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Spider-Man 3 speculations

The overarching thread in both Spider-Man movies has been the love story between Peter and Mary Jane, even more so than (but closely aligned with) the "with great power comes great responsibility" theme.

The first movie, IIRC, starts off with Peter saying that it's all about a girl and ends with him taking himself out of her life. The second movie begins and ends with a shot of MJ.

I have a strong suspicion that Mary Jane will be killed in the third movie based on a number of factors:

  1. Raimi has used recurring motifs in the movies - Spider-Man 2 has so many similarities to its prequel to the extent that some have criticised it as a mere rehash. I tend to think of it as variations on a theme however. Variations, in order to be interesting and successful, have to develop and conclude.

  2. In both installments to date we have climaxes where the villain is about to kill Mary Jane, but Peter saves her in the nick of time.

  3. The first movie ended on a downer with Peter deciding the risk of her knowing who he is outweighs his desire for happiness. The second movie ended on a major upper with her finding out Spider-Man's secret identity and then choosing to accept the dangers of being his girlfriend. If Raimi has indeed envisaged the Spider-Man movies as a trilogy, where do you go with the relationship from here?

You put her in danger once again but this time have Peter unable to save her. You pull the Gwen Stacey ending foreshadowed in the first movie. (Or possibly, to strengthen her character you allow her to sacrifice her own life, but with X-Men 3 coming out that might clash too much with the inevitable (?) Dark Phoenix story in that movie.)

I'm not surprised that there's a 50 page treatment without a clear decision on the villain. I think they're struggling with the character and plot beats that will allow them to kill off MJ in a way that rings true, allows Peter to grow as a character and - perhaps critically - not make the death so depressing that it will harm the movie's box office potential. Choice of villain is really a secondary issue. (Though I suspect they're also trying to figure out how big a part Harry Osborn as the second Goblin should play in all this.)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 1, 2004 8:30 AM.

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