Anyone that’s been paying for some sort of internet looksee service over the past fifteen years or so will be quite aware of the arduous, sluggish journey of bringing Marvel’s “Spider-Man” to cinemas. Before Sam Raimi signed onto direct the 2001 blockbuster, and before Tobey Maguire got leave from the Cider House to don the cherry tights, a number of filmmakers and actors flirted with bringing Peter Parker’s biting story to the big screen.
Most famously, James Cameron tried to get a “Spider-Man” movie off the ground in the nineties; Cameron even hand his Peter Parker picked-out, Leonardo Di Caprio. Red tape, court cases, wedgies and right issues saw the project derail.
Before going with Sam Raimi, Sony considered “Fight Club” helmer David Fincher for their “Spider-Man” movie. And again, when Raimi handed the keys to Mary Jane’s chastity belt back to Sony, Fincher’s name ended up on Sony’s list of directors who might possibly be fit to reboot the movie series.
But what would a David Fincher “Spider-Man” movie have been like?
Speaking to io9 for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, Fincher explained his vision for the movie and considers why he wasn’t given the job.
My impression what Spider-Man could be is very different from what Sam [Raimi] did or what Sam wanted to do. I think the reason he directed that movie was because he wanted to do the Marvel comic superhero. I was never interested in the genesis story. I couldn’t get past a guy getting bit by a red and blue spider. It was just a problem… It was not something that I felt I could do straight-faced. I wanted to start with Gwen Stacy and the Green Goblin, and I wanted to kill Gwen Stacy.
So, in other words, Fincher wanted to remain loyal to the comics – by knocking off Spider-Man’s girlfriend. He also, interestingly enough, wanted to bring back the Green Goblin (who had been the adversary in the Raimi movies).
Unlike the new Marc Webb directed “Amazing Spider-Man”, which again serves as somewhat of an origin story, Fincher was going to skip on the back-story.
The title sequence of the movie that I was going to do was going to be a ten minute — basically a music video, an opera, which was going to be the one shot that took you through the entire Peter Parker [backstory]. Bit by a radio active spider, the death of Uncle Ben, the loss of Mary Jane, and [then the movie] was going to begin with Peter meeting Gwen Stacy. It was a very different thing, it wasn’t the teenager story. It was much more of the guy who’s settled into being a freak.
Sounds to me like Fincher’s film would’ve been rather dark and moody, something along the lines of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” films. But would that have been such a bad thing?