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George Lucas bitch slaps Spider-Man 3

Spews venom

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Star Wars creator George Lucas has slammed Spider-Man 3 as vacuous.

The latest instalment of the franchise has received