As you might have noticed on the CHUD main page, the current internet trend of putting wacky actors in roles you might not expect them has spawned a grassroots campaign to get Derrick Comedy/Community star Donald Glover cast as Peter Parker in the new Spider-Man movie. It’s certainly an interesting idea, Glover is a gifted comedian and could bring back the quips to the web-head, but of course the fanboys won’t go for it. Glover is black after all, and Spider-Man isn’t black! Except for when his costume’s black! But he’s still white on the inside! Like an Oreo!
The point being that, no matter what you think of the idea, the hardcore fanboys would never go for it. And it’s not necessarily because of the race issue. As many of you are no doubt aware, fanboys are insane, disturbing creatures who get not merely disappointed, but angry with the thought of any kind of change. I’ve seen the face of their anger, for I have walked among them.
In my younger days, I was a frequent visitor to a certain forum that catered to the superhero fanatic. Some called me brave, others foolish, but I dared to live amongst the fanboys for many a day. I was naive then, thinking they were worth studying, perhaps saving.
With the arrival of Raimi’s Spider-Man of course came the arrival of Spidey’s organic webshooters. And there was outrage! And furious posting! People were angry. Because that’s not how the comics were! While I was fine with the organic webshooters, these people were not. It was something odd to be angry about, but I understood to a degree. Taking away the mechanical webshooters took away part of Spidey’s genius, his scientific acumen. While that was a sad loss, they just weren’t practical and in terms of filmmaking, I embraced the change. Still the arguments continued.
Soon enough we had Spider-Man 2, and here things get a bit more crazed. This time the anger was toward Doctor Octopus. He didn’t have a wife in the comics! Why is he a more human character now instead of just simply evil and deranged!? I didn’t understand this anger so much. It seemed unreasonable. Certainly a more nuanced villain would be preferred? Through hours of posting and internet YELLING IN ALL CAPS, I was privy to some interesting discussions about the natures of evil and human villains versus the sometimes enjoyable pure evil antagonist. It was all too much, but I was still willing to go along with these people for awhile. I mean, we had Spider-Man 3 to await together!
Now, I’m not entirely sure when during the production of the film the following discussion took place. I want to say it happened not long after we got that nice picture of Lowell in his striped duds, but it just as well might have been purely during the villain speculation phase. Either way, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Whatever that means. The following conversation has been dramatized becase like hell am I gonna remember a message board conversation I had several years ago:
Fanboy: “Why would they use Sandman? He sucks. His origin is dumb and he isn’t all that interesting. He’s just a petty crook with some goofy powers. Plus, his outfit is stupid.”
Me: “Well, maybe they could change him up a bit. Give him some ties to another character or a more tragic history…[blah blah blah well-intentioned but likely stupid ideas]
Fanboy: “NO! THEY CAN’T CHANGE HIM! THAT WOULDN’T BE SANDMAN! RAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGE!”
Me: “So what you’re saying is that you hate everything about the Sandman character, but if they change him in any way, it would be the worst thing ever?”
Fanboy: “Darn tootin'”
And that was it. My last day dealing with those people. That hilarious argument, the outrage at someone changing something you hate, solely because it would different, sums up everything about the hardcore fanboy. It doesn’t matter if something is awful, it cannot be altered. Ever. There’s just no reasoning with them.
And now people are looking over my shoulder as I write. I find this very disconcerting, so now I am badmouthing them. You suck! Go away! STOP READING OVER MY SHOULDER! I WILL TURN AROUND AND BITE YOU!
Alright, so where was I? Oh yeah, I’d totally be fine with a jewish Savage Dragon…or whatever we were talking about.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey