Original Spider-Man screenwriter has an awesome idea to save the franchise

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Feb 2, 2015, 7:05 PM EST (Updated)

Despite being based on one of the most popular characters in existence, the Spider-Man film franchise has been floundering for years. So, what does the guy who wrote the first (and arguably best) film think should come next?

Empire caught up with veteran screenwriter David Koepp (Spider-Man, Jurassic Park) to talk about the disappointing state of the Spider-Man franchise of late. In case you’ve been under a rock the past decade, each subsequent film has been making less and less money, while fans and critics alike generally agree Amazing Spider-Man 2 was an absolute mess.

Not surprisingly, Koepp has an epic idea for how to get this thing back on track. His solution? Diversify. The Spider-Man comic universe thrives on various incarnations of the character, so Koepp said he would like to see parallel Spider-Man franchises designed to appeal to different audiences. The family-friendly tentpoles, a darker series that would border on R-rated for adults, and even a kiddie version to appeal to the pre-teens. 

Check out his full answer below:

“When I was doing Spider-Man the first time, I remember distinctly having thoughts about three movies, each of a different kind. The way the comic-book lines switched, it was Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man… there were a number of them.

So rather than try to persue the same course, or any kind of similar tone, you’d have strikingly different tones. The classic Spider-Man, that would be the top-of-the-line, studio Sam Raimi ones, then the Amazing Spider-Man ones, they’d be done for $75-80 million, and have a rougher, edgier, almost R-rated feel to them – if not R-rated, though I don’t think they could ever bring themselves to do that. Tougher, nastier, a rougher look... shorter movies. I don’t like superhero bloat, personally.

And these series didn’t have to be consecutive, they could be released concurrently. Then I also thought there should be a Spectacular Spider-Man series, because Spider-Man leaves out a large group of its audience. Little kids are fascinated by Spider-Man by the time they are three, or younger. But when I was a kid, I loved the animated series, so I always thought there should be separate lines to cater for different ages of Spider-Man fans.

And I’d certainly develop other characters in the Spider-Man universe, which is what they are trying to do, I know. Black Cat deserves her own movie series. As for the superhero genre generally now, I am stunned at its viability, its quality, its longevity, and its ability to grow and deepen. I think they’re great. I was so continually wrong about where superhero movies were going that now I am just an audience member, thrilled to see them continue to improve.”

Honestly ... we kind of love this idea. It wouldn’t work for most franchises, but Spider-Man is on another level when it comes to cultural awareness. If done right, this would be a great way for Sony to capitalize on the brand and recapture some of the fan love that’s been waning as of late. It all boils down to one simple rule: Tell good stories.

What do you think? Good idea?

(Via Empire)