Last week, we told you about a leaked agreement between Marvel and Sony Pictures that included a bulleted list of “Mandatory Spider-Man Character Traits.”
The document clearly dictated that the character is “Caucasian;” “not a homosexual (unless Marvel has portrayed that alter ego as a homosexual);” “does not sell/distribute illegal drugs,” and, most peculiarly, “does not have sex before the age of 16, does not have sex with anyone below the age of 16.”
Spider-Man creator Stan Lee has now voiced his views on the agreement. “I think the world has a place for gay superheroes, certainly. But again, I don’t see any reason to change the sexual proclivities of a character once they’ve already been established. I have no problem with creating new, homosexual superheroes. It has nothing to do with being anti-gay, or anti-black, or anti-Latino, or anything like that… I just see no reason to change that which has already been established when it’s so easy to add new characters. I say create new characters the way you want to. Hell, I’ll do it myself.”
Fair enough — but his answer doesn’t really address the weird specificity of the document. Agreements of this kind are industry standard, but was anyone worried that some amped-up film exec would rewrite Spidey as a freewheelin’ gay drug-dealer who’s casually dating a sixteen-year-old?
We highly doubt it. And were such changes made, it still wouldn’t be enough incentive to revisit the franchise after watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2.