Blog / AMAZING MAN OR MENACE?
With thanks to Jason Smith and apologies to the true believers.
J. Jonah Jameson: Unbelievable! Impossible! A new Spider-man without the Daily Bugle? Without ME?
Betty Brant: Sir, the gift basket from Sony Pictures is here.
JJJ: Rrrgh, lemme see that. Cigar cutters, Lonsdales, Toros, Presidentes, bah!
Betty: They also included some Bics and Zippos…
JJJ: I don’t want lighters, I want SPOTLIGHTS! I’m the one protecting this city from that red menace, where’s my RED CARPET?
Betty: There might still be time, sir. I think principal photography started last w -
JJJ: PHOTOGRAPHY! That’s it! Where’s the new kid with the old camera?
Betty: He just… hey, you! The boss wants to see you!
JJJ: I’ll get the dirt on this new film, show the world that Spider-man is just a coward, a glory hound in a red suit.
Photographer: You wanted to -
JJJ: Sit down, son! What’s your name, you got a name?
Photographer: Peter, uh… Peter Parker.
JJJ: Doesn’t sound familiar. I need you on the set of The Amazing Spider-man for me. You seen them filming around here?
Peter: Yes, I -
JJJ: BRAZEN is what it is! No time for the Daily Bugle! No reaction shots from my office! He’s trying to RUIN me!
Peter: Spider-man is?
JJJ: Of course he is! Working with that lizard person! There is a lizard person in the movie, isn’t there?
Peter: Well sure, it’s Doctor Connors.
JJJ: Doctor Conceited, you said it! I need to show them there’s no Spider-man movie without J. Jonah Jameson, and YOU’RE gonna help me, Parker!
Peter: Me, sir?
JJJ: Yes you, Parker! You’ve been near the set, you must HAVE IT IN with those people! You seem like the last honest man in the world, they’ll listen to you.
Peter: I don’t know if -
JJJ: You don’t have to know, I’ll TELL you! This new Spider-man, what’s he like? Where’s his family?
Peter: Uh, I guess he’s haunted by the loss of his parents in the beginning. But then he finds his dad’s notes and hands them to the president of Oscorp, who makes him a senior researcher.
JJJ: SENIOR?! After I worked twenty years for my shot at running this paper? No no no, he’s a MENACE, Parker, not a chemist! He should sneak in to the building!
JJJ: You heard me! Sneak in! Take a fake badge, hack a door pad. Oscorp has trillion-dollar genetic laboratories but they don’t use anything as secure as a key card.
Peter: Sorry, Mr. Jameson, but that sounds really… dumb.
JJJ: Of course it’s dumb! He’s a CRIMINAL, Parker, if he had any brains he’d work a REAL job! You’re friends with that James Lederhosen guy, you tell him it’s a great idea.
Peter: I’m not sure he’ll listen to me.
JJJ: You’d better MAKE him listen, if you want ME to listen when YOU come around with photos of Spider-man. What else? What happens to the guy who shoots his uncle?
Peter: Er, that’s when he decides to help people. He gets a vague description from the cops and uses his super smarts to track down the killer in five minutes.
JJJ: FIVE? OUTRAGEOUS! He finds the guy with a blurry sketch? That’s not right! That makes him look like a GENIUS!
Peter: Well, he is kind of -
JJJ: What did I JUST tell you, Parker?
Peter: Criminal. Dumb.
JJJ: That’s right! We need to bring that blasted web spinner down! Make it so he gets a REALLY specific description but never finds the guy. Give the killer, I don’t know, a stupid tattoo on his wrist or something. Then Spider-man searches dozens of guys but NEVER finds the one he’s looking for! That’ll show him!
Peter: Would the writer really buy that, sir?
JJJ: Of course he would, Parker! Call it a sequel hook! Nobody would leave a plot thread like that hanging on purpose!
Peter: If you say so…
JJJ: And the bad guy, the lizard person. Spider-man’s working with him, isn’t he?
Peter: Well, Dr. Connors wants to use the formula to regrow his arm, but Oscorp won’t allow human trials. He does it anyway, and then Spider-man has to stop his giant lizard rampage.
JJJ: Wrong AGAIN, Parker! How about this: he GIVES the formula to the lizard person! And then Spider-man sets up the lizard’s lair in the sewer!
Peter: Spider-man wouldn’t -
JJJ: He’s hiding behind a mask like a COMMON CRIMINAL, of course he would! How else would Dr. Connors move a thousand pounds of science equipment into a sewer? He’s only got one arm, how could he mount a cork board to a wall without the help of that wall crawler?
Peter: I guess he couldn’t.
JJJ: CORRECT for once, Parker! We’re running out of time, I need you on that set! The last thing in the movie, what’s the last thing that happens to Spider-man and that lizard person?
Peter: The, uh, city’s evacuated because of Dr. Connor’s toxin. Spider-man and the remaining police force team up to fight the lizard on the top of Oscorp tower.
JJJ: TEAM UP? It took fifty police officers to stop him!
Peter: He’s a defender of the people, sir, and -
JJJ: Defenders don’t RESIST arrest! I saw them practicing that fight scene from my office, he beats up half a dozen REAL defenders! Men with badges! No, we need one last twist to turn everyone against that menace. Spider-man’s PRETENDING to beat up the lizard on Oscorp tower, but due to his CARELESSNESS a huge antenna falls on a bunch of police officers!
Peter: Spider-man saves lots of people from falling things!
JJJ: Not this time, Parker! Have the lizard person rip off his web shooters or something. Then Spider-man and his cold-blooded criminal ally WATCH TOGETHER as a giant antenna falls on the cops!
Peter: That’s pretty gruesome, Mr. Jameson.
JJJ: You don’t have to show EVERYTHING! Turn the camera away just before it hits the ground. The audience will know then that Spider-man’s to BLAME as crime goes up in their city!
Peter: Uh, sure…
JJJ: It’ll ruin that webbed menace’s movie! “SPIDER-MAN CRUSHES COPS”, big headline in every paper. Then they’ll come crawling back to me for the sequel. Get out of here, Parker! Get to the set and make my changes! I deserve to be in motion pictures! Pictures with Spider-man!