Guardians of Galaxy director James Gunn needs to be called out for his astonishing level of chutzpah. A man who has dedicated his life to make believe — the man who has spent countless days and weeks and months of his life focused on comic book characters — decided it would be a good idea to belittle fans who dared to disagree with him on Spider-Man: Homecoming casting.

“If you’re complaining about the ethnicity of Mary Jane your life is too good,” wrote Mr. Gunn on Thursday, shortly after reports that Zendaya landed the role.

Translation: Just shut up and accept what we do or you will be mocked, ridiculed, and labeled a racist. 

James Gunn MJ tweet

Mr. Gunn could not just be content to have 2,100 share his smug tweet (with another 3,500 “liking” it). No, instead he had to climb atop a giant moral pedestal and lecture the world via Facebook on a controversy he helped create by stirring the pot.

His fans, of course, took the red herrings he dished out and lavished him with praise. Since they are so blinded by partisan politics or celebrity worship to identify a logical fallacy when it slaps them in the face(book), yours truly will dissect elements of his self-righteous rant.

“I do not believe a character is the color of his or her skin. When Michael B Jordan was cast as Johnny Storm I didn’t understand the uproar. The primary characteristic of Johnny was not, to me, that he was white, or that he had blonde hair, but that he was a fiery, funny, big-mouthed braggart of a hero. I was happy that he was going to be played by one of the finest and most charming young actors out there.”

Here we have Mr. Gunn, just like Marvel writer Dan Slott, responding to an argument that does not exist. Who is arguing that a character “is” the color of his or her skin? No one.

People who loves Peanuts went to the movie theater recently to see Charlie Brown and his beagle — not Charlie Brown and his miniature dachshund.

Moviegoers who love James Rhodes went to see Captain America: Civil War, and rightfully expected to see a black man — in this case, Don Cheadle — on the big screen as War Machine.

No one is arguing that race is the primary element that defines a person, but it is not wrong for comic book fans to expect a faithful transition of their favorite characters from platform to platform.

To lavish Mr. Gunn for addressing an argument that no one is making is absurd.

“Yesterday, a rumor broke out that the character of Mary Jane was being played by a young black woman, Zendaya, and all hell broke out on the Internet (again).”

That is because guys like you and Dan Slott look at what the dregs of the internet are saying and then insinuate that anyone who disagrees with you a.) has “too good of a life,” or b.) is a racist moron.

James Gunn kicks a hornet’s nest and then wonders why he gets stung.

For the thoughtful majority of you out there:

For me, if a character’s primary attribute – the thing that makes them iconic – is the color of their skin, or their hair color, frankly, that character is shallow and sucks. For me, what makes MJ MJ is her alpha female playfulness, and if the actress captures that, then she’ll work. And, for the record, I think Zendaya even matches what I think of as MJ’s primary physical characteristics – she’s a tall, thin model – much more so than actresses have in the past.

Again, note what Mr. Gunn does here: He responds to an absurd idea that no one is making, as if that’s what the real debate boils down to, and then says you are “thoughtful” if you agree with his rant. Ironically, fans who are not very thoughtful fail to see what he is doing while still getting excited that they agree with him.

Yes, James, it is correct that a character who is solely defined by skin color is lame. That would be a stellar point to make if the issue at hand centered around that claim. But hey, at least you get to relax in the verbal sponge baths that your Facebook and Twitter fans give you. I guess that counts for something…

“Whatever the case, if we’re going to continue to make movies based on the almost all white heroes and supporting characters from the comics of the last century, we’re going to have to get used to them being more reflective of our diverse present world. Perhaps we can be open to the idea that, although someone may not initially match how we personally conceive a character, we can be – and often are – happily surprised.”

Bravo, James! Well said. Do you know what would also make guys like me “happily surprised”?

Answer: If you and your friends did not say that fans’ “lives are too good” or that they are racist when they disagree with you.

Related:

Zendaya as Mary Jane? Ask about red hair for the next year and you’ll be called a ‘racist’

Dan Slott plays ‘Captain White Privilege’ after Zendaya-MJ casting reported

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

41 comments

  1. Would be interesting if the leak of the casting (whether true or not) originated from people in Hollywood, just so they could generate outrage and then lecture all the proles.

    1. “Would be interesting if the leak of the casting (whether true or not) originated from people in Hollywood, just so they could generate outrage and then lecture all the proles.”

      If it is true, then it’s hard to conclude anything else. So Sony makes a casting decision that many fans will question, and instead of just saying it from the beginning they keep it secret for months… What? If race is no big deal, then the studio shouldn’t be exploiting it to draw attention to the product.

  2. Well, I have to say I never planned on seeing the new Spider-Man movie, I to be honest don’t feel like seeing any movies anymore because it has become kind of a hassle to get the money to see it (I normally have the time to see it is later in the day so I have to pay 10 bucks), I have to go all the way to the movie theater, to make sure it is at a time I want to see it, and if I don’t like it I will feel like I wasted my time. When I was younger it was never a big deal but now when I got less time and need to save my money more I really can’t go see movies that often anymore.

