Let’s suppose for a moment that Marvel allowed me to write a book for them where I could do anything I wanted, use any character, and come up with any story line. I did a similar pitch with Superman in a previous video which you can check out after.
I heard from Kevin Smith on a podcast once that when directing an episode of Flash in my hometown of Vancouver, he was told that the show aims to hit three elements in every episode: heart, humour, and heroics (spectacle). So I will use this same formula as well in my Spidey story.
The story begins with Miles doing typical high school stuff. He’s been Spider Man for less than a year, he trains martial arts, he has a girl that he likes, he hates school, he hangs around with Ganke, and we see a bit of his home life. On occasion he fights the occasional criminal, which causes him to duck out of dates and miss school projects. This creates a lot of problems in his life.
With graduation in sight, his parents ask him what are his plans for the future. His dad is a cop and suggests that perhaps Miles look into that as an option, so he’s leaving pamphlets on his pillow and whatnot. It seems as though it’s a hot topic since Ganke, his girl, councilors, everyone is talking about it their future. Truth be told, Miles hadn’t really given it much thought. He had been so consumed with other matters in the present, that the future seemed too distant to worry about.
After being bombarded with these conversations seemingly everywhere he went, he begins to shift his focus and wonder what his life will be like beyond being Spider Man. Will he attend college? Will he have a career? A family? He wonders how being Spider Man fits in with his long term life goals? This just adds to his already stressful life.
Coveting a new Jordan shoe release, Miles links up with a shady character named Dax Price who sells sneakers and other highly sought after streetwear brands. Anything you need, Dax is the guy. He can get anything. Ordinarily, he wouldn’t hang around Dax, but he wants the sneakers so he does what he has to do. Dax takes Miles’ money and meets up with his underground connection for all things illicit. Miles watches from a distance and follows the vehicle to a warehouse.
Donning the Spidey costume, Miles climbs in through a skylight and eves drops on a conversation with a guy with a Russian accent. Aleksei Sytsevich is the man’s name. Miles has never heard of him, but he seems like he’s in charge of the entire operation, and he seems like a bad guy. Likely involved in some illegal operations.
As Miles sneaks out the window, Aleksei catches a glimpse of him out of the corner of his eye. He doesn’t care much for people spying on him. Who knows what he heard or what kind of trouble he’s going to cause Aleksei. So Aleksei sends some goons after Miles.
Now, for those who don’t know, Aleksei Sytsevich is the Rhino. And for those who remember Batman the animated series, there was one episode that breathed new life into Mr. Freeze, which was previously a very one dimensional villain. But in the Heart of Ice episode, they told this really sad backstory and made the character a little more rounded. I would love to do that with Rhino.
For me, there are two problems with Rhino:
- He’s dumb, and I don’t like dumb characters. I know there’s a story line Marvel did once which gave Rhino super intellect, so I would go back to that
- Logistics. If Rhino is always in this hulking 10-foot tall rhinoceroses suit, then that’s a little weird, right? Living in New York City would be a nightmare. First of all, summers would be brutal. That heat. Also, how would he get around? Could you imagine him riding the subway or taking an Uber, it would be ridiculous. And does he go out and get groceries or go to the bank ever?
So I would tell the Rhino backstory, saying that he’s a result of Russian scientists, which gave him these abilities of super strength and super intellect. I would also give him the ability to become Rhino at will so most of the time he’s just a regular guy like Bruce Banner and the Hulk. He somehow has a way to turn his Rhino suit on and off. I would also do the traditional suit, not the battle armoured mech suit with guns and whatnot that we saw in Spider Man 2.
Now we have a really strong, intelligent Rhino, that can change into beast mode at will. I would also set up the backstory, talking about his wife and kid, him being an immigrant, running a number of crime rings in the city, etc. This of course doesn’t sit too well with the Kingpin aka Wilson Fisk.
Picking up with Miles, Rhino’s men are after him. They don’t know his identity, but have concluded that he is a kid and have narrowed it down to a neighbourhood and a school that he likely attends.
One day, these bad men show up to Miles’ school and start causing trouble, looking for Spider Man. They’re shooting up the place saying things like, “If Spider Man doesn’t show up, we’re going to start killing kids.” The school is on lock down and Miles is told to remain put with the rest of the class, which is barricaded in a room and hiding under the desks. He can’t exactly run out of the room at the same time Spider Man shows up, that would be super obvious.
