So The Amazing Spider-Man came out last weekend. This is a “reboot” of the Spider-Man cinematic franchise. Rumor has it that Sony’s rights to the franchise would expire if they didn’t release a film every so often, so when Raimi withdrew from the planned Spider-Man 4, the studio opted for a full-on reboot. Given the choice between an arguably too-soon reboot—Spider-Man was only ten years ago and Spider-Man 3 came out in 2007—and letting to of what was almost guaranteed to be a multi-million dollar cash cow, the choice seems pretty obvious.
This post is actually more of a reminder about things we’ve already discussed rather than an exploration of new ground. We’ve already talked about a lot of the legal issues raised by Spider-Man, and The Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t exactly break much new ground here. The following touches on most of the more obvious issues in the movie. We’ll follow this up with some new material on Friday. In the meanwhile, if you have any questions, feel free to mention them in the comments or email us!
This one isn’t immediately relevant to the new movie, as Parker’s connection with The Daily Bugle hasn’t been established yet, but we did look at the possibility liability Parker has for not being entirely honest with the Bugle about his relationship with Spider-Man.
Spider-Man isn’t a journalist in this movie—now he just takes pictures for the school newspaper and yearbook, etc.—but he is in a lot of the comics, and we looked at that here.
In April 2011 we examined whether patents might be a problem for Parker given that he’s arguably making off with sensitive data. We then revisited the issue last September, considering the passage of the America Invents Act on our earlier discussion.
A bit earlier we did a two post series on superpowered minors, and while we don’t talk about Spider-Man directly, it’s possibly relevant, although we don’t know exactly how old Peter is in this version.
One thing that is more directly relevant is the issue of costumes and the confrontation clause, something that this version of Spider-Man might well have to deal with given the way he drops off criminals for the cops. We don’t specifically mention Spider-Man in that post, but he does wind up testifying in costume in an early She-Hulk comic, so it’s definitely an issue.
Then there’s the duty to rescue, an issue always raised in any discussion of Uncle Ben’s death, but thrown in sharp relief here given the way it’s portrayed this time.
Very early on we did a four-part series (one, two, three, four) on superheroes and privacy rights. This issue is touched on rather explicitly by the film, as the dangers Parker’s activities as Spider-Man will pose to his loved ones are discussed.