Peyton Thomas, a Toronto-based novelist/journalist, was upset that Marvel didn’t seriously consider Andrew Garfield’s proposal to depict Peter Parker as bisexual in the recent Spiderman movies. When their initial post on the subject got over 60,000 notes on Tumblr, they decided to write their own, feature-length script, and the internet is going crazy over it.
As far as the internet is concerned, the Bi Spiderman Drama is old news. Andrew Garfield, who portrayed the famous web-slinger in The Amazing Spiderman and The Amazing Spiderman 2, was vocal about his enthusiasm for a bisexual Spiderman. Garfield wanted to have actor Michael B. Jordan (then of The Wire fame) play Parker’s love interest MJ, and discussed the possibility with the movies’ producer and the director. But the studios were not as enthusiastic. In 2015, WikiLeaks released a set of emails between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Entertainment, reporting that the two parties had signed a 2011 licensing agreement stating that Peter Parker had to be heterosexual and white in all his film appearances.
Thomas learned about it when reviewing Andrew Garfield’s body of work after seeing him in a production of Angels in America over the summer. And while they were initially frustrated by Marvel’s shortsightedness, they realized they had everything they needed to make a screenplay happen – “a word processor, a beating heart, and too much time,” as they put it on their blog post. So, over the course of a week, they wrote a feature-length Spiderman film to make Garfield’s dream come true, complete with a Spotify playlist you can tune into during crucial scenes to get the full effect.
The 96-page script has bomb threats, car chases, and a suitably-spooky villain. But it’s the human story at the core that gives it its life – Peter Parker resolving his guilt over the death of his girlfriend Gwen Stacey while slowly falling for study buddy MJ. Thomas wanted to do something a little different with the script, to write “a script where grief is the antagonist instead of a supervillain.” And their gamble paid off – the Amazing Spiderman 3 is, quite simply, the best superhero movie you won’t watch this year.
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