No, Calm Down: The New Spider-Man Film Is A Reboot

There’s a quote from producer Avi Arad in the current Entertainment Weekly that has gotten the internet hopping. He’s talking about The Amazing Spider-Man :

It’s not a comeback. You have to look at it this way. Do you want to know more about Spider-Man? This movie is going to tell stories that you didn’t see in movies 1, 2 and 3.

I first read that online on Thursday, at Think McFly Think. For the intervening two days it has bounced around all over the place – but what does it mean?

Well, it has been taken to mean that the film isn’t “entirely a reboot”, whatever that implies. If the supposition is that the new film is somehow in continuity with the three Raimi-Maguire films, there’s clear evidence that refutes this outright.

All you need to do is think about The Lizard and Gwen Stacy for a moment and the mystery crumbles away. With the Lizard “turning” during Peter Parker’s school days in this new film, there’s a clear incompatibility with the previous plot which saw Curt Connors still in full-on mammal form during Parker’s University career.

Furthermore, the Maguire version of Peter Parker had never met Gwen Stacy before the events of Spider-Man 3, but here we’ll have them dating some years younger. Also: consider the age of Gwen’s father, Captain Stacy, who would have to age from Dennis Leary to James Cromwell in just a few short years for this film to share continuity with the Raimi run.

I’m pretty sure that Avi Arad never meant any such thing, and that his words have been prescribed meanings they don’t bear – first by Entertainment Weekly, now by a web full of excited bloggers. In fact, what I think he was trying to relate, perhaps in laymans terms, is nothing other than a reboot.