Giving the audience what they want. Mistake? *unboxed spoilers in op*

In spiderman 2…

MJ and Peter’s friend both find out he is spiderman. MJ jilts her NASA fiance to go and override Peter’s insistance that they can’t be together. Peter gives in.

Those are things the average audience member/fan wanted to see happen. But giving the audience what they crave invariably nails shut the coffin of the franchise doesn’t it?

I was glad to see those things happen too, but now that the audience has been given the most desired thing (spiderman gets the girl) the writers have to come up with something new for us to want. what can top the hero getting his love?

In the comics, I believe she wasn’t even his favorite girlfriend. Hopefully they’ll introduce one of the other ones in the third installment.
Hopefully she will die soon and send him into Spider Depression. He’ll have to recover from it in time to same the city and the world!!
And what better way to recover from it, than to find a newer hotter girlfriend. Maybe she could even die while he’s saving her from something. Or she dies before he gets to her. Kinda like Cliffhanger or Ace Ventura II :smiley:

Spiderman 2 ended with MJ looking out the window as Spidey swung away right? Is it just me or did she look a bit depressed about him leaving her already? I think we were given the happy ending, but that last scene meant that there could be problems later on.

I wouldnt be suprised if the next movie opened up with them screaming at each other, especially considering Kirsten Dunst has said she doesnt see herself doing a 4th although she is signed up for a third.

A lot of times, though, the film will be screened. If the audience doesn’t like the ending, a lot of times, be changed.

A good example is Pretty In Pink.". Test audiences hated that Molly Ringwald ended up with Ducky, and they re-did the end so that she ends up with Blaine.

You can only drag things out for so long before they get old. We’ve already seen Peter Parker long for MJ through two movies, do we really need to see him pine for her in a third? I’m reminded for the “will he get the girl” plot from both Friends and Fraiser. It didn’t take long for both of those plots to get real stale real fast. I’d much rather see Peter Parker take on other challenges then pining for his true love.


Just for the record, when you’re putting a spoiler warning in a thread title, it’s probably helpful to mention what movie/book/opera/TV commercial/stained-glass window/etc. is to be spoiled within.

I deliberately didn’t do this, because ‘giving the audience what they want’ and a mention of spiderman is a spoiler in itself.

Well, he did end up marrying her. And it looks like they’re not going to bother with Gwen Stacy.

As an aside, why is it that no one knows the proper spelling of “Spider-Man”? :confused:

I blame Batman and Superman.

Don’t forget the Aqua Velva Man, I am sure he is involved somehow.

Hotter than Kirsten Dunst?


Keira Knightley?

No, it’s not.

Because the Peter/MJ romance is only part of the plot of Spider-man, in the comics, in the movies, in the cartoons that are recent enough to involve MJ in any way shape or form.

Now, of course, it’s not much of a spoiler anyway, as half the people watching the movie KNOW he gets MJ, and that’s only ‘giving us what we want’ in the sense of ‘getting it overwith so we can get on with the more interesting stories’.

‘Giving the audience what they want’ for Spider-man covers any number of things - from Peter and MJ getting around to their marriage, to the appearance of Venom/Kraven/Punisher/villain of their choice (Mine would be Kraven…I’d love to see what Raimi does with Kraven), to a guest shot by Reed Richards or Charles Xavier, to JJ Jameson finally getting punched in the face, and so on. None of these finally happening are going to end the Spider-man franchise, because Spider-man isn’t about any of those things. The core of Spider-man isn’t ‘will he get the girl’, it’s ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. It’s about Peter’s endless quest to live up to the philosophy that Uncle Ben put in his mind. The only things that would end the Spider-man franchise’s ability to have interesting stories would be Spidie losing his powers (or dying), or the entire world suddenly ceasing to have any evil - neither of which is ‘what the audience wants’, although the second fails mostly because it’s insanely unrealistic, even by superhero standards.

