ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

Okay, this is just too much.

I never do direct counter pieces here to directly rebuke other contributors, but with all that has gone on today - never mind the last three weeks - I feel I had to make my feelings known.

In just the past 24 hours, every singly movie goer, theater chain and one of our major movie studios have been threatened with violence for the audacity of even wanting to see a film the North Koreans don't like.

Afew other terrible things are going on, but since this is a site to discuss movies, let's let that sink in for a bit.

Sony is trying not to capitulate by pulling the movie, while at the same time allowing theater chains to pull it if they feel safety is a concern.

This is something everyone should be up in arms about - anyone who believes in the freedoms of this country and the First Amendment anyway.

Heck, Seth Rogen has credited Rogen with the "balls" to stand by the dfilm so far - while he and James Franco have canceled all press for the film.

So what does Reid Jones decide to do a column - and urge people to sign a petition on? Thanking Sony for standing by the First Amendment? Urging theater chains to go ahead with showing the movie? Telling Rogen and Franco it's okay to keep promoting the movie?

Nope. Reid Jones feels the issue/cause worthy of a flipping PETITION is for one to get Sony to allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

Wow..I'm sorry, but this is the type of thing that gives all genre fans a bad name. To focus on this as soooo important when some real crappy stuff is going on in the world in general and with a major movie studio in particular is beyond narcissistic.

It's saying, "The world can go to hell and the North Koreans can try to shit on the First Amendment and privacy laws - I just want to see Spider-Man cameo in "Captain America 3"!

It all starts in the title of Reid's piece: "The World Needs Spider-Man: It's Time For Sony To Move On"

Really. The world needs Spider-Man? What does that even mean exactly? Just because I have found the Spider-Man films under Sony to be disappointing of late, it's not like Sony isn't trying - or that any of their films have been total train wrecks. Every single Spidey film has generated $200 million domestically and even what I consider their worst - "Amazing Spider-Man 2" generated over $700 million worldwide.

"It's time for Sony to move on?" Really? Sure, Reid, Sony will just give up control over their most lucrative franchise in the midst of a three week hacking nightmare and while trying to save another film from being shelved by terrorists (- AND dealing with Al Sharpton). All because you think it's of Earth-shattering importance to see Spidey trade a couple of wisecracks with Iron Man.

Here, I am going to counter much of what was in Reid's actual piece:

Until this week, fans of the Marvel superhero franchises had been completely in the dark on how far had negotiations had progressed between Marvel Studios at Disney and the Sony-owned Spider-Man film franchise. Now we are fully aware of a deal that had progressed between the two and which Marvel and Sony would, in some ways, co-own the movie rights. This deal, had it been successful, would have likely put Spider-Man in the center of "Captain America: Civil War" to more accurately portray one of Marvel's most well-known story arcs. Unfortunately, nothing came of the proposal due to Sony's declination.

First of all, the only reason we are no longer in the dark is because Sony was illegally hacked. For anyone who writes and/or enjoys films, this should be a cause for true outrage. It is similar to someone breaking into your house and stealing documents. Yet, people and a majority of the media continue to focus on what info they can glean - gleefully - from wrongly obtained information.

Second, even with Spider-Man, it is unlikely "Captain America: Civil War" can hew closely to the comic book story line at all. Secret identities are not a big deal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also, what made Spider-Man unmasking in the "Civil War" comic book story line was that he had 45 years worth of stories in which Peter Parker kept his identity a secret at all costs. For Spidey to suddenly appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and then unmask would dilute the impact considerably. Heck, no one even knows him in the MCU! So it would have a negligible impact on the film characters.

Then Reid goes on:

As if this wasn't enough to get fans in an outrage at the cancellation of the deal between the two parties, new reports show that Sony employees themselves are sick of the focus on sequels, trying to revive old franchises, and the lack of new and original content {BTW, when you use and in a sentence, you're not supposed to follow it with a comma}.

First, it's "get fans outraged" or "get fans in a rage". Second, how about getting outraged over something important, like the fact that all movie theaters and movie goers who dare want to see "The Interview" are being threatened and intimidated? How about getting mad at something important like that?

Also, "Sony employees" could mean the people who clean the bathrooms. You have no idea how many feel this way. Amy Pascal feels Spider-Man is the most important part of her legacy. So it's not like she isn't trying - or willing to just give away creative control of him.

