So it’s been a cool minute since I posted anything on here (I’m currently working on the next Cinematic Soapbox but keep getting distracted because I suck.) and I thought I’d mix things up. Typically I write about other people’s creative outputs but tonight I want to offer you something I wrote several years ago.
I’ve made it now secret that I am a very, VERY passionate (some would say insane) fan of Spider-Man. Hard to believe but when I was younger this passion was almost incendiary. So let’s flash back to late 2007/early 2008.
Now I saw Spider-Man 3 and I was somewhat disappointed. I still like elements of that movie but I felt like it could have been better. Why I thought I could help the series get back on its feet is any one’s guess. I was a teenager and “true fan” so I thought I’d put my genius ideas down just to show the world (i.e. exclusively myself) how much smarter I was than these big wig Hollywood writers.
It’s also important to note what was going on in the comics at the time. One More Day….One. More. Fucking. Day.
I don’t want to go into specifics but to put it kindly this event nearly destroyed my love of comic books as a medium. It took away the status quo of Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker, my one true pairing as Tumblr would call it. Needless to say, I was in a somewhat “dark” place as a fanatic Spider-Man fan and needed a way to cope. This pitch heavily reflects my attitude about the character at the time. Aunt May dies. Mary Jane has a miscarriage brought about by the fucking Shocker. Spider-Man broods more than ever. I did the exact thing that I hate about the new rebooted Spider-Man movies.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Below you will find the largely unaltered, unfinished pitch for Tyler Talley’s Spider-Man 4, warts and all, and remember: this was before the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was before the reboot. I fully intended this to be a pitch for the fourth entry in Sam Rami films. Let me stress however I never EVER was naive enough to think this would be made. Like realistically at least. I wrote it for fun and I am posting it for fun. This was a movie meant just for me.
Having re-read it, I do have some notes:
This is really sloppy, but with a little more fine tuning it could have been…acceptable fan fiction. Alas not a cohesive movie however. First off, there is no structure. It reads more like a series of comics, not a single movie. There are really no connecting themes either. Also it is waaaaaaay too dark for a Spider-Man movie and I for one have no interested in a dark Spider-Man flick. This much more in line with fan fiction that a fan film.
Mysterio is similar to Heath Ledger’s Joker (albeit poorly written), right down to the unbeatable plan. (This is because I ripped off the character as interpreted by Brian Michael Bendis in Ultimate Comics: Spider Man and the first act of the movie is his plan to a fucking tee. If anything it is the one element I am most embarrassed by given the level of plagiarism). As the years have gone on, I’ve grown a massive distaste for these kind of villains even though I think this would be the best route for Mysterio if he were to be the main villain for a Spider-Man film. However he could just as easily be a comedic side-villain.
I like my Lizard more than the one we ultimately got in The Amazing Spider-Man. Mine isn’t subtle, but I didn’t include a fucking plan about turning all of NYC into Lizard people.
So the following material is rough. Like really rough and I welcome/encourage thoughts and opinions. In other words…
“The film opens with the typical Spidey narration with Peter explaining how he and MJ have reconciled and have finally moved in with each other. Aunt May still urges the two to get married but Pete wants to take it slow. The public opinion is now somewhat of doubt as it was in the first movie due to the incident in the 3rd film. JJJ is having a field day with this at the Bugle. A sudden splurge of costumed characters have been popping up in New York. We are given hints of Dare-Devil, Moon Knight, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, with JJJ and his staff coming up with the names. Spidey is swinging through the city when suddenly zap! bolts of electricity are flaring around the city bank. Spidey investigates to find Shocker (BRUCE CAMPBELL CAMEO!!!) is attempting to rob the bank. Spidy basically humiliates Shocker in the resulting fight. As Shocker is being led to jail he is shot by a hit man who we secretly was hired by mob boss, Silvio Manfredi aka Silvermane. Spidey saves Shocker, who holds on to his hate of the Web Head. Spidey has been trying to bust Silvermane for months. We are then introduced to sympathetic villain Curt Conners, who we learn has been working are a regenerating serum that uses the DNA of lizards in an attempt to regrow his missing arm. Conners offers to pay Peter as a lab assistant if he helps him with his experiments. We learn some of Conners family situation. Divorced and barley knows son, that old chestnut. We are then cut to Silvermane who is staring out his window from atop a skyscraper. He is ranting about how crime is changing. He gets so mad that he tells his henchman to leave the room. We hear the door open and Silvermane starts to yell again but when he turns it is not a henchman but the new villain Mysterio! (think of the ultimate design of Mysterio: sort of Ghost Ridler-esque with blue flames and face in the flames)
Mysterio starts reciting the nursery rhyme humptydumpty and zapsSilvermane through the window, killing him. He stares out the window chuckling,”That’ll look good on the resume.” The next day the city is shocked to learn of Silvermane’s death. Shocker is still alive in the hospital laughing. Peter doesn’t know whether to be pissed or happy. (The Bugle runs the headline, A Mysterio slays Silvermane.) Mysterio releases a viral video where he gives the following speech (Editor’s note: this is almost beat-for-beat ripped from Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man run which you can find here.):”Did you read the news today? Oh boy. They say the old man fell and broke his….well everything. That’s my gift to you, people of New York. You’ve been through quite a lot in the past few years. You can now scratch that old fart off your list of problems. You don’t have to thank me. You could thank me, but you don’t have to. Also, you have no idea who I am or where I am so sending me a gift basket would probably be more difficult than it’s probably worth. See, I used to be like him. Not even that long ago. I wanted a little piece of the pie. My piece. I wanted to boss around a couple of people dumb enough to let a guy like me boss them around. But after all I’ve seen: from your Gay Goblins and Doctor Octo-pussies, and hell, even a human liter box, I realized: I don’t want a piece anymore….I want all of it. And I’m going to take it. And the best part? You’ll never know who I am or how I did it. But you can keep calling me Mysterio. I like that. I would have never come up with that. Let me tell you how the world is–there is no good or bad. No authority or law. All cops are corrupt. All politicians compromised. Religion is a con and conspiracy is the truth. There is no heaven or hell. You won’t be punished in the next life. And just because we are born in this madhouse doesn’t mean we have to accept it. I’m not. I’m taking what I want. You should do the same. Go ahead. I dare you. And if you think the contrary-and yes I’m talking to you Spidey–come and get me. That I’ll respect. I’m telling you this so you can hear it from me directly. I’m taking what’s mine, you lazy cowards. You deserve what happens next.” Peter has little time to worry as Conners that he is going to skip all basic projectors and test his serum on himself. Peter watches as Conner injects himself with the serum. A couple of seconds pass and the two think it has failed, but then Conner’s arm slowly begins to regenerate. Just as the two are about to celebrate the project’s success, Conners falls down in pain. He then begins a very disturbing and graphic transformation. (think American Werewolf in London) Peter tries to help but is thrown aside by the now much stronger Conners. At last Conners is now the Lizard who begins to destroy the lab and then escapes into the sewers. Peter wakes up to see the wreckage and puts on his Spidey costume and attempt to stop Conners. As he is leaving the camera stays on the rumble and we see the tiny bit of the symbiotic suit that Conner’s received in the 3rd movie slither out. Spidey follows Lizard into the sewer and attempts to reason with Conners, unfortunately Conners