Well, it's official: "The Amazing Spider-Man" is going to be a huge hit. With over $50 million already in the bank from overseas, "The Amazing Spider-Man" kicked off in North America on Tuesday with a record-breaking $35 million and is now on track to earn upwards of $140 million by Sunday night. Not bad for a movie that cost a reported $220 million. Even more, viewers 18 and under are giving the flick an A- CinemaScore, meaning that the studio's efforts to re-brand the franchise for a younger audience who may not be familiar with Sam Raimi's trilogy has been a success. And with a sequel already dated for May 2, 2014, it seems the studio is already looking beyond that.
On the film's official Facebook page on Monday, it was posted: "It's finally here! The Amazing Spider-Man is the first installment in a movie trilogy that will explore how our fave hero's journey was shaped by the disappearance of his parents." Key words there are "in a movie trilogy." This is the first time any reference has been officially made to the franchise beyond the first two movies, but it looks like Spidey is here for the long haul, and even more, producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad told SuperHeroHype they are already thinking of rounding up the Sinister Six to face off against the web-slinging hero. Here's an excerpt from that conversation:
SHH: Do you feel like you need to stay away from some of the villains that have appeared in the Sam Raimi movies? Or can you redefine them within the context of this new Spider-Man?
Arad: Well, not really. There are so many ways to paint these villains, all of them. As you know, one of the great sagas in the Spider-Man universe is of course the Sinister Six. I think "Avengers" did okay the last time I looked.
Tolmach: It's going to be okay.
Arad: Yeah, it will survive.
SHH: So are you suggesting you're going to do five Spider-Man movies introducing each villain and then the sixth movie will have the Sinister Six?
Tolmach: It seems like a good model.
Arad: It all depends on the stories that one wants to tell, because Spider-Man is really more a depth kind of a story, we have to be careful how many villains we can service, because a relationship with a villain has to be such that it's a story on his own. We attempted to do multiple villains--you've been there--you just need screen time to do it.
Now, for those of you catching up, Sinister Six was a group spearheaded by Doctor Octopus -- composed of a bunch of baddies including Vulture, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, and Sandman -- to finally defeat Spider-Man. What about Lizard? Well, in the comics, he actually turned down Doctor Octopus, but later joined the Sinister Twelve, so if this is indeed a path Tolmach and Arad are taking, we presume some gentle tweaking will be taking place.
And while this is intriguing, it also sounds a bit like an idea in early stages, because the key here is that they want to open up the world Spider-Man is in all over again. "One of the things that Matt and I are working on is the expansion of the universe. The Spider-Man Universe, as you know, has very interesting characters. We didn't even get yet to Robbie (Robertson) and J. Jonah Jameson," Arad explained. "We didn't get to John Jameson, and we didn't get yet to Mary Jane, so we are kind of peeling the onion and looking for what will be the most compelling and interesting relationships within the Spider-Man universe to continue and sometimes spin them off - that's an opportunity."
The latter part of that quote is in reference to the already brewing "Venom" movie that has Josh Trank attached to direct, and has already been suggested will tie into "The Amazing Spider-Man" universe. Either way, it's clear there are big plans in place for the franchise, which is already looking to expand the scope of Raimi's films into something much bigger, possibly mirroring Marvel's successful approach. Time will tell, but if the movie does what it should by the end of the weekend, those pieces are going to start getting moved into place.