    What makes me kind of annoyed is MJ’s red hair is iconic. There is a tv trope called “Heroes want red heads” named after her. Plus yeah she is technically african american but she has a white parent, she is interracial and that is something I heard people point out in that it seems like interracial people seem not want to be considered part white and just black. I am most likely wrong, and just being an idiot but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if that was so. Also even if she was white I would be like “A unproven actress, playing a major role, and she is a Disney Channel one, plus a teen actress who tend to be not that good………I am not sure about this……..”

    Then again I need to stop getting upset over all this stuff, I consider Spider-Man dead since One More Day, and One Moment in Time is the dog pissing on the grave. Last time I actually liked Spider-Man since OMD is the Symbiote Saga Part 3 from Ultimate Spider-man a cartoon I hate but I felt the episode was good and I was shocked that I liked it. Good thing like Star Wars Legends (I prefer the old eu over the new), Spider-Man has a massive back log of issues to read so from 1962 to mid 2007 I got 45 years of comics to read plus spin offs and guest appearances. Hey what I kinda like and makes me happy is every issue I never read even though it was released years ago a new issue to me so it fills the void of not having new Spider-man comics I like.

    1. “What makes me kind of annoyed is MJ’s red hair is iconic.”

      Exactly. There are guys like you out there — who have nothing against diversity — but because you’re like, “Ummm, MJ’s red hair is iconic,” then you’re suddenly a bad guy. It’s so weird.

      “She is technically african american but she has a white parent, she is interracial and that is something I heard people point out in that it seems like interracial people seem not want to be considered part white and just black. I am most likely wrong, and just being an idiot but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if that was so.”

      I think bi-racial kids are put in an unfortunate predicament because they naturally don’t really care one way or the other, but yet the cultural kind of forces them to (at least publicly) “choose a side.” It’s like their very own “Civil War” (Marvel pun intended).

      My wife is not white, so if we have kids down the line then that is the sort of pressure I know they will be under. My hope is that if I have children, then they will eventually laugh at anyone who tries to put them in a racial box.

      “Spider-Man has a massive back log of issues to read so from 1962 to mid 2007 I got 45 years of comics to read plus spin offs and guest appearances. Hey what I kinda like and makes me happy is every issue I never read even though it was released years ago a new issue to me so it fills the void of not having new Spider-man comics I like.”

      That’s pretty cool! I might end doing something like that myself one day. 🙂

  3. One would think Sony would learn from their mistake when they called critics of the Ghostbusters remake sexist jerks. The critics never said anything about the cast being all female, but instead did not want the remake period. All they are saying is it too much to ask the movies follow the comics at least a little bit? All the fans want to see is the old Mary-Jane with her iconic red hair. I’m all for diversity in movies and comics, but damn at least take the time to make new characters not just re-package old ones as a different race or gender. That’s just lazy and insulting to fans. I fear Sony is going to tick off fans again and the Spider-Man reboot will flop like the Ghostbusters remake did.

    On a side note I wonder if Dan Slott will now change his anti Marvel view on MJ now that Zendaya has been cast as MJ. He probably will in his desire to be liked and known as a progressive (please like me)!

    1. “One would think Sony would learn from their mistake when they called critics of the Ghostbusters remake sexist jerks. […] All the fans want to see is the old Mary-Jane with her iconic red hair. I’m all for diversity in movies and comics, but damn at least take the time to make new characters not just re-package old ones as a different race or gender.”

      This is the kind of comment, Derek, that makes James Gunn, Dan Slott and their friends rub their chins with a worried look in their eyes. The Mind Crime alert is going off that you, good sir, may be a racist! 😉

      Check out the YouTube videos on this. Where are these so-called racist? 99 percent of the videos are railing against these elusive and racist fanboys. My guess is that if you started to dig through all the Twitter feeds and YouTube videos you’d find that about 2 percent of comments are legitimately racist. I think a lot of times people (almost always anonymously) now say inflammatory and bigoted things just because they know it gets massive media attention.

      “That’s just lazy and insulting to fans. I fear Sony is going to tick off fans again and the Spider-Man reboot will flop like the Ghostbusters remake did.”

      I would agree with you if Marvel Studios weren’t involved. Sony still has a lot of control, but I think its worst instincts will be kept in check.

      “On a side note I wonder if Dan Slott will now change his anti Marvel view on MJ now that Zendaya has been cast as MJ. He probably will in his desire to be liked and known as a progressive (please like me)!”

      Yes, but Dan also said Peter’s love for MJ was anti-Marvel because she is “classically beautiful.” Zendaya is certainly beautiful… 🙂 You just need to figure out what the politically correct thing to do is in order to predict how Dan will react.

  4. I was going to reply to your reply to me (sounds kinda redundant) but there is no reply button under your reply.

    I expect MJ to be white the same way I expect Prowler to be black or Sunfire to be Asian Japanese.

