I am a huge Spidey fan. Like, huge. I wrote a script for a Spider-Man movie. So... yeah. I care. However, I think making a Spider-Man movie is a bad idea in the first place, which is probably why, despite five films and two franchises, us nerds still feel kinda let down. The reason for this is simple, really: a movie isn't long enough.
The entire premise to Spider-Man is that he's some guy, just like us, who happens to fall ass backwards into some power. And, just like us, he uses it for fun and gain before considering a more heroic path. Obviously, you know the story, so I won't do the whole synopsis thing. But the idea is that Peter Parker is the everyman, struggling with all the everyman's problems but, y'know, personified with crazy kick-ass super powers. Which are always fun.
One of the things that made Peter such a distinct character, even after all these years, was that we got to see him grow. We saw the shy, awkward fifteen year old transform into the less-shy, awkward thirty-something (pre-deal with the devil, that is). And it was effective as hell because he had such a great supporting cast that went through so much with him. Uncle Ben, Aunt May, Betty Brant, J Jonah Jameson, Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn, Flash Thompson, Mary Jane Watson and on and on. And those were just the people that new Peter. On the other hand we have a rogue's gallery on par with the likes of Batman: Norman Osborn, Otto Octavius, The Kingpin, Venom, Carnage, Electro, Sandman, Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter and on and on.
Spider-Man was never really beloved for his individual outings as much as the grand picture. Sure, there were some great stories (Kraven's Last Hunt, Death of the Stacys, Sin-Eater, Shed) but overall, there weren't as many as, say, Batman (Death in the Family, The Killing Joke, Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, The Long Halloween, The Man Who Laughs, Knightfall, Black and White, The Black Mirror, Court of Owls, probably way more I'm forgetting). It never mattered though, because the day-to-day was fraught with enough emotion, depth, peril and action.
A movie could never fully capture this. Movies need a certain level of focus that is contrary to Spider-Man's charm, which would be incredibly difficult to capture (unless someone uses my script... *laughs at own ineptness*). However, if you've seen The Spectacular Spider-Man, you know what a well-made TV show can do for the character. Obviously, that was a cartoon for children (as well as the best on-screen adaptation seen thus far) that had a different story arc every episode, but Peter's life and it's interpersonal dramas were perfectly captured. A more fleshed out, adult, live-action series could combine all the right elements to do Spidey justice.
My favorite comic book series ever is Brian Michael Bendis' Ultimate Spider-Man. While it didn't give Peter as long a lifespan as I think is appropriate given just how much crap he went through (the 160-issue series took place all in one year, somehow), the writing was pitch perfect, the dialogue was on par with Tarantino, the characters were very well adapted (and in the case of many villains, such as Green Goblin and Venom, improved), and the tone was spot on. So don't even get me started on that "Ultimate" Spider-Man cartoon...
But I digress. The reason I brought this up was because Ultimate Spider-Man, despite being a comic book, was a pretty much flawless adaptation of the original character. If a television series could do what Bendis did for Spidey, but for a much larger audience, us nerds could have something to be proud of. And own. In a Blu-Ray box set.
Now, just to be clear, this ain't happening. All things considered, Sony and Marvel make a LOT more money from one film than an entire season of good TV. That said, making a series would be smarter for more reasons than just longevity: the ordinary moviegoer is tired of Spider-Man films. The origin story has been done to death (not as well as Bendis did it though) and many non-nerds have trouble telling the difference between the films anymore. So sales are guaranteed to be smaller the sixth time around. Plus, in a movie, there is a certain style and format that has to be adhered to. Not in a series. And if the budget was used very well and very wisely, we could potentially have ground-breaking television on our hands. And if we were REALLY lucky (no way in hell this would happen), we could see a Netflix series that wouldn't be afraid of a little more bloodshed than usual. After all, every Spidey story of note involves someone dying badly.
Anyway, if you're still reading this, thank you! This is my first (and potentially last, if I get bored) post on MoviePilot and I appreciate it big-time. But enough about me. What do you think? Should the webhead be in film, TV, both, or what?? Comment, vote, or do what I did and spontaneously make an entire post in response! Speaking of, thanks to Michael Howlett for the idea.