is now more animal than man and only sees Spidey as food. What proceeds is the most brutal fights in the series with Spidey getting beaten to a near pulp. Just when Lizard is about to make a killing move Spidey is able to break a pipe with web and hot steam shoots Lizard’s face, sending the creature running. We then cut to Peter and MJ’s apartment. MJ walks in shocked to find Peter on the ground, bloody and beaten. We then cut to a little later as MJ is taking care Peter when they hear screams coming from the city. MJ opens the window to see giant spiders attacking the city with people running. She turns to see that Peter is already in a spare Spidey costume. “City that never sleeps,” says Spidey. MJ sighs and says,”Go get ’em tiger.” Spidey swings into action attempting to stop the spiders, but surprisingly he goes right through them. Confused Spidey discovers that the spiders are actually just holograms being transmited from stations across the city. We then cut to the Bank of New York, to find all the guards in a panic and on the ground. None other than Mysterio is the one behind this and is loading bags of money into a getaway truck all with a remote. All of a sudden Spidy drops kicks Mysterio and webs him to the wall and gives a tiny monologue:”Yeah I figured it out. You hid some hologram doo hickies all around the city. Makes everybody see those eight legged freaks. Kind of weird that they weren’t actually destroying anything or eating anyone. But I’m sitting there wondering: who would do this and why. And then a lightbulb went off and I said. New York Federal Reserve. I saw Die Hard 3 too you know. I bet some dumbs is trying to rob the place. And lookey what we got here…some dumbs trying to rob the place!” Spidey finishes to see that Mysterio has melted the web with some sort of spray and punches Spidey square in the face, knocking him to the floor. He picks up the limp Spidey and says,”You really need to learn how to shut up. I’m not stupid you know. I know you have a life outside of this game. A mom, a dad, a girlfriend, or probably by the way you dress, a life partner. And for this little stunt you pulled today..I’m gonna take it all away. I’m gonna find out who you are and I’m gonna take your whole life away. And after I take everything from you…we’re gonna meet again, and I’m gonna show this city that you’re no better than the bug you dress up like. Maybe do a little door-to-door. You know maybe I’ll start with little miss Mary Jane Watson. You and her seem to cross paths here and now, hm?” This causes Spidey to get extremely pissed and webs Mysterio in the face and punches him into the street. Spidey the gets on top of Mysterio and ruthlessly starts to punch him. He is broken out of his blood lust by a child screaming. Spidey turns to see a mother hiding her child with the child screaming to keep the monster away. Spidey thinks he is talking about the holograms but the child is staring right at him. Spidey turns back to see Mysterio has disappeared in a flash of smoke. Suddenly the police surrounds Spidey attempting to arrest him for robbing the bank. Spidey tries to explain but the cops open fire and he is barely able to escape. Aunt May discovers a passed out Peter still in Spidey costume on his bed after fight with Mysterio.
End of Act I
(Editor’s note: things get a bit more choppy from here on out. I’m not sure why. I must have lost interest or something to that effect.)
Mysterio springs Shocker from jail (where he is recovering from his gunshot wound) and says he’s got a proposition for him.
Aunt May confronts Peter and tells him that she’s mad but understands he must continue to help people. They have a tender scene together.
Peter begins to work tirelessly for an antidote to Conner’s serum.
Peter and Mary Jane go on a date and Peter reveals that her love is the only reason he can function as a hero and man in a touching speech. They make love that night.
Mysterio captures Lizard and says he has plans for him. “I’m going to use a monster to make a monster.”
Peter spends the next few weeks in the lab and finds the antidote.
Mary Jane tells Peter she is pregnant. The two visit Aunt May and she is thrilled by the news.
The next day Aunt May is shown complaining that tenant in the apartment next to her’s is too loud and a strange smell in her apartment.
Mary Jane is out shopping and Shocker appears,”Hey Watson! Nothin personal!” and zaps her knocking her out.
Mysterio calls Peter and tells him that he knows he is Spider-Man.
How Mysterio finds out who Spider-Man is. Finds out that a fighter called the Human Spider whose name was Peter Parker the same night Parker’s uncle was murdered by a robber. One of the robbers was murdered by a mysterious man in red according to the police report. Peter Parker also takes pictures of Spider-Man for the Daily Bugle. He begins to survail Parker and discovers he is in a relationship with Mary Jane Watson, the woman Spider-Man’s villains seem to target. He tells Parker it’s too late and that step one of your fall has already begun and that the pheromones have already been realized. And ends on,”Oh and I’ve been listening in on your phone. Congrats, I’m sure you two would have a lovely child.”
