by: S. Scott Stanikmas
I like directors that choose certain comics and storylines but don’t stay slavish to the source material. Unless you happen to be Zack Snyder and the film in question is Watchmen, nothing will ever translate perfectly from page to screen. But if you can capture the spirit of the comic book then the filmmaker is well on their way to capturing the hearts of the audience.
Jon Watts seems to get that. He spoke to Den of Geek about which comics he’s reading to get into the Spider-Man frame of mind:
Ultimate [Spider-Man] is great. I love Ultimate. We have the freedom to pull from anything, but I really like what [Brian Michael] Bendis did. A lot. That felt like… that was Peter Parker back in high school. And, spending as much time with his high school problems as it did with his superhero problems, which I think is really a lot of fun.
There’s also some really funny comics stuff, like, the Archies. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane series, but they have this really great anime-style illustration, and it’s all just about Peter Parker’s relationships. It’s like the soap opera of Peter Parker in high school. Those are really funny, too.
I’m just sitting around reading comic books all day — it’s a pretty great job.
With word spreading that Sony is looking for something with a “John Hughes-vibe,” it makes sense that he’d go to the newer comics that look back at Spidey’s youth. The early Stan Lee stuff is great for nostalgia but seems really dated to fans these days. The books that Watts references capture the tone Sony is looking for with the advantage of being updated for today’s culture.
We have quite a ways to go before we see just how well Watts’ vision translates to the big screen. Sony’s third attempt at Spider-Man (but now connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe) is set to web-swing its way into theaters July 28, 2017.