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Spider-Man 3
Already the most anticipated blockbuster of 2007
Spider-Man 3
The Third Installment Comic-Book Adaptation "Spider-Man 3".
OPENING WEEKEND: $120,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $420,000,000
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

March 27th, 2006: After the oppressive truth about his double life has finally emerged, Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire), is set to start a real relationship with his beloved Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), but naturally, he will also have to face the resulting consequences. J. Johan Jameson (J.K. Simmons), Parkerís relentless boss, is angered by Mary Janeís decision to leave his son for the clumsy photographer and hires an investigative reporter named Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) to track Parker and dig up any juicy secrets. In the meantime, Spider-Man takes interest in an escaped convict named Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church). After a dreadful mishap transforms him into a shape-shifting sand creature with superhuman strength, Marko becomes Spider-Manís newest foe, the Sandman. While at the scene of the accident, a black substance fuses with Spider-Manís costume, spawning a new hero with superior abilities. As it turns out, he will need all the strength he can get. Itís not only Marry Jane that knows Spider-Manís secret identity, but also his best friend, Harry Osborne (James Franco), who is still bent on destroying Spider-Man after the web-crawler killed his father. Equipped with his dadís tricks and disguises and partnered with the Sandman, Osborne sets out to create chaos and kill Spider-Man in the process.

What to Expect: Back in March of 2004, during a promotional exhibition for Spider-Man 2 and several months prior to its release, an announcement was made that Spider-Man 3 was already slated for a May 4, 2007 release date. The buzz for this film has been growing ever since then and only increased soon after the sequel went on to duplicate the originalís staggering numbers at the box-office. I was not blown away by either one of the two films upon first viewing, but soon after I realized just how vividly the main characters and the world they inhabit have been imprinted in my brain. Thinking about Spider-Man 3, I am consciously aware of the anticipation with which I want to revisit this world.

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That, of course, is the strength of a well-executed and layered comic book film, which can completely consume us with its extraordinary universe. The credit for Spider-Man filmsí practically universal appeal belongs primarily to director Sam Raimi, who, with Spider-Man 2, shaped what I consider to be the second best comic book film of all time behind Superman: The Movie (Batman Begins comes in a close third). The sequel contained the breathtaking sequences, the absorbing plot developments, the colorful characters, and the love story that any adventure film should have, but it was the persuasiveness of the filmís personalities and the pure visceral joy of the filmmaking that really set it apart. By now, Raimi should be an absolute expert in the comic book genre and the considerable improvements he made from the first film to the sequel are a very good sign that the third part may have some more surprises in store.

Undeniably, the seriesí cast has gelled together phenomenally and I canít say that any of the recurring characters have felt obtrusive or without a clearly defined place within the continuing story arc. Again, credit to Raimi and credit to his writers, but let us not forget about the actors, who have shown to be exemplary choices. Comic book fans first boycotted Tobey Maguire after the announcement that he would play Spider-Man, but he has since disappeared in the part. To me, he has become synonymous with the character, much like Christopher Reeve became with Superman. Kirsten Dunst has played her role perfectly up to this point, with love and tenderness that has been irresistible and torturous to the conflicted Peter Parker. James Franco has also been effective at portraying a man distressed by the inner turmoil of his desire to avenge his fatherís death by killing his best friend. Perhaps at the heart of their success is the fact that they have all been very good at conveying their youth. Unlike most comic book films, the Spider-Man universe is largely comprised of young adults and the actors and filmmakers have preserved this essential idea.

Always thinking ahead, Raimi has new characters in store for Spider-Man 3, some of whom are likely to continue on with the series in the future. Bryce Dallas Howard will play Gwen Stacy, the city police chiefís daughter and possibly Peter Parkerís new sweetheart. Supposedly, this will mark the beginning of a new love triangle that should continue on to future episodes and entice all those who are most intrigued by the Peter and Mary Jane relationship. Ever since mid-February, when a new poster for Spider-Man 3 turned up, showing Spidey donning a black outfit, there has been an explosion of online debates as to what it was meant to imply. The first thought that comes to any fanís mind is the obvious connection that the black suit has to Spider-Manís arch-nemesis, Venom. This is where Topher Grace comes in, as it has been widely speculated that he has landed the role of the formidable villain. Ever since Dunst leaked the nature of his involvement in the project at a press conference, it has stirred up controversy in the fan community. Grace has become the victim of the same negative scrutiny that once haunted Tobey Maguire. After I saw his likeable and surprisingly mature performance in In Good Company, Iíve been convinced of Graceís abilities as an actor, so I have no objection to him playing Venom. In the meantime, Grace has been seen on the set sporting blonde hair, much like the comic book character. However, the evidence conflicts with the statements that Raimi has made on numerous occasions claiming that he has never liked the character and as long as he was in charge of the Spider-Man franchise, he would never include Venom in it. Unless heís been lying the whole time or has simply changed his mind in the past few years, it would not make sense for him to incorporate the villain in the film after all. Furthermore, Dunst has already been proved wrong once after she leaked that the Lizard would be one of Spider-Manís nemeses in the second movie. No official source has come out yet to confirm that Grace would in fact play Venom in Spider-Man 3, so at this point it is all speculation. Thomas Haden Church, on the other hand, will definitely play the Sandman and at the moment is the only confirmed villain in the film. After earning an Oscar nomination for his amusing performance in Sideways a year ago, it was only a matter of time before Church would land more mainstream parts. I can definitely envision him as a good villain, especially thanks to his distinctly low and ominously raspy voice.

Spider-Man 3 could have up to three villains or as little as one, depending on Topher Graceís real involvement in the film and how the Harry Osborne story thread will play out. As of right now, it appears that this may be the final movie in which Harry will make an appearance so whatever has been brewing between him and Spider-Man is likely to be resolved this time around. It has not been confirmed yet that Harry will follow in his fatherís footsteps and become the new Green Goblin, but in each film so far that destiny has certainly been suggested so I cannot imagine Raimi backing out from the perfect set up. In any case, Harry is expected to team up with the Sandman in their battle against Spider-Man. As far as the Venom situation is concerned, I expect that it will be part of a mouth-watering design for Spider-Man 4. I believe that the black substance from Spider-Manís suit will eventually merge with Eddie Brock, creating Venom in the process, but it will not happen until near the end of the movie. So anyone who objects to Topher Grace, you better get used to him because you might have him as Venom for two films.

In Conclusion: If the $250 million budget that Spider-Man 3 is rumored to have is true, it would become the most expensive motion picture in history, not accounting for inflation. Raimi has expressed having difficulty with at least one of the villains, claiming that massive amounts of CGI were necessary to yield the right effect. Now who is not dying to see the eventual result? But all the spectacular special effects and action sequences are no replacement for a great story and thankfully, Spider-Man 2 has decisively paved the way for the franchise to follow in this direction. The second sequel appears to hold many surprises, as Peter Parkerís life will go through major changes. It has been rumored that at least one character close to Peter will die. Forget all the other superhero film releases because the Spider-Man series is the cream of the crop right now. Raimi should have wonderful ideas for Spider-Man 3, which should go on to become even more successful than the previous two.

Similar Titles: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Superman 2
May 4th, 2007 (wide)
October 30th, 2007 (DVD)

Sony Pictures

Sam Raimi

Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, J.K. Simmons, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Dylan Baker, Elizabeth Banks, Adrian Lester, Bryce Dallas Howard, Theresa Russell, James Cromwell, Bruce Campbell

Total: 667 vote(s).

Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Click here to view site

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence.

140 min





Spider-Man 3 at RottenTomatoes.com

Spider-Man 3 at AskMen.com

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