The eyes of the film world are on Jon Watts. Or the eyes of its superhero movie contingent, anyway: Watts, who has two feature films under his belt, has been selected to helm Sony and Disney’s live-action Spider-Man reboot, set for 2017. And the skeptics are out in force: Comics history’s favorite web-slinger got his latest mulligan a mere three years ago with Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which was financially successful but a virtual critical nonentity. Its 2014 sequel was even more of a bust, and somehow even Paul Giamatti’s heavily Russian-accented supervillain wasn’t enough to keep the franchise from going under.
All that is to say that a lot is riding on Watts’ shoulders, more so than is the case when other indie directors are plucked from art-house obscurity to helm a Hollywood mega-blockbuster. So I, an inveterate nerd (don’t tell anyone), was curious to see the movie that got Watts the gig. Sundance buzz was high, Sony and Disney clearly think he has the stuff, and Kevin Bacon stars and executive produces. Who doesn’t like Kevin Bacon?