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AI Creates A 1950s Spider-Man Trailer - And It's Spectacularly Weird

Stan Lee and Steve Ditko debuted Spider-Man in 1962. Unbeknownst to the duo, the character would become Marvel's most popular offering. Today, the "Spider-Man" cinematic franchise has grossed well over $8.5 billion. That global haul is particularly wild when you consider that Sony bought the "Spider-Man" rights for only $7 million, making the studio's return on investment substantially high. The character's first major theatrical release was in 2002, but the franchise has never gone back to its old-school roots ... until now. Thanks to artificial intelligence, we have a pretty solid idea of what a Spidey flick could look like if it came out in the 1950s. 

YouTube user Multiverse Wizard released a compelling AI-generated trailer showing a "Spider-Man" film set in the '50s. While characters like Spider-Man, MJ, and Aunt May look solid, it's the villains who are spectacularly weird. Green Goblin, for instance, looks like a literal goblin, growling with terrifying teeth. However, in another frame, it appears as if the baddie is wearing a plastic mask — making the designs (and visual intentions) inconsistent. The same can be said for Doctor Octopus, who looks like Alfred Molina in one shot but appears far younger and slicker in another frame.

The video features era-accurate trailer narration, providing context for this throwback vision. The trailer distills the typical "Spider-Man" narrative, showing Peter Parker mourning the loss of his Uncle Ben, balancing his double life as Spidey and as a Daily Bugle photographer, and trying his best to win MJ's heart. But while the concept's story is on point, some of the visuals just aren't. 

There's no '50s Spider-Man in the works

The artificial intelligence does a decent enough job with the human and unmasked characters. Peter Parker, for instance, looks like a mix between Andrew Garfield and '50s darling James Dean. In another shot, where Parker is shooting photos for the Daily Bugle, he appears to look more like Tobey Maguire, who played the superhero in Sam Raimi's beloved trilogy. For what it's worth, Spider-Man's suit looks perfectly fine. Not all generative AIs, however, are created alike, and it's clear that this particular model isn't able to design consistent images. 

Villains like Sandman and Electro particularly look good, though they're not shown in their iconic costumes. Unfortunately, there's one villain who stands out for all the wrong reasons, and it's Venom. The symbiote's jaw moves in an unrealistic, terrifying manner. The character is also hunched over, failing to show both his height and might. Ultimately, the visuals leave a lot to be desired. 

It would, however, be interesting to see a "Spider-Man" film set in the '50s or '60s. Bringing the character back to his roots would allow for tons of interesting, perhaps even more low-key storytelling. Unfortunately, there aren't any plans to create a '50s-set flick. Right now, creatives are hard at work trying to bring Tom Holland's "Spider-Man 4" to life, which Marvel and Sony are reportedly fighting over

Hoping to scratch that old-school Spidey itch? Fans can look forward to a "Spider-Man Noir" live-action series on Amazon Prime Video, which should be set in 1930s New York.