Teenage Mutant Ninja Spiderman???

So, I’ve been devouring a ton of superhero material lately as I work on my third Click Your Poison book. As such, I recently watched TMNT in theaters, and yesterday I watched The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on DVD. These were hands down my two favorite cartoon franchises during my childhood, so in a way, I couldn’t help comparing them. But since one is currently in theaters and the other just now available for rent, many of you might have missed a little something I picked up on:

The two movies have the exact same plot.

It should seem obvious, but SPOILERS will follow. Now then, let’s examine the similarities:

Our heroes, Peter Parker and April O’Neil, are both awkward young dreamers with moviestar looks who work for the local news.

Each of their fathers were tragically murdered when they were children, too young to realize that Dear Old Dad was actually destroying his own scientific work (mutating animals) once he realized that the corporation he was working for had nefarious plans for his bizarre experiments.

But fear not! For our heroes will discover old video footage (in the form of ancient video blogs that never made it to the internet) which clears dad’s name. Oh, and we learn he destroyed all but one tiny specimen that grew up to create a wise-cracking superhero (team).

That’s when our heroes must turn against the corporation they once thought was their friend, and face off against the latest in mechanized exo-suit technology.

The differences? There’s no Giant Pizza-Eating Spiders in one, and our Human Hero was not bitten by Radioactive Turtles in the other. Although, that would make for an amazing mash-up…

Why do they have the exact same plot? Good question. Let’s examine the possibilities.

  • Could it just be a giant coincidence? Yes, it could be. Parallel Development does happen. In fact, a friend of mine is doing a kickstarter for his graphic novel featuring little known x-mas legend, Krampus, only to learn there’s a Krampus movie in the works. PS — you should totally support the project, it looks awesome! (/end_friend-plug)
  • Could it be that there’s nothing new under the sun? That there are only so many variations of a story you can tell? Sure, could be. I know of the notorious Seven Storylines, but even so this seems a bit too similar.
  • Could it just be Hollywood Formula? AKA, (Repeat What Works = Money, where x = x and Money = Everything) Last couple of years the formula was “Hey villain, why not intentionally get yourself captured?” See: Latest Bond movie with Javier Bardem, Batman movie with Bane (and Joker prior to that), Loki in The Avengers, and KHAAAAANNN in the latest Star Trek.

My money’s on door #3. What do you think? Does it even matter? Or is it only story-perfectionists like me that care about/even notice this stuff? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog.

Thanks for reading!


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