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The Curious Case of Phil Spiderman? (Video)

Today, JoBlo posted a link to a “Guardian” interview with director David Fincher. It’s a pretty cool read and covers a lot of subjects from his films. Of particular note was the exchange where Fincher acknowledged there was a time when he was approached to direct Spider-Man. Here’s the direct quote if you don’t feel like navigating the interview your yourself:

Q4: You’ve made films where improbable things look realistic. Did you ever consider making a superhero movie or fantasy, where things are bit more difficult to make believable?

DF: I was asked if I might be interested in the first Spider-Man, and I went in and told them what I might be interested in doing, and they hated it. No, I’m not interested in doing “A Superhero”. The thing I liked about Spider-Man was I liked the idea of a teenager, the notion of this moment in time when you’re so vulnerable yet completely invulnerable. But I wasn’t interested in the genesis, I just couldn’t shoot somebody being bitten by a radioactive spider – just couldn’t sleep knowing I’d done that. [audience laughs]

At the risk of not wanting to ape that story completely, I looked back at an “Empire” magazine and found this quick hit about the same subject:

“Would you ever make a superhero movie?”

“I wanted to do Spider-Man, but my take was a little too weird for everybody…I liked the superhero thing eight years ago, when it was quaint and passe, but now it seems too…We’ll see. Watchmen looks cool. I look forward to seeing them. There’s not any I want to make.”

Neither time did he particularly describe what his take was, but I guess it doesn’t really matter since we’re not going to see it anyway. It’s nice to dream, but sometimes dreams just lead you to frustration, like the Frank Darabont draft of Indy IV that went unfilmed thanks to George Lucas. Sometimes it’s best to just let it go…Damn you, George!

Here’s another tidbit of a possible future Fincher/Pitt re-team, from that same “Empire” interview:

Empire: You’ve talked about various projects together, like Fertig (aka They Fought Alone, based on the biography of American civil engineer-turned-World War II guerrilla fighter Wendell Fertig). Could that happen?

Fincher: (Deadpan) I’m not at liberty to comment. That’s ongoing litigation and I’m not a liberty to comment…Yeah, we’ve talked about a lot of stuff. I’m working on this thing right now, Black Hole (an adaptation of Charles Burns’ brilliant, bizarre graphic novel about an STD that causes mutations), which is Plan B, [Pitt's] company. We’ve talked about a lot of things, Fertig being one of them. I still have to talk him into Fertig. He doesn’t…

Empire: …fancy the idea of 18 months in the jungle?

Fincher: I don’t think anybody fancies the idea of that, unless we can shoot in, I don’t know, a resort! No, I think all of the criticisms leveled at the script, up until this point, have been valid ones, but I also think it’s just one of the great f*cking stories. I talk with (Chinatown screenwriter) Robert Towne twice a week and he’s working…It could be one of the five greatest movies ever made. It’s that huge. So hopefully we’ll get a script and we’ll put it in front of him and he’ll die to be involved.

I have to imagine we’ll all hop onboard after those boastful words.

That ends this edition of the David Fincher news watch. Also, if you were wondering, the headline is a reference to an old “Friends” joke I always thought was amusing. Check it out below:

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