After a bit of denial, Columbia Pictures have confirmed that Chronicle actor Dane DeHaan has been cast as the new Harry Osborn for the Amazing Spider-Man 2 alongside actors Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and Shailene Woodley. In the Spider-Man mythology of course, Harry Osborn becomes the second Green Goblin after his father. So I now wonder at which point this “new” Spider-Man series is just remaking the original trilogy. And while I admit DeHaan is a capable actor, he’s also just basically playing the same role he did in Chronicle, insomuch as Harry Osborn/Andrew Detmer are both characters with huge daddy issues that gain dark powers and uses them, you know, to do bad things.
So this has what its become, then? And woe is me (and the audience who see this film) that I believed for a moment that Columbia/Sony actually had a better reason to reboot their Spider-Man franchise than replacing Tobey McGuire -a good actor, but clearly bored with the role. But in the end, they’re just basically re-doing the previous trilogy? Just because they change the actor, update the visual effects and hire a director not known for heavily effects laced films that someone (or even a few million people) would not notice they’re paying a lot of money to see a storyline already done just what, five years ago?
That’s just it, we’re not dealing with a franchise that has sat fallow for decades, or a long running franchise in need of some changes, the last Spider-Man film in 2007. I was suspicious when Columbia announced that The Amazing Spider-Man, while tonally different from the previous trilogy, they were re-doing the origin story of Peter Parker as Spider-Man. I questioned why the need to do that. Why not just replace McGuire like they’ve replaced James Bond actors (until they rebooted the franchise in 2006)? Just make the fourth Spider-Man film without acknowledging the casting change and have faith the audiences both here and worldwide are smart and intelligent enough to understand that its still Spider-Man. I know actors egos are fragile, but a good actor becomes the character and audiences go to films to see characters and not, in some sense, the actor.
Maybe I’m wrong as well, maybe they’ve just decided to bring him in for other reasons, yet the Green Goblin is one Spider-Man‘s best villains, and if I know studios the way I think I do, they’re intention is to basically remake the same trilogy again and again as long as viewers across the world pay money to see it.
This is the new paradigm in Hollywood: instead of taking risks, just reboot everything, even if the last film in the previous series was made only five years before.