The Establishing Shot: Why David Fincher wanted to do Spider-Man

Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Amazing Spider-ManWe are still 7 months away from Marvel's The Amazing Spider-Man reboot hitting screens on 4 July, 2012 and a month away from Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance being unleashed onto screens on 17 February, 2012

But as it is a New Year and I have been assessing The Establishing Shot's current position and what I would like to achieve with it this year. After some careful consideration I have realised, what The Establishing Shot is really missing, is a piece about Auteur David Fincher's thoughts on doing a superhero film and more specifically Spider-Man. So I dug out this clip of David Fincher explaining why he wasn’t interested in doing superhero films apart from Spider-Man.

David Fincher was on Sony's short-list to direct Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and more recently it was reported that he was again up for the reboot The Amazing Spider-Man which we all now know will be helmed by Marc Webb. Although I have seen his quirky 500 Days of Summer Webb is still largely an unknown quantity for me, which I kind of like as I'm going in to see The Amazing Spider-Man with few preconceptions - apart from high expectations from Andrew Garfield and after re-watching the trailer I'm getting excited about Spider-Man again.

Sony have shown us some dark imagery and a poster for The Amazing Spider-Man as well as a pretty awesome teaser trailer (all of which can be accessed from the official site here!) displaying a deeper emotional side to Spider-Man - previously unexplored then switching to some spectacular visuals with his POV web slinging. I only wish the music was better, it would have made a huge difference. But I saw the trailer a while back at a demonstration of Sony's 3D projectors and was blown away seeing the trailer up on big screen in 3D.

Video: The  Amazing Spider-Man Trailer

At a talk at the BFI David Fincher was asked if he was interested in doing a superhero film?

Surprisingly, David Fincher started off by saying; no, it's not really his kind of thing  - but went on to clarify what he meant as well as talk about his interest in Spider-Man as well as how things rolled out after he went to a meeting to discuss his possible involvement in Spider-Man. The clip picks up at that point:

Video: David Fincher talks about why he wanted to do Spider-Man

In all honesty I'm glad David Fincher didn't end up doing Spider-Man. Don't get me wrong I think he is one of the finest directors of his generation. I even like the films of his that he hates. But taking on material like Spider-Man could have been a big mistake at a crucial time in his career. I'm pretty sure that he would have tried to make a great film. A film that's reach would have far exceeded the genre and the reach of a property like Spider-Man.

You must remember that this was before Christopher Nolan opened the door to updating mega spinners being grounded with some reality. So I write "tried" as Marvel film history has shown us that a property like Spider-Man would not have been allowed to be stretched to far out of shape from the successful formula that has kept them in business for the last 50 years - and it all may have all gone a similar way to Alien³ for Fincher. If it had! Who knows what the outcome for David Fincher would have been or which of his masterpieces we may have ended not ever seeing?

But I can't help but think - if Fincher had done Spider-Man, how a mature intelligent superhero film back then might have changed the superheroes on screen landscape and the way studios approached superhero films. Also if Fincher tackled an original superhero story with his artists eye, visual literacy and his skill at fleshing out characters (especially their duality) what would it be like?

The Amazing Spider-Man release date: 4 July, 2012
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance release date: 17 February, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man
Like most teenagers his age, Peter [played by Andrew Garfield] is trying to figure out who he is and how to be the person he is today. In his journey to put the pieces of his past together he uncovers a secret that his father [Campbell Scott] held… a secret that will ultimately shape his destiny as Spider-Man. This is the first in a series of movies that tells a different side of the Peter Parker story.

Director: Marc Webb
Writers: Alvin Sargent, Steve Kloves, Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, James Vanderbilt
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans

The Establishing Shot: Why David Fincher wanted to do Spider-Man


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