What Could Have Been, Part 5: David Fincher's The Amazing Spider-Man
12.20.11 by Ryan
Before Marc Webb finally landed the director's chair for The Amazing Spider-Man, Sony was considering a wishlist of directors for the reboot that included James Cameron, David Fincher, and Wes Anderson. At the time, Fincher didn't say how close he came to getting the Amazing Spider-Man job. However, the director told io9 what he would have done with the comic book adaptation during a promotional interview for his latest movie, the American adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
My impression of 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.
Fincher was so against doing an origin story that he instead wanted to keep Peter Parker's backstory limited to a "ten-minute" opening sequence.
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.
We're not sure exactly what the "loss of Mary Jane" comment is all about, but while The Amazing Spider-Man kept Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) — and was probably going to use the character all along — the Green Goblin was tossed for the Lizard (Rhys Ifans) instead. While Fincher's take does sound contrary to what Sony was thinking in terms of a reboot, the director did add one contribution — helping Webb and Sony find their new Peter Parker with Andrew Garfield, who starred in Fincher's The Social Network. "From the first time we saw him in the upcoming film The Social Network, to his glorious screen test, which floored all of us, we knew that we had found our new Peter Parker," said Sony Pictures co-chairmen when the studio announced Garfield's casting.
Interested in more "What Could Have Beens"? Part 1 examined what X-Men 3 would have been like if director Bryan Singer hadn't left the project, while Part 2 discussed a potential Superman 5, and Part 3 dealt with the abandoned Justice League movie. Part 4 was actor J.K. Simmons explaining how Spider-Man 4 would have featured a "disgraced" J. Jonah Jameson, had Raimi stuck with the project long enough to make it.