2 Big Problems for Sony Spotted in the "Amazing Spider-Man 2" Trailer

Have you seen the new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2? I have, and as both a fan and as an investor, I'm nervous. I'll recount why in a moment. First, click the video to see more of what Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) has planned for Marvel's wall crawler:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in theaters on May 2, 2014. Sources: Sony, YouTube.

Where is filmmaker Marc Webb going with this story? Here's what Sony says on the movie's synopsis page:

It's great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there's no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.

Interesting. So perpetually troubled teen Parker, who already carries the burden of caring for a girlfriend and his Aunt May, now also has to bear the burden of keeping all of Manhattan safe while solving the mystery of what happened to his parents? Much as I hope the setup works, I can already see two problems:

1. At least three villains, and counting. We already know that Jamie Foxx assumes the role of Electro in ASM2 while Paul Giamatti plays the Rhino. But with Harry Osborn in the mix -- and Chris Cooper as Norman Osborn -- an appearance from either the Green Goblin or Hobgoblin seems likely. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 may suffer from the same sort of crowded script that made Spider-Man 3 the worst of Sam Raimi's run on the character.

2. A complicated plot needs room to breathe. The trailer and Sony's description also suggest that Webb spends ample time working through the mystery of what happened to Peter's parents. A good idea, I think, but one that needs screen time to fully explore. A crowded script would make that difficult under the best of circumstances.

So is it time to panic? No, but I think we can fairly say that Sony needs The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to be a win when Columbia Pictures and Screen Gems have failed to put up good numbers recently. In fact, U.S. grosses are down nearly 39% year-to-date through Dec. 5, Box Office Mojo reports. Sony's motion pictures and TV productions accounted for about 21% of pre-tax operating profit in the fiscal year ended in March.

In simple terms: Spidey is a meaningful contributor to Sony's bottom line. Or at least he has been up to this point. Unfortunately, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and its conflated story may change that.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. What do you expect from Sony's next Spider-Man film? Do you plan to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

Sony has already commissioned four films starring Spider-Man. Source: Sony/Columbia Pictures.

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 09, 2013, at 2:09 AM, SuntanIronMan wrote:

    If you think it is crowded with just three villains, there are hints of the other Sinister Six villains as well. Doc Ock's mechanical arms (or mechanical arms that a future Doc Ock will use) are in the trailer, as are (I believe, though not sure) Vulture-like mechanical wings. (1:14 into the trailer.)

    I don't know. Call me crazy, but I'm kind of psyched for this villain-filled movie. There are tons of ways they can mess this up (TONS!), but if everything goes alright it could be amazing. High risk, risk reward.

    Though one thing that I'm already Picard face-palming at is the 'using a recorded video message on a computer to deliver movie exposition' cliche that they already badly used in the last movie. But whatever. I'll forgive that if they get everything else right.

  • Report this Comment On December 09, 2013, at 7:41 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    Hey Matthew,

    >>If you think it is crowded with just three villains, there are hints of the other Sinister Six villains as well. Doc Ock's mechanical arms (or mechanical arms that a future Doc Ock will use) are in the trailer, as are (I believe, though not sure) Vulture-like mechanical wings. (1:14 into the trailer.)

    Yep, I saw that but wasn't sure if I saw what I saw. (Try saying that three times fast.) The Sinister Six may very well become a centerpiece of the film.

    We already know that works in the comics, but on film? I've seen too many busy scripts destroy what should have been good movies. (Cough) Green Lantern (cough).

    FWIW and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

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  • Report this Comment On December 09, 2013, at 5:26 PM, NotQyteNeo wrote:

    2 of the biggest reasons why the 1st Amazing Spidey movie was not very good.

    1. Bad writing

    2. Score that did not match the movie's atmosphere/timing (Horner is great, but SH movies are not his genre)

    The fix for #1 = Orci/Kurzman. And for #2 = Hans Zimmer.

    This movie looks like it will be MUCH better than the 1st.

    One thing to notice with both RoboCop and Spidey 2, they are well positioned about 3 weeks ahead of the next major big-budget action film release("300" sequel and "X-Men, Days of Future Past", respectively). And both appear to be trending well on Sci-fi and SH websites.

  • Report this Comment On December 09, 2013, at 5:43 PM, NotQyteNeo wrote:

    And no, I don't think Godzilla counts. I expect that movie to be a flop. But that's just my gut feeling only..

  • Report this Comment On December 09, 2013, at 6:42 PM, mrwiggles wrote:

    Anyone else notice Venom & Morbius easter eggs? I doubt Morbius would ever make an appearance, but Venom seems more likely. They seem to be using the ultimate comics as well as the amazing series to tell Webb's interpretations and if Norman Osborne is sick, Richard Parker and Eddie Brock Sr.'s 'creation' of a 'suit' that can cure terminal illnesses may be the secret Oscorp is hiding as well as the sinister six hardware. I think the man in the shadows walks past Doc Ock's arms and Vulture's wings to go to the containment chamber for the Venom symbiote as a last resort. sets it up for Venom in TASM4

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