How To Kill A Superhero Franchise In 20 Easy Steps: Spider-Man Edition

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Is Spidey cursed?

Rarely has a major motion picture franchise fallen so far so fast. In only 3 years – make that 20 perilous steps – the Spider-Man franchise went off a cliff. What had once reminded us of Batman now only reminds us of Batman and Robin. Make that Catwoman. (or any other titles from our list of the worst superhero films of all time)

Tuesday’s news that the much-anticipated Spidey musical was not to be – announced less than 24 hours after Spider-Man 4 was slaughtered in its current form – seemed like kicking a hero when he was down. But alas, the webbed warrior has been wrestled away from his most devout fans, disfigured on the big screen in Spider-Man 3, and now killed on the front page of Variety.

(More on Techland: James Cameron Almost Saved Spidey 18 Years Ago)

There’s only one thing left to do – swat through the cob webs of the fallen dynasty and retrace Spidey’s ill-fated steps that have doomed both the musical and films. Behold, the sad, slow death of our big-screen Spider-Man:

Jan. 12, 2010

The latest Spider-Man misstep has its very own spotlight.

Earlier today, execs for the Broadway show Spider-Man, Turn Off The Dark announced they’d be handing back refunds along with apologies. Preview performances of the show, starring Alan Cumming and Evan Rachel Wood, were set to begin Feb. 25, but have been canceled.

The show has suffered mega delays due to producers being unable to raise enough cash to foot the $50 million production bill ­– the largest ever for a Broadway show.

According to the New York Times, the show is still slated to open in 2010, though with Spider-Man’s recent luck, I’m not so sure. Looks like my dreams of Sing-A-Long Spidey could be dead.

(More on Techland: Best of the Decade: Characters)

Jan. 11, 2010

Sam Raimi, out. Toby Maguire, out. Yet Spider-Man 4 lives.

Why. Won’t. It. Die?

Sony announces plans to resuscitate the Spider-Man franchise with a gritty, teen-version of Peter Parker. Remarkable reasoning skills on Sony’s part because when I think “gritty” I think “typical high school movie.” Please note that had James Cameron made his original Spider-Man film in the early 90s, we might be watching Spider-Man 4 in 3D right now…

Jan. 10, 2010

Actor John Malkovich tells an Italian sports show that he’d been tapped to play the Vulture for the latest Spidey installment and that he was just waiting on the script to arrive.

(More on Techland: The Five Underrated Sci-Fi Movie Masterpieces)

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