Due to the insane popularity of the first Spiderman film, Sony Pictures has apparently tried to play it safe. With about two weeks to go before the release of the film’s sequel, reports have popped up that Sony chose to hire a group of “unsigned” writers to help polish the screenplay.
By “unsigned,” I’m referring to the fact that they were not part of Sony’s impressive 1999 deal with 31 screenwriters that contractually obligated the studio to pay 2% of gross receipts for their work. When Spiderman went on to make nearly a billion dollars around the globe in 2002, this made screenwriter David Koepp very, very rich off of the unprecedented deal.
So, to keep more money in the studio’s coffers, they decided to get “unsigned” writers to lend a hand. The reason I bring this up is because it feels like Sony may not be concerned about diluting the script and, instead of going with the best candidates, is shopping for the most affordable. So, while early buzz is positive, if the script is lacking in the second Spiderman film, it may be an example of studio bosses thinking with the bottom line and not their creative spirit.
It’s especially pertinent, in my opinion, because what made the original Spiderman film such a success was great word-of-mouth spawned by a solid screenplay that won over the important, comic book fanbase. I hope the gamble pays off for Sony and the Spiderman team, but it is certainly a gamble any way you look at it. We won’t really know until audiences decide if they enjoy the sequel’s screenplay as much as they enjoyed the original. If they do, we can probably expect Sony to take this route in the future.