    I also been trying out more Indie comics from the 80s, I picked up the Badger and I liked it, it has a unique crazyness to it. I also been reading more New Teen Titans, and I got X-Men the Hidden Years from the library to read. I read it twice before, the first time I didn’t really care for it but I liked it the second time. I think I need the right mind set to read it.
    If I had to recommend books I would say the first Iron Fist series is really good, I enjoyed the Cloak and Dagger comics; and I read Green Hornet Year One from Dynamite comics. You should check them out Doug.

    1. “I expect MJ to be white the same way I expect Prowler to be black or Sunfire to be Asian Japanese.”

      To me, this is a perfectly reasonable expectation. That’s why it bothers me so much that charges of racism are so easily thrown about. On one hand Marvel employees go out of their way to say how much they love cosplayers — people who are meticulous about getting every single detail right — and then when those same people want the same kind of attention to detail translated to the big screen they’re somehow “racist fanboys.” It’s disgusting.

      “If I had to recommend books I would say the first Iron Fist series is really good, I enjoyed the Cloak and Dagger comics; and I read Green Hornet Year One from Dynamite comics. You should check them out Doug.”

      I think my brother had a few Cloak and Dagger comics when I was a kid. They always fascinated me, so that might be a one for me to look into. 🙂 I can see myself getting into Green Hornet Year One as well.

      As far as Iron Fist goes, I’m pretty sure I’ll be reviewing the Marvel Netflix series when it comes out. I’ll look at my comics budget this fall and figure out what I can do. Thanks for the recommendations!

  5. “Good thing like Star Wars Legends (I prefer the old eu over the new)…”

    Nice to see another “Star Wars” Legends fan. I myself am onboard with the new Disney tie-in material (largely because I’ve been enjoying the stories and I wasn’t really liking where the Legends EU was going in the last few years of its life), but who says I can’t read both? Esp. when Legends has some pretty nifty stuff.

    “All the fans want to see is the old Mary-Jane with her iconic red hair.”

    Yeah, I think I’d prefer an actress who’s looks like the classic design of the character. However, I think Zendaya could be an okay likeness if the hair color matched, so I’m inclined to reserve judgement until the movie comes out and we see how she actually is onscreen, and if she’s even playing MJ in the first place.

    “On a side note I wonder if Dan Slott will now change his anti Marvel view on MJ now that Zendaya has been cast as MJ.”

    Not so sure. I can easily see him not minding it in a movie, but not wanting to use it in his stories. There are quite a few franchises where I like stuff from one continuity, but want it to stay in that continuity. For example, the 616 and Ultimate comics approached the origin of Peter and MJ’s relationship differently. I like different things about each, so I like that there’s different stories where each version can play out.

  6. So this is where we are now. Outrage and drama doesn’t even need to actually exist anymore to be condemned with the highest of righteous indignation. We can create it for you wholesale and then condemn it.

    I have always wondered how much people should adhere to the wishes of the existing fanbase. One could say that the failure of the Warcraft movie flowed from listening too much to the fanbase. I know i enjoyed it a lot, but then again i knew who Medhiv was before entering that cinema.
    While Ms Dunst did look like MJ, her preformance is not considered to be the highlight of the spiderman movies.
    If people had said Marisa Tomei would be Aunt May, the laughter would be there as well.
    (PS: Go see My Cousin Vinny, she deserved every piece of that Oscar)
    The First x-men movie made a joke about the Yellow Spandex, so looks shouldn’t be a factor in choosing a role.

    What i do find so funny about this isn’t the choice of role for MJ. The funny thing is the fact that we have heard this song and dance before and in both cases we know how it ends:

    It ends with Sony having a ten-pole movie costing 150 mil in producing that doesn’t even break 200 mil.
    It ends up with the bosses from Sony asking themselves why the hell they need a american movie studio when their only 2 movies in the top 25 of 2016 is 1) a movie made for China (the Mermaid) and 2) an animated movie based on a videogame( angry birds)
    Maybe mr Gunn should have a talk with Josh Trank and ask him how fast you can be dropped if you screw up.

    Two simple things exist that seems simple but is very difficult to learn and apply in real life during these new and interesting times:

    1) drama and outrage does not sell your product unless your product is drama and outrage. And there are a lot of people these days who sell drama for a living. Devin Farcini is one of those people. And you can bet money on the fact that listening to him will result in your loss.

    2) 95% of any existing fanbase are very easy to please. In this case dying your hair with a small tint of red will placate a lot of people. Cost of dying your hair is probably 4 dollars.

    1. “Two simple things exist that seems simple but is very difficult to learn and apply in real life during these new and interesting times. […] 1.) There are a lot of people these days who sell drama for a living. Devin Farcini is one of those people. And you can bet money on the fact that listening to him will result in your loss. 2.) 95% of any existing fanbase are very easy to please. In this case dying your hair with a small tint of red will placate a lot of people. Cost of dying your hair is probably 4 dollars.”

      Well said, bvdemier. If Sony wants to see what a real controversy looks like, then they just need to cast someone like Lena Dunham (perhaps the most manufactured ‘celebrities’ of the last ten years) as MJ…

  7. One warning about Cloak and Dagger some of the issues by Bill Mantlo tend to be kinda preachy when discussing child runaways and the dangers of drugs but hey it was the 80s. It has this weird street level supernatural feel to it. Cloak and Dagger crossovered a lot with Power Pack so I checked them out and even though I am an adult I liked those issues they were well written.