Which leads us to the problem with the OP:

The idea that every series hinges on a single hook, the resolution of which prevents you from ever telling another interesting story with them again.

There ARE series like that, but they tend to have a limited lifespan anyway, although there’s exceptions.

Spider-man is not one of them.

It just opens the door to a different kind of stress.

Mary Jane was only kind of happy with Peter going out to save the world. All it would take was one bad jump or one lucky break for the baddies and Peter comes home in a box. That always kind of upset MJ.

Comic books and movies are different mediums and that affects everything about how they are received by audiences.

Comic books are monthly, and the reader expects to read them for years. Even ignoring that Spider-Man is in a dozen different titles, the average reader has the expectation that a story arc will unfold over the average five years that a reader sticks with a title. That means that a romance and all its complication has to be stretched, usually very artifically, over 60 issues, plots, and events.

Movies are occasional. The viewer normally expects to only see one movie with a set of characters. In Spider-Man’s peculiar case, this increases to two or three. The expectation, therefore, is that a story arc will unfold within those two or three movies.

It’s giving the audience what it wants, but in a completely different way than what Lobsang is thinking of.

Peter had girlfriends before MJ in the comics. He had a crush on Liz Allen in high school and later dated Betty Brant. In college, he had met and developed a crush on Gwen Stacy before he met Mary Jane. Aunt May had been trying to set them up on a blind date for years by the time they met face to face.

When first introduced, MJ was kept hidden from readers, who never got to see her face until Peter met her. Peter had a long relationship with Gwen, about 5-6 years, before her untimely death, which finally cleared the way for he and MJ to get together.

This wouldn’t work in the movies. Everyone knows who Peter ends up with, and I’d guess that casual fans and more recent fans know only about the Peter/MJ relationship. There wouldn’t really be any suspense to try to drag it out. Bendis dumped all of the girlfriends before MJ in Ultimate, and was smart to do so.

Even if the franchise goes 6 movies, there’s still plenty of room to develop the relationship.

How about the hero kicking the crap out of more badass villains?

Seriously, I am a firm believer in not giving the audience what they want and I feel that test audiences and the insistence on happy endings have had a negative effect on movies. But S2 is a bad example. Stretching out the Peter/MJ romance would have been unsatisfying, yes, but also unrealistic and silly, like the chaste decades-long courtship of Dick Tracy.

And it was quite clearly pointed out (IMO) in Spider-Man 2 that two years had passed since the events of the previous film. That’s plenty of time for the relationship between Peter and M.J. to have developed - for better and for worse.

That said, I was pleasantly surprised that…

Harry Osborn actually discovered Spider-Man’s identity in the film. I actually didn’t suspect that because of the tease in the trailers - i.e. Harry reaching for Spidey’s mask. And I was also pleasantly surprised when M.J. found out, and again when Dr. Octavius found out.

I’m hoping that we’ll get to see some of Spider-Man’s notoriously carefree attitude and sense of humour when fighting the bad guys in the next film. IMO, one of things Peter most enjoys about being Spider-Man (even if he doesn’t realize it) is that his shy and awkward ways disappear when he puts on the mask.

That said, I suspect that both Peter and M.J. will have their hands full with at least two foes in the third film. So, after the first half of the film, Spidey may not have much opportunity, or breath left, to crack wise. But no matter how my suspicions turn out, I can’t wait for Spider-Man 3!

(My guesses as to the villians in the next film? The Kangaroo (v2) and The White Rabbit! With cameos by The Spot and Rocket Racer! :wink: )


Well, look at it this way…What would the audience have done of Peter just got completely shafted by everyone and everything in S2? There’s a chance that the audience would hate the movie, and refuse to go to the next sequel, expecting to that they’d just see a genuinely likeable character get horribly jerked around some more.

Of course, considering the franchise, Spider-Man 3 would probably make a profit if Ed Wood was directing it.

I have nothing to add except that I laughed so hard on at this line that my chair rolled out from under me and I landed on the floor!