So the men are going room to room, threatening everyone, holding them hostage, attempting to lure Spider Man out. Eventually cops show up, including Miles’ father, an FBI hostage negotiator, the SWAT team… you name it.
At this point in the story, we haven’t seen the Rhino, nobody has. Next thing you know, there’s a rumble as the ground shakes. The cops are all confused and on guard. Then from around the corner, comes Rhino, hulked out and charging at full speed. He puts his head down and smashes into one of the cop cars. Nobody as any idea what this thing is. The cop car goes flying through the air and smashes into another set of cop cars. There’s an FBI command post and Rhino plows into that, knocking it over. The cops scatter and take cover. They begin to fire at this enormous beast, but the bullets are bouncing off of him.
“Hold your fire!” the police captain shouts.
Many of the kids and teachers in the school are pressed up against the window, looking at the action. They too can’t believe what they’re seeing. How can this be happening right outside their school? Miles sees his father and really wants to run into the action and make sure he’s okay. Ganke sees Miles about to bust and decides to create a diversion to help his pal.
He says, “Come on everyone, now is our chance to escape.” Then he exists the classroom. Half the kids remain where they are, but the other half, including Miles, run out of the room.
And wouldn’t you know, Spider Man shows up. He swings into action and plants two feet square into Rhino’s chest, sending him flying. His enormous frame sails through the air and crashes down on the pavement and skids to a stop. He then takes care of the other goons with ease, wrapping them up in webbing and leaving them hanging upside down.
By now, Rhino returns to his feet and the cops have backed off. They know their weapons are useless and don’t want to risk a stray bullet hitting a bystander. Rhino and Spidey square off and it goes back and forth. This is a really intense fight and everyone has their cellphones out recording. There’s even a live broadcast streaming the action around the world. Rhino smashes Spidey and is really giving him trouble.
At a certain point, Miles uses his invisibility suit and becomes invisible. When Rhino is confused, Miles uses this as an opportunity to crawl to safety. Rhino decides to leave and runs a few blocks, turns a corner, and then returns to a normal man, allowing him to blend in with the crowd and escape.
Miles is now back at home, in bed, resting. Ganke is on the computer watching the footage and celebrating Miles’ victory, reliving certain moments.
“That wasn’t a victory, Ganke,” Miles says.
We see more of Miles’ home life with his parents and his father talking about what he’s seen that day and thinks that perhaps a career in law enforcement is not such a good idea for his son. It’s dangerous, you work long hours, the pay stinks, and you see things you cannot unsee. He wants a better future for Miles.
By now, Rhino is the talk of the town. He’s on the cover of every newspaper, magazine, news story, and social media. People are wondering who he is, what he is, where he came from, etc. The police arrested the two goons, but they’re not talking.
Kingpin is obviously feeling some kind of way about this new guy in town, getting attention and seemingly running New York. Through his connects, it doesn’t take long before Kingpin and his squad go looking for Rhino and his squad.
Meanwhile, Rhino is pissed. He’s been humiliated as the battle between him and Spidey is showing up everywhere on social media and news outlets. Gifs are being created of Spidey kicking him in the chest and tossing him around. The people of New York love Spider Man and don’t seem to be sharing any posts where Rhino gets the upper hand on him.
Rhino realizes that he had underestimated Spider Man and needs to figure out an easier way to deal with him. He recruits three guys to deal with this situation: Shocker, Kraven the Hunter, and Mysterio… some of the members of what will later become the Sinister Six. But I wouldn’t do any cheesy costumes from Shocker, Kraven, and Mysterio, I would redo the costumes and make them look more realistic.
Tension between the two rival gangs escalates and it quickly becomes an all out war between these two juggernaut forces, which is making global headlines. Miles soon realizes the magnitude of what he’s caught up in. People are getting murdered, including innocent bystanders, there’s massive amounts of property damage, and Miles doesn’t really know how to get involved, or how to help. This warfare requires intelligence to know all the players and moving pieces, and Miles isn’t a detective. He more or less shows up to a scene of a crime and arrives just in time, but these crimes and mafia-style hits are sporadic, and mostly discreet. Once you find out about it, it’s too late.
In one scenario, in an exchange gone bad, a homeless man comes across a trunk full of money totaling $500,000. He does what you would expect and starts going on a crazy spending spree, buying cars, staying at the fanciest hotels, ordering glutenous amounts of room service, etc. This naturally attracts media attention, including the guys whose money it is. Spider Man needs to protect him so he goes to the man and offers him protection so we see a bit of that subplot.