    By the way Douglas do you read manga? I know there is the whole Dragon Ball,Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and Yu Gi Oh steeotype about them but there are some good ones and there is more to it to them. Like Akira and Ghost in the Shell (well the later volumes) are cyberpunk with lots of politics asking the question “what if cyborgs and psychics exist in the real world, how would the government and society react?’ and philosophy about what is humanity and what is considered human or if a person is human still after they are just a brain in a robot body; Hellsing which is basically can be described as over the top violence horror about Dracula as a vampire hunter battling super vampire nazis; Guyver which is a sci-fi action in the style of Japanese superheroes, Gundam and its many many spin offs about warfare involving giant robots; there are lots of cute gag strip manga that range from funny to surreal; and then there are the manga based around cooking……..yes they make a comic about anything in Japan 😄 (Note I wrote that assuming you didn’t know)

  8. This is why I hate listening to celebrities bloviating. When you’re paid to pretend you’re someone else, I don’t really care about your opinions. This is bipartisan, I think both sides should shut up… BUT I know they’ve Constitutional rights so instead I ignore them.

    1. “This is why I hate listening to celebrities bloviating. When you’re paid to pretend you’re someone else, I don’t really care about your opinions. This is bipartisan, I think both sides should shut up… BUT I know they’ve Constitutional rights so instead I ignore them.”

      My main beef with most of these artists is their selective moral outrage. If they were intellectually consistent then their opinions would carry more weight, but in general they just say whatever will get them the most Facebook and Twitter “likes.”

    2. True, I notice all the liberals with the Global Warming shtick flying and driving everywhere. And those advocating socialism aren’t giving THEIR money away, just mine. Well said, it IS like they’re a bunch of spoiled children screaming for attention.

    3. “True, I notice all the liberals with the Global Warming shtick flying and driving everywhere.”

      Leonardo DiCaprio makes a larger carbon footprint flying his supermodel girlfriend-of-the-month to exotic locations than I could in 10 lifetimes — and yet people still take him seriously.

    4. And don’t forget everyone’s second favorite philanderer John Edwards with his power hungry palatial estate in the middle of so many poor small town farmers that it’s unreal. Then they skirt the tax system, because they’ve the lawyers to afford it, by renting a small portion of land so they can claim farm status… and the subsidies start rolling in.

  9. *Sees jrhandleyblog’s post” yeah man, they go on and on about how we should reduce our carbon foot prints even though these preachy ass celebrities unleash more disgusting carbon dioxide than 10 cars! All I ever hear them do is complain about polluting the environment and they put on these massive fundraiser parties that cost more than what they are donating! Seriously, why not just not bother and donate the money to research into a fuel that puts out less carbon dioxide seeing as wind and solar power are not that great in comparison to coal and oil in terms of energy output.

    Hahaha this got off topic but yeah virtue signaling probably has been around forever only now it is more noticeable.

  10. You know I honestly don’t mind if Mary Jane was actually being played by Zendaya. I truly would not! So long as she dye her hair of Red! But let me ask a question : Would this many people that are defending a Mary Jane being played by a black actress defend a Luke Cage, being played by a white actor ?

    Imo, there would not! In fact, I think there would be outrage. And not just from black people but also those “White Nerds Fanboys” who guess what, also love the character of Luke Cage.

    I was looking forward to this movie when the possible first draft of the movie was leaked in 4chan. However with these recent new that are coming out about the movie, it makes me less and less look forward to the movie.

    Things like the character of Flash Thompson being a rich bully, having 3 villains in the movie (Again), making shocker a throw away villain like the ultimate universe did, replacing Mary Jane for Michelle Jones thus making her MJ, making her Brainy Jane instead of Mary Jane from 616 (Pre-OMD), a Ganke like character thus ripping off Miles Morales, the apparent introduction of a Slott character Cindy Moon, etc

    I can’t help but feel unfair that we have been waiting for a proper movie of Spider-Man in the MCU done right after so many years of waiting for it… And we get vacation writers for the movie!

    What’s next Dan Slott writing Spider-Man’s movies ?

    1. “I can’t help but feel unfair that we have been waiting for a proper movie of Spider-Man in the MCU done right after so many years of waiting for it… And we get vacation writers for the movie!”

      I am not going to lie — getting the “Vacation” writer to work on Spider-Man: Homecoming seriously worries me. I almost did a blog post on it. The only reason why I have any faith in this movie is because Marvel Studios is more involved, but there are still red flags popping up that Sony is up to its old (stupid) tricks.

      “What’s next Dan Slott writing Spider-Man’s movies?”

      One thing I have realized since writing this blog over the years is that no matter what kind of off-the-wall idea that we can come up with, there is still a chance it might happen. Hollywood often does not hire the best people for the job — it often hires the people with the right connections and the right politics. If Dan wanted to transition into writing big-budget Hollywood movies, I have no doubt that he could make that happen. He might not last long…but he would get a shot.

  11. There’s an old saying, “When your head is a hammer, you see nails everywhere.” Young people have been brainwashed by teachers into interpreting everything through racist/class warfare glasses. As a result, they can’t tell the difference between hateful racism and, say, cheerful ethnic humor. “Racism” is their only metric. Like Christians who think demons are the cause of everything, a lot of millennials think they see racism behind every bush and tree.

    And anybody who looks to Dan Slott for insight on our cultural milieu has no standards. The guy is a dim bulb.

    1. “Off-topic, but did you see the recent news about Riri Williams as Ironheart?”

      I’m sure Marvel’s male audience is going to go nuts for a female character (an Iron Man replacement, no less) named “Ironheart.”

      The initial idea floated by the character — Iron Maiden — was much better. Maybe Riri will have a sidekick named Peace Machine.

    2. Damn, Doug! You must’ve edited your hypothetical sidekick name. I was going by your first choice when I posted that vid (“Love Machine”).

    3. “Damn, Doug! You must’ve edited your hypothetical sidekick name. I was going by your first choice when I posted that vid (“Love Machine”).”

      Haha. I made a quick edit. You got me. Maybe we can take bets on whether Riri’s best friend will go by “Love Machine,” “Peace Machine,” or something else.

      Rhodey will be barrel-rolling in his grave. Sigh…

    1. “How fast until sales on this Riri thing crater? 1 issue? There is no fad interest in Gwen Stacy to rely on here.”

      Someone needs to invent a time machine so we can figure out the exact date that Marvel will release “Iron Gender-fluid.”

  12. I’m a little late to the party here, but I’ll comment anyway…

    I actually have less of a problem with this than I do with making Aunt May a MILF. That actually seems to alter the dramatic situations quite a bit more. A fun, young-ish Aunt May doesn’t offer as much contrast for Peter’s “double life.”

    I’m not a big Spider-Man fan, but the key aspect of MJ always seemed to be that she was way out of Peter’s league. Nothing against Kirsten Dunst, but we didn’t really get that with her alongside Tobey Maguire. I don’t know much about Zendaya, but just from a few photos, it seems like that aspect might work better with her and the new Peter.

    Of course, the red hair is part of the iconography and iconography is very important when you’re talking about comics, since iconography is really their core. I think you can get by with changing one element, but the more you change, the more you get away from what makes them identifiable, from what has worked for decades, the less chance it is going to work again. And with the changes we already know about, I don’t have too much confidence this new Spider-Man will work when all is said and done.

    Of course, I do also want to to point out the chief irony here, and that is, with all this talk of diversity, the real problem the producers keep running into here is that it’s rare to find a really gorgeous ginger girl who is also a prominent actress. It’s actually much easier to find young, attractive interracial actresses with a list of credits and some name recognition.

    1. I’m a little late to the party here, but I’ll comment anyway…

      **starts cheesy techno beat** You can’t be late if the party never ends, Andrew… 😉

      “I actually have less of a problem with this than I do with making Aunt May a MILF. That actually seems to alter the dramatic situations quite a bit more. A fun, young-ish Aunt May doesn’t offer as much contrast for Peter’s ‘double life.'”

      Massive respect for your willingness to say the world needs less MILFs on the big screen. Heh. But seriously, I totally get where you’re coming from. I think one of the reasons why I don’t care as much is because on some level I think Aunt May should be dead in the comics anyway… Some of the Aunt May stories over the years have been rather embarrassing…

      “I’m not a big Spider-Man fan, but the key aspect of MJ always seemed to be that she was way out of Peter’s league. Nothing against Kirsten Dunst, but we didn’t really get that with her alongside Tobey Maguire. I don’t know much about Zendaya, but just from a few photos, it seems like that aspect might work better with her and the new Peter.”

      I was never really a fan of Kirsten Dunst. She was just “meh.” You could see it on her face that it was just a paycheck…a very nice paycheck.

      “And with the changes we already know about, I don’t have too much confidence this new Spider-Man will work when all is said and done.”

      Why couldn’t Marvel just take total control from Sony. I guess we’ll see how it goes…but I’m afraid that Sony is beyond help. If Kevin Feige can make this relationship work, then I will give him an extra salute and cheer his name from the top of a mountain. “Feigeeeee-ge-ge-ge-ge!”

  13. Marvel HAS full creative control of this Sony has the rights but they are letting Marvel do as they wish. I get it Sony made the PC Ghostbusters, Sony didn’t create the MCU and let’s be honest most of the hate Sony got regarding Spider-Man in the past was the possibility that Sony’s films wouldn’t be in the MCU and Garfield’s films would have been part of the MCU if they continued.

    Marvel had creative control of the final cuts of ASM 2 they decided to cut MJ’s scenes and and another forty minutes out of the film Sony granted them this privilege as Marvel would be satisfied and let the ASM films enter the MCU but Marvel wasn’t satisfied with the unprecedented degree of control they’d been given they wanted a reboot so they butchered the film and did everything in their power to harm it’s reputation before, during and after in order to force a reboot and grant themselves full control.

    Sony is the only reason we’re getting a Peter Parker film, Sony is the only reason Peter won’t be killed off and replaced with Miles. Marvel is responsible for litterally everything regarding Homecoming except paying for the budget or receiving revenue from ticket sales. Sony they could have done much better with there spin off plans but at the end of the day with the exception of Spider-Man 3 Marvel has and will be responsible for every Spider-Man failure in every medium since 2007.

    Fun Fact ASM 2 was Peter David’s favorite Spider-Man film.

    Sony made the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon which is viewed as the best adaptation of the character period and the best “leaked script” for Homecoming is very heavily influenced by the first seven episodes of that cartoon. If the movie follows that script and is a sucess than all credit will go to Marvel and Homecoming will be used to justify Sony having all but abandoned creative control when Sony would be directly responsible for the sucess IN SPITE of Marvel’s poor decisions.

    Again with the three villains myth Avengers had seven heroes and villains, Age of Ultron and Civil War had a dozen each you get no complaints about them being overstuffed like you do three villain films. People were saying ASM 2 would suck because of multiple villains months before it came out when it turned out that 1. Rhino was a solid comedic bookend the film began and ended with him 2. Harry was the Goblin for only 5 minutes and his team up with Electro was WAY more logical and thematically strong than Venom and Sandman. 3. They were building to the Sinister Six I wonder why most people are thrilled at the prospect of 6 villains in a film or 12 heroes but 3 villains is just too much.

    Shocker and Tinkerer are small roles and you really think Vulture could justify a full movie on his own?

  14. “Marvel HAS full creative control of this Sony has the rights but they are letting Marvel do as they wish. I get it Sony made the PC Ghostbusters, Sony didn’t create the MCU and let’s be honest most of the hate Sony got regarding Spider-Man in the past was the possibility that Sony’s films wouldn’t be in the MCU and Garfield’s films would have been part of the MCU if they continued.”

    I don’t know. The majority of the complaints I’ve heard about the ASM movies was with the flow of the narrative and the pacing (the character writing was awful, too, IMHO), so I don’t think that them being not part of the MCU was a factor. Case in point, no one hates on the “X-Men” movies because they’re not MCU, and the original “Spider-Man” trilogy is still considered among the best in the Marvel movie franchise, despite not being MCU.

    (In fact, I think it was just as well that ASM wasn’t grandfathered into the MCU. It would’ve raised too many logic questions and was arguably the worst movie series in the character’s lineup to date.)

    “Marvel had creative control of the final cuts of ASM 2 they decided to cut MJ’s scenes and and another forty minutes out of the film Sony granted them this privilege as Marvel would be satisfied and let the ASM films enter the MCU but Marvel wasn’t satisfied with the unprecedented degree of control they’d been given they wanted a reboot so they butchered the film and did everything in their power to harm it’s reputation before, during and after in order to force a reboot and grant themselves full control.”

    Yeah, that doesn’t make much sense, given the leaked info we’ve gotten from Sony.

    “Sony is the only reason we’re getting a Peter Parker film, Sony is the only reason Peter won’t be killed off and replaced with Miles.”

    Really? As I recall, the MCU people were also saying that they wanted to use Peter Parker in any “Spider-Man” movies they made. Also, the rumors are that the animated Sony “Spider-Man “movie will star Miles, so I wouldn’t be so sure.

    “Marvel is responsible for litterally everything regarding Homecoming except paying for the budget or receiving revenue from ticket sales. Sony they could have done much better with there spin off plans but at the end of the day with the exception of Spider-Man 3 Marvel has and will be responsible for every Spider-Man failure in every medium since 2007.”

    Judging by the first two ASM movies, I don’t think Sony had a good handle on “Spider-Man,” much less a good gameplan. The original movies largely worked because they hired a director who had a good vision for the story and was skilled as presenting it on the screen.

    While we view Marvel as a single entity, it’s actually made up of different people who work on different projects. And, on top of that, Marvel has made some really good “Spider-Man” stuff since 2007: Brian Michael Bendis’s “Ultimate Spider-Man” series ran past 2007, some of the video games were great (from the YouTube play-throughs I’ve seen), “Renew Your Vows” was a comic series that manages to please almost everyone, so I don’t think it’s that black and white.

    “Fun Fact ASM 2 was Peter David’s favorite Spider-Man film.”

    So? It think it’s the worst “Spider-Man” movie to date, but if David likes it, he likes it. I like “Spider-Man 3” and that doesn’t really have any relevance to anything.

    “Sony made the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon which is viewed as the best adaptation of the character period and the best “leaked script” for Homecoming is very heavily influenced by the first seven episodes of that cartoon. If the movie follows that script and is a sucess than all credit will go to Marvel and Homecoming will be used to justify Sony having all but abandoned creative control when Sony would be directly responsible for the sucess IN SPITE of Marvel’s poor decisions.”

    The team that made “Spectacular Spider-Man” was different than the teams that made the movies, so that’s not really relevant. And, based on the info from the Sony hack, Sony themselves were very much responsible for the film franchise’s decline. So, at worst, both sides played a part. (Are the people involved with the MCU even the same ones involved with the earlier “Spider-Man movies?)

    “Again with the three villains myth Avengers had seven heroes and villains, Age of Ultron and Civil War had a dozen each you get no complaints about them being overstuffed like you do three villain films.”

    I think the concern was that they wouldn’t be well integrated into the story, and I think that’s the same deal. The other movies did a better job. Unlike ASM2, they were part of the same story, instead of 3+ stories smashed together.

    “People were saying ASM 2 would suck because of multiple villains months before it came out when it turned out that 1. Rhino was a solid comedic bookend the film began and ended with him”

    I didn’t mind Rhino, but I will admit his only reason for being there was to set up sequels that never came to be. (Of course, ASM2 had no point other than setting up sequels, so…)

    “2. Harry was the Goblin for only 5 minutes…”

    Harry Osborn was a botched character (they tried to compress his whole story arc from the first three movies into one, which didn’t work), and his becoming a villain was just an afterthought and a way to stuff “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” before the movie ran out of time. He’s a textbook example of how multiple villains can ruin a movie.

    “…and his team up with Electro was WAY more logical and thematically strong than Venom and Sandman.”

    Seriously? While I’ll be willing to concede on the logic part, ASM2 wasted the concept. All Osborn and Electro do together is break into Oscorp and then go their separate ways. Sandman and Venom actually work together for the final fight, which is one coherent climax before the movie’s final coda. The Goblin and Electro fight scenes have nothing to do with each other and aren’t connected. SM3 wins this hands down.

    3. They were building to the Sinister Six I wonder why most people are thrilled at the prospect of 6 villains in a film or 12 heroes but 3 villains is just too much.”

    Is a “Sinister Six ” movie a good idea in the first place? I’m not so sure, unless the characters have had setup over the course of several movies, like the Avengers did.

    At the end of the day, the writing of the movie depends on whether the multiple heroes/slash villains story will work. “The Winter Solider” and “Civil War” got it right, SM3 barely makes it work (IMHO), ASM2 and “Iron Man 2” fail big time at this (although IM2 shows how good casting can overcome this, to some extent).

    “Shocker and Tinkerer are small roles and you really think Vulture could justify a full movie on his own?”

    Depends on the script and story.

    1. “Seriously? While I’ll be willing to concede on the logic part, ASM2 wasted the concept. All Osborn and Electro do together is break into Oscorp and then go their separate ways. Sandman and Venom actually work together for the final fight, which is one coherent climax before the movie’s final coda. The Goblin and Electro fight scenes have nothing to do with each other and aren’t connected. SM3 wins this hands down.”

      Boom.

      I may have quibbles with things you said here and there in that lengthy reply, but in general I think you were on the money. That was an impressive response, Weblurker.

  15. I made the mistake of glancing at (but not commenting on) his Facebook page the other day. There were a bunch of clowns in the comments, basically cheering saying stuff like “Way to call out the racists, James!” Not long after, a bunch of articles popped up saying the same thing. It’s ridiculous. More than a few people also echoed Slott and said, “There’s nothing about these characters that HAS to be white. They are fictional characters and inherently malleable.” Imagine if someone said the same about Luke Cage, Rhodey, and Blade (to name just a few) and you can see what the problem with that statement is.

    Even Stan Lee has (supposedly) praised Zendaya’s casting. I don’t have a problem with her, like i said, but I do have a problem with media clowns calling people “racist” for disagreeing with the casting. I would’ve preferred someone like Sophie Turner or Bella Thorne in the role myself, but I’ll wait and see before I make my final judgments. I do think she’ll be better than Kirsten Dunst; in my opinion, Dunst didn’t put her all into the role.

    I do wonder if Lee actually said that or if he was instructed to say it by some PR person. On a similar note, during the Captain America 75th Anniversary special on ABC, several Agents of SHIELD actors such as Chloe Bennett and Clark Gregg both went out of their way to praise Nick Spencer’s Falcon-as-Captain America. They both called it “important.” I wonder that’s how they really feels or if they instructed to say it.

  16. It kind of matters that Peter David defended the movie on his blog praising it as the first movie that really did it right. In addition to being a classic Spider-Man writer he is one of the most vocally pro MJ/spider-marriage writers and wrote the novelizations of not one, not two but all three Raimi films making him both an authority and someone who’d have every reason to strongly favor the Raimi films yet felt the second Garfield film was the first home run.

  17. Do you mean this entry? (http://www.peterdavid.net/?s=amazing+spider-man+2&x=0&y=0)

    It doesn’t mention the older movies and I have to say, I think David’s reasoning is fair enough. Now, I don’t agree that Garfield was a good Spider-Man/Peter Parker, I think that Emma Stone’s acting is the sole reason anyone like Gwen Stacy (since the characters is not well-written, IMHO), but David’s point is that it was full of stuff he liked and I can understand that, even if that stuff was the reason I didn’t like the movie.

    No one’s going to agree on everything. I know Mary Jane fans who really dislike the version of the character from the original movies. I, another fan of the character, personally really like her in them (I do slightly refer the girl-next-door MJ over the party-girl-mask MJ, so that is my bias). Some people really like the Gwen character and think that you can’t tell the Spider-Man story without her and Peter falling in love. I honestly really don’t see why and find it frankly weird, at best, to imagine her and Peter as a couple.

    On top of that, people can prefer one thing overall, but love one specific version of it. I’m a Trekkie and will aways prefer the pre-reboot iteration of the franchise over the Abrams films, but I do think that “Star Trek Beyond” was awesome and better than some of the previous non-reboot movies.

    So, I guess I don’t see David liking the movie as having any other meaning then it was a movie he liked that he doesn’t get why others didn’t.

  18. You said that he referred to those who agree with him as being thoughtful. I don’t think that’s what he said. He says earlier in his post, “I got a thousand or so responses to my tweet. Most of them were positive. Some folks disagreed – they thought the character should look like what she looks like in the comics – but were thoughtful. And a handful were flat out racist.” So I think that when he’s addressing “the thoughtful majority”, as he says, he’s talking to those who disagreed with him but weren’t being ignorant or “flat out racist.” I just wanted to point that out because I don’t think it’s fair to say that he was saying something like that when he clearly wasn’t. And has for his tweet and entire FaceBook post, I see how it could be taken as smug but I personally don’t think it was necessarily meant that way. I think a lot of meanings and emotions get lost on the internet and in writing. I read his post and didn’t see it as smug or unkind but reading your post I can absolutely see how it could be taken that and how it could have even been meant that way. It’s hard to tell when you’re just reading.

    I totally get what you’re saying with this post but… I don’t entirely agree myself. There are a lot of people who are unhappy about the casting and are automatically being pegged as racist or told that they shouldn’t care so much what a character looks like. And that’s not okay. It’s unfair and is basically throwing those people’s opinions and thoughts out the window. However, there are a lot of people who actually are saying those things and are just being racist. Back when hardly anyone had been cast yet and people were first starting the debate about whether or not Michelle was really the name of Zendaya’s character I saw it suggested quite often that she could be MJ. Initially, my thoughts were that that was totally wrong. I actually like Zendaya and am excited to see her in whatever role I Spider-Man but the idea of MJ not looking the way she always has was unappealing to me. There’s a part of me that still feels tat way. I do think that if she is MJ I would prefer they at least gave her red hair. She didn’t have red hair on set so I figure that’s not happening at least in the first movie. My concern had always been the hair. A lot of people have told me that that’s unfair and that I’m being racist. Personally, I really like characters to be as close to the source material as possible the majority of the time and I think that a lot of the people who don’t want Zendaya to play MJ are on the same boat and it has nothing to do with being racist, sexist, homophobic, or whatever else may come into it. But that doesn’t mean that “No one is arguing that race is the primary element that defines a person,” as you said. People are saying that and I think those are mainly the people Gunn is trying to address here. I could be wrong about that, of course, but that is my take on it.

    1. “I don’t think it’s fair to say that he was saying something like that when he clearly wasn’t.”

      Sally, first of all, thanks for taking the time to reply. I will note, however, that Jame Gunn’s very first entrance into this debate started with the following tweet: ““If you’re complaining about the ethnicity of Mary Jane your life is too good.”

      That statement leave no wiggle room at all. There is no room for “thoughtfulness.” You either agree with James Gunn, or your life is “too good.” I will admit that he was much more careful with his words on Facebook, but the underlying message is still the same when you strip out his begrudging respect for some of his detractors. That is why I provided a hyperlink to the entire post so readers can decide for themselves.

      “However, there are a lot of people who actually are saying those things and are just being racist.”

      I keep seeing the “a lot of people” claim on YouTube videos and on Twitter, but I actually haven’t seen much that is flat-out racist. I do see a lot of people complaining about political correctness…but that isn’t racist. Is there a remotely prominent YouTube vlogger or Twitter personality that has said anything racist? If so, please point me to them. I acknowledged that the dregs of the Internet will behave accordingly, but those individuals are vastly outnumbered — so much so that they aren’t really worth any celebrity’s time.

      “My concern had always been the hair. A lot of people have told me that that’s unfair and that I’m being racist.”

      Boom. That is what I am talking about when I say that I have not really seen many people online saying blatantly racist things. I have seen people like you slimed as racist, though. The definition of racist appears to be, “anyone who disagrees with Zendaya’s casting.” And that’s where guy’s like Dan Slott come into the equation. There is no way to deny that he — another employee of Marvel, the writer of The Amazing Spider-Man no less! — poisons the well.

      “But that doesn’t mean that ‘No one is arguing that race is the primary element that defines a person,’ as you said. People are saying that and I think those are mainly the people Gunn is trying to address here.”

      Really? Let us go to James Gunn’s own post and the 1,6000 on the matter? I scrolled through them when I was writing this piece and nothing like that stuck out to me. What percentage of people are saying this? If it’s less than 2 percent of commenters out there, then why does it matter? Why are these flat-out racist comments so elusive? I would argue because most people simply don’t have a racist hang-up with the decision. It’s manufactured outrage by celebrities and websites to get attention, plaudits and clicks.

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