marko/Sandman need to be much bigger dudes, for one thing.) Then there were the Peter/MJ issues.
Like I said, they tried to cram too much in. Martin agrees, saying there was “way too much, leaving the movie horribly cluttered and unfocused. But what’s worse is that we didn’t get the story that we really wanted, a solid conclusion for the relationship arc between Peter and Harry. The most important part of the movie for us seemed to be the least important for the writers and director.”
Martin would salvage some of the earliest parts of the movie, showing Peter trying unsuccessfully to talk with Harry, as well as revealing the arrival of the Venom symbiote. He would have Peter proposing to MJ, which she accepts, but then our hero has to run off to investigate a building fire.
“When he arrives, he discovers that it was an abandoned building, and Harry is there waiting for him. They fight, in a similar way in the movie (that scene was actually pretty good), but the fight ends with Harry being victorious, and Peter having to escape through the sewers. It is in the sewers that the symbiote attaches to him.
He returns home, tired, with the symbiote covering him as he sleeps. When he awakes, he has the black suit (which should be smoother IMO). He eventually shows it to MJ, but instead of being impressed by it, she is concerned. So Peter promises to take it to Dr. Connors, and he does so. Connors promises to look into it, and tells Peter [to] stay away from it until he gets a chance. Peter agrees…
And then immediately after we get a montage of him using it to fight crime; and having a lot of fun doing it too. This then leads to Peter bringing in pictures of the new suit to JJ. He has a conniption over it. This leads to the introduction of Eddy Brock, and the reward that JJ offers for evidence of Spiderman breaking the law.
Peter comes home to MJ, and they have a talk about the black suit, and MJ’s career, and simply enjoy each others’ company. Eventually [the subject of] Harry comes up, and MJ suggests that maybe she’ll be able to talk to him. Peter thinks this is a bad idea, and they go to bed. In the morning, MJ gets up, and leaves a note telling Peter that she is off to talk [to] Harry. Harry sees this through a camera that he has apparently been using to spy on them.
Harry then leaves his own note, or gives Pete a message in some manner, that he has taken MJ to some location. Peter goes there to save her, yelling at Harry for involving MJ in their disagreement. They have a second fight. This time, Peter is much more aggressive, due to the suit beginning to have an effect on him. During the fight, Brock shows up to try and take a picture and Spiderman destroys his camera, infuriating him.
Eventually Peter wins the fight, and Harry reveals that MJ isn’t actually there, and that he never took her to begin with. Peter tells Harry that he’s crossed a line. So far he has not wanted to fight Harry because they are friends, but next time Harry attacks him, he will not hold back.”
From there, Martin has MJ confronting Harry, then later arguing with Peter. Peter’s behavior gets continually more uncharacteristic and, um, “off”….
“We then turn to a montage of Peter turning evil. Not emo, but actually wicked. The idea of an emo Peter actually kind of works for me since it would make sense that Peter doesn’t really know how to be bad. But still, what we have in the film was executed poorly (especially that very uncomfortable dance scene), but I don’t have any better ideas here. Perhaps it simply could have been done better. But the basic idea, with Connors commenting on the symbiote in the background, makes logical sense to me, and I think it could be done well. Be we should see him fighting more violently, flirting with other women, and acting like a jerk.”
Yeah, it’s like the director (and/or writers) didn’t know how to make Peter “bad” (i.e., other than acting like a jerk). Just weird. (And weird that they couldn’t do better.) Anyway, Martin then has Peter becoming more erratic and paranoid, including the trope of him arriving at Harry’s place just after MJ convinces him to try to reach Peter. Of course, paranoid Pete (with the symbiote’s help) reads it all wrong, thinks they’re plotting against him, fights Harry and nearly kills him.
“Peter then goes to the church, where we get the famous church scene, complete with Brock getting the symbiote….”
This, of course, leads into Venom ruining Spider-Man’s reputation and generally causing havoc. But, I’ll stop now.
Not bad. It definitely simplifies things without Sandman in the mix, and events seem to move along more smoothly. There are a couple issues that Martin left alone or kept sort of vague, because he didn’t really have solutions worked out for them. Fair enough. Overall, though, a decent effort at constructing a better version of Spider-Man 3. Alas, it will never be….
You can read Martin’s full treatment here.