The spotlights couldn't be more turned towards Sony Entertainment's executives if they tried.

This sentence is horrible. First, the grammar is again horrible. But why is the spotlight on Sony in the first place? Oh, yeah, because of illegal hacking and now terroristic threats. Oh, and "if they tried"? If who tried? If Sony tried..turning the spotlight on themselves? If the North Koreans tried? What are you talking about?

Marvel, with the revelation of their film lineup {There's no dash in lineup, Reid} all the way until the start of the next decade, is at the top of their game.

This is inaccurate. Marvel Studios will undoubtedly have more than a fourth "Avengers" film in 2019, but they obviously don't want to give away anything until we're closer to the end of Phase Three.

But you really started blowing me away starting here:

Having Spider-Man in their hands isn't something they even need, yet seems more like a favor to the fans and to Sony for even offering such a deal.

What does this mean exactly? Guess what, Marvel Studios, great as they are, are not going to do a "favor to the fans" unless they feel it will help them make more money. - and why, if Sony really does value the Spider-franchise, would they see losing control as a favor?

Then, there was this beauty:

Sony's uncooperative behavior appears more about retaining the rights to Spider-Man than fan satisfaction.

Uh, duh. Why do you seem to think Sony is supposed to give up their most valuable property at terms unfavorable to them? "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is currently the 9th highest-grossing film of the year domestically. Unless two films from "The Interview" (if it still is released), "Annie", "Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb", "The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies", "The Gambler", "Into The Woods" and "Unbroken" pass the $200 million mark ("Hobbit:BOTFA") is a lock, the others might not come close), it will finish in the Top Ten for the year domestically.

Plus, fan satisfaction is a hard thing to quantify.

But here came one of the best parts:

Why is agreeing to this deal with Marvel the best thing to do from all perspectives for Sony? Sony will no longer have to play this guessing game with directors and casting and continuation so that they can devote their time towards so that they can devote their time towards {it's toward} creating new {should be a comma here} original content, as their employees have already expressed a desire for.

First, it is arrogant to the extreme to tell a company what is best for it when you don't work for them. Second, you are not taking into account that many at Sony, starting with Pascal, actually WANT to make those decisions and control the character that has brought them so much success.

Also, and again, you have no idea how many employees actually are on board with reviving the franchise, the "Sinister Six" film, "Venom", etc. Dony is fully capable of retaining control of Spider-Man and doing more original stuff like "The Social Network".


Sony still retains much of the rights and profits, as well as satisfying the undying fan war against them

When Sony, theater chains and moviegoers are being threatened with terrorism, do you really think the term "war" is appropriate?

to give us the Cinematic Universecomic readers feel rightfully entitled to.

There it is. The money quote. first of all, I am a comic book reader for almost four decades and i resent being lumped in with your argument.

Because guess what, Reid? You know what you are entitled to? NOTHING! You are not "entitled" to see Spidey bounce off of Captain America's shield for a few minutes on the big screen.

Sony needs to give us their best effort on making good Spidey films. It would be great if the results were better lately..But you are NOT "rightfully entitled" to anything, since it was Sony taking a chance on and finally producing a "Spider-Man" film after over a decade in limbo that saved Marvel Comics and made Marvel Studios - and other comic book films - possible.

I repeat, you are rightfully entitled to nothing - and sound like a spoiled child for even saying that.

As usual, I feel the need to not be all talk and no walk, so below is a petition that has started the movement to approach Sony executives

Sorry, but this is ludicrous and insulting. This is almost worse that your "Black panther" petition back in August, where you also showed a capacity for having absolutely no clue. Two months later, Marvel Studios officially announced a "Black panther" film. Guess what? That had nothing to do with your petition. Marvel obviously had a plan. Instead, you got a petition going that was unnecessary, had no effect and was insulting to black people, when you said the film was needed because "there are few positive black role models".

This, "Sony Please Give Up Spidey" petition is almost more insulting because of the timing.

You are doing a petition like this when a studio is being threatened and the First Amendment is being tested. Really? like tyhey will be looking at any petition you come up with, with all that is going on? When they may be pulling a film because of safety concerns?

If you want to start a petition so your local theater chains don't drop plans to show "The Interview" and cave in to terrorists, THAT is important! THAT I would sign!

But bitching about this with so much else going on? It's juvenile and insulting.

That's all i have to say about that!


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