As a fan of both ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ series, and Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, I couldn't help notice some striking resemblances between the two franchises. The Dark Knight trilogy created a whole new standard for Superhero movies, with two of it’s instalments breaking the billion dollar threshold, so it’s no surprise that Sony would want to match the same feat that Christopher Nolan set throughout his trilogies 7 year run.
Now, I know a lot of you must be thinking "How can you compare Batman to Spider-man? and some may even be thinking "How dare you compare The Dark Knight trilogy to the lacklustre Amazing Spider-man series" but let me break it all down for you to fully understand where I am coming from.
In the first instalment of the franchises, the hero fights crime in his city for reasons involving his family. Spider-man fights crime to avenge his Uncle's death and Batman fights crime to honour a promise he made to his dying parents. The heroes must then face their biggest foe so far who is threatening to poison the entire city they protect. Dr Curt Connors turns into The Lizard and attempts to poison New York City by turning everyone into human Lizards like him. Dr Jonathan Crane then dons the moniker of The Scarecrow and attempts to poison the whole city with his fear gas.The storyline of the films are very similar, but aren't all origin stories? But when you start to look at the villains, you can see that there is a huge connection between the franchises.
In the second instalments, both the films main focus points are similar. They each have three villains, Rhino, Electro and Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-man 2 and Scarecrow, Joker and Two Face in The Dark Knight respectively. I would like to take the time to look at each villain and their "counterpart".
Rhino and Scarecrow
In the ASM2, Rhino is a gangster who's attempt of a robbery is foiled by Spider-man and placed in jail. . In the previous instalment of TDK trilogy, Scarecrow is apprehended by Batman and placed in his very own Asylum. Scarecrow then breaks out and becomes a two bit gangster who puts his fear gas formula into drugs and sells them in the underground of Gotham. Both of them are also apprehended in the opening of the films. Rhino is later released from jail by The Green Goblin, much like how Scarecrow was released from prison in TDKR by Bane
Electro and Joker
The two main villains in their respected films. Both are dangerously psychotic and pose a major threat to the hero. Matt Dillon, Electo’s alter ego, starts out as a nobody who is obsessed with Spider-man and is saved by him early on the film. He is then amazed (sorry) at how Spider-man took the time to find his name on his Oscorp badge and take an interest in him and call him his "eyes and ears". Later on he falls into a pool of electric eels and arises, Electro. He then decides to head to times square and harvest it’s electricity where he is then faced with Spider-man. He is angry that Spider-man forgets who he is and, in anger, lashes out in a shocking (I'll stop now) fury.
Joker is a man who is so psychotic he loves to cause chaos. He is an Agent of Chaos. His psychopathology has been shown many times throughout the film, such as walking in on a gangster meeting and killing a henchman with a pencil before leaving untouched by threatening to blow himself up with all the C4 strapped on him. Joker is obsessed with Batman, but in a different way from Electro and Spidey. Mister J sees Bats as his other half and wants to play these psychotic games with him till both of them die.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that the main villains team up with a tertiary villain of the films, to plot the demise or capture of our hero.
Green Goblin and Two Face
Harry Osborn is Peter Parker's oldest friend and also his greatest villain, The Green Goblin. In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Harry is the son of Norman Osborn, a multi billionaire and owner of Oscorp. He then becomes Green Goblin by taking the Goblin Serum to kill Spider-man and create the formula for cross species genetics from his DNA, to save himself from a disease passed down by his father. He then teams up with Electro to "catch a spider". Harvey Dent, later known as Two Face, was an ally of Batman and was the main factor of the take down of Gotham's gangsters. But soon disaster strikes as Dent, with half his face burned due to the explosion of a warehouse that also killed Rachel Dawes, takes on the new persona of "Two Face" and sets out to kill the people responsible for Rachel's murder, with the help of Joker, who actually put Dent and Rachel in the warehouses.
The two villains were once a close ally to the hero, but later turn into a villain due to a transformation.
The trilogies main love interests are also an interesting similarity between both franchises,
Gwen Stacey and Rachel Dawes
The main love interests of our superheroes. In the first instalments of the franchises, both have a close connection to film's main villain. Gwen is an intern at Oscorp and works with Dr Curt Connors. Rachel Dawes works as a lawyer who is attempting to put Victor Zsasz and Carmine Falcone in jail, but fails in doing so as Dr Jonathan Crane transfers them to his Arkham Asylum. At the end of the film's, both heroes can't be with their love interest, with Spider-man honouring Gwen's father's plea, and Rachel telling Bruce that Gotham needs him more than she does.
In the second instalments, both heroes attempt to stay away from their love interests, but ultimately find themselves drawn back to them. This leads both Gwen and Rachel to their deaths, both being murdered by a villain.
It is clear that both film's have their similarities, in both plot and character arc's. It also shows that Sony is ultimately trying to emulate Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. Now this isn't me hating on Spider-man, or favouring Batman. I am just a fan of both superheroes who has noticed these similarities. It is also not the first time Sony has copied another franchise, with them trying to expand their franchise like Marvel's.
So what do you think? Is Sony copying Nolan? Have your say here and In the comments!