Lizard is let out of a cage that has been placed next to May’s apartment and he busts through her wall due to the pheromones. It is not shown but Lizard brutally kills Aunt May.
Mysterio calls the police acting like a concerned citizen saying there is a horrible noise coming from May’s apartment.
Lizard escapes into the subway.
Spidey is too late to save Aunt May but the police enter at exactly the wrong time and think of course that Spidey and the Lizard killed May in their fight. Spidey is shot in the arm as he tries to explain but escapes.
A wounded and distract Peter joins Mary Jane is in the hospital. She learns that she is fine but she has had a miscarriage leaving her heart broken while Peter rushes out in a rage.
Peter gets the antidote and tracks down Lizard below the city and the two have another brutal fight only this time Spidey’s animalistic side overwhelms Lizard’s. But just when it looks like Lizard might get a lucky killing blow in Spidey stabs him with the antidote turning him back into a confused and frightened Conners.
Spidey takes off his mask slams Conners against a wall and begins to scream at him,”You killed her!!!!!” and such. Conners doesn’t understand but his voice just makes Peter angrier. Peter is about to kill Conners when he suddenly stops and realizes what he is about to become and falls to his knees and weeps.
End of Act II
“Sadly” I can not find a copy of the last act and I only have vague recollections of what it consisted of. Some highlights I remember:
Myterio, believing he has broken Spider-Man, turns his attention elsewhere. His ultimate plan I believe was similar to Bane’s in the Dark Knight Rises in giving the city back to the people. (My apologies for not remembering specifics.)
Conners is able to somewhat control his Lizard persona and assist Spider-Man in taking down Mysterio, I think he dies but I can’t remember for certain.
Spider-Man wins buy unmasking himself (like in Civil War) to Mysterio (taking away any hold over him) in their final confrontation which is being broadcast and gives a speech to the people about standing up to the darkness. I had the speech written down and it was really corny. He proceeds to beat the shit out of Mysterio with classic wise cracks in a scene that was probably tonally wrong given everything that proceeded it.
Peter is able to find proof that Mysterio planted Lizard and it killed Aunt May through some convoluted paper trail Mysterio left, absolving Peter of the crime. The public opinion of Spider Man is now more favorable.
Peter is fired from the Bugle for good to teach science at Midtown High.
Mary Jane and Peter pledge to keep fighting the good fight (now with massive targets on their head) as the bury Aunt May next to Uncle Ben.
There was also a post credit scene that played out like this (and I was so proud it at the time because I was such a “bad ass” writer):
An unseen man is reading the Daily Bugle. The headline reads of Spider-Man being Peter Parker. The unseen man sighs and in Russian.. “No”
The man rushes down an expansive hallway. (We don’t see his face through the tag)
He enters a massive room, filed with the stuffed heads of every kind of animal you could think of and a long table.
At the end lies a fire place is a chair placed in front of a fireplace with an unseen man sitting in it, his back to the audience.
The man behind the chair is already reading his own copy of the paper.
He crumbles it up and throws it to the fire.
Our unseen man is clearly nervous and takes a seat, and in Russian says, “You’ve seen the news…”
The hunter stands and approaches, “Enough…”
Unseen man, “You can’t…you’ve seen what he is capable of time and time again now…”
“Sergei, please you are not a young man any more!”
A knife slams down on to the long table. Our unseen hunter is revealed (I imagined Mickey Rourke or Viggo Mortensen in the role at the time), in a THICK Russian accent, replies…
“I SAID ENOUGH, Dmitri! He is wounded and more deadly than ever. The time is perfect. The fates have decided and the die cast. My last hunt may begin!”