In another scenario, a little boy gets caught in the crossfire and dies. Miles visits the mum and younger brother to see what he can do, if anything. He offers his condolences, but the weight of the situation is weighing heavily on him. Even Miles’ dad gets injured on the job for which he requires medical treatment and an overnight stay in the hospital.
Now it’s personal.
Spider Man is clearly in over his head. After all, he’s just a kid and there’s one of him. While this war is between Kingpin’s squad and Rhino’s squad, Spider Man is actively being hunted — one of which is Kraven the Hunter!
The melee continues and it’s now night time. Spider Man is hunted down on the streets of Queens and is facing off against Shocker, Mysterio, and Kraven. It goes back and forth, and we see some spectacular fighting and heroics.
Then, to make matters worse, a black SUV pulls up and Aleksei Sytsevich steps out. Everyone is taking a little bit of a breather from fighting. There are some words exchanged and it appears as though Spider Man has his hands full. Even if the cops show up, what are they going to do? Nothing. He is screwed. His only real solution here is to go invisible and run, but of course, he can’t do that, he’s Spider Man!
So he’s bloodied and bruised, his suit is torn, and he settles in for round two. Aleksei makes a comment about it being four against one and how unfair that is. Then shrugs as he turns into the Rhino.
Then, from the sky, the clouds part, and Iron Man shows up, saying “What’s up, kid. I thought you could use a hand.” Then in walks Bruce Banner, looking like a regular guy before hulking out and his clothes being ripped apart. So now it’s four against three, and hulk and Rhino are flexing hard at each other. There’s a brief pause before both sides charge at each other. Hulk smashes Rhino with ease, and swats Kraven into a building. Iron Man blasts the Shocker and Spider Man swings into action, taking out Mysterio. It’s an epic battle and both sides are having their moments.
Then, an all black SUV pulls up. Then six more, all filled with guys. We see a panel with the point of view from under one of the vehicles. Out steps a man, we see the man’s shoe step into frame, it’s a nice shoe. Next panel, we see Kingpin himself. All his men exit their vehicles. They look badass and are ready for a fight. Kingpin then cuts the power to the block and everything goings black. In the confusion, a shot is fired, Rhino goes down, and Kingpin is there holding a rifle and a smug look. He says, “This’ll make a nice trophy on my wall.” Meanwhile, Rhino has been sedated, he’s shrinking back down to his normal self. He’s out cold being dragged into the back of Kingpin’s SUV. Everyone gets back into their vehicles and takes off, including Mysterio, Kraven, and Shocker.
Hulk goes back into Bruce Banner, and Iron Man’s mask goes up. They exchange some encouraging words to Spider Man saying, “You fought well, you are brave, know that you are never alone. If you need help next time, call us.”
We then see Miles talking to Ganke about his future and how he’s still undecided about what he wants to do as a career, but whatever it is, it cannot get in the way of being Spider Man. He knows now more than ever that he has great power and a great responsibility. His girl FaceTimes him and is giving him shit for not picking up his phone. She’s all like, “Where the hell were you?” He’s all like, “It’s been a crazy day.” Miles’ mum is on him about homework, his dad is on him about taking out the trash, and we see a panel of Miles’ room from the exterior of the building.
In the closing scene, we’re in some discreet warehouse somewhere, Aleksei is tied to a chair, he’s been beaten to a pulp, his family is off to the side at gunpoint, illuminated by a beam of light. Around Aleksei’s neck is a spiked collar so if he becomes Rhino, the spikes will dig into his neck and kill him. Then Kingpin walks into frame, his face painted in light, creating dope shadows, and he says to Aleksei, “You work for me now.”
So reiterating what I stated earlier, I was going for humour, heart, and heroics. I didn’t really get into the humour part, but there would definitely be some moments. Let me know in the comments below what you thought, and check out some of my other movie pitches.
- My Back to the Future 4 Pitch
- My A Quieter Place Pitch
- My Superman Pitch
- My Socrates Pitch
- My Mystery Pitch
- My Miles Morales Pitch
- My Sly Pitch
- My Nightwing Pitch
- My Avatar 2 Pitch
- My Mask Pitch
- My Wu Tang Pitch
- My Iron Fist Pitch
- My Joe Rogan Animated Series Pitch
- My Marvelous Ones Pitch
- My The Art of the Hustle Pitch