What we want to see in ''Spider-Man 3''
SPOILER ALERT: This story reveals some plot elements. ''Go get 'em, tiger!'' That goose bump-inducing line is where the box office wonder ''Spider-Man 2'' leaves us. But Peter Parker will spin his web again -- in a thousand days or so. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and director Sam Raimi have all signed on for ''Spider-Man 3,'' which is set for May 7, 2007. What superhero fan can wait that long? In the interests of instant gratification, we offer suggestions for the third Spidey movie (which, if current trends hold, will be the first film to gross $1 billion in a single hour):
DON'T kill Mary Jane. The movie story arc of Mary Jane Watson (Dunst) is much like that of another of Peter's comic book love interests: Gwen Stacy, who is murdered by the Green Goblin when he tosses her off a bridge. Since Dunst reportedly wants to leave the franchise after the third movie, Raimi & Co. might be tempted to do the same to Mary Jane, leaving Peter to trudge into the sunset while reflecting in a grim voiceover that everyone he ever loves will surely die. And that's a plotline only Debbie Downer would enjoy.
DO keep Peter's mask on. By the end of ''Spider-Man 2,'' our hero has removed his mask in front of Mary Jane, Harry Osborne, Norman Osborne, Dr. Otto Octavius, and a whole subway car full of random New Yorkers (fortunately, none of them whipped out a cameraphone). Secret identities are supposed to be secret, man. Since Pete's webbing is strong enough to stop a runaway subway train, maybe he should use it to keep that disguise stuck to his noggin.
DO use multiple bad guys. So James Franco's Harry Osborne found his dad's stash of ugly green outfits. Does that really mean we have to endure another two hours of a cackling dude encased in green plastic? In the comic books, Peter's ''Spidey 2'' professor, Dr. Curt Connors (Dylan Baker), drinks a potion that turns him into a malevolent giant lizard (oops). Go with that, but stick in some other supervillains too. The Sandman, a sulky, conflicted character who turns into a living pile of, er, sand, is one possibility. Other viable villains include the Scorpion (a fella with a long mechanical tail that works like Doc Ock's arms), Venom (a Spidey doppelgänger who wears a black version of Peter's costume), and Electro (a walking power plant). Sadly, one of Spidey's greatest foes, obese crimelord the Kingpin, is unavailable: Michael Clarke Duncan already played him in last year's weak ''Daredevil'' movie.
DO give us more of manic newspaperman J. Jonah Jameson -- and LESS of his boring son John Jameson. J.K. Simmons' bravura performance as the truculent, Spida-hata Daily Bugle publisher continues to delight (''I'll give you 50 bucks for it!''), but his astronaut son John Jameson (Daniel Gillies) is as personality-free as his pop is colorful. Spare us the sight of John moping over his canceled wedding, and give us more scenes of Jonah abusing Peter instead. And John should DEFINITELY not fulfill his comic book destiny by transforming into the ludicrous, minor-league bad guy Man-Wolf; this guy's only superpower is boring us to death.
What do you think should happen in ''Spider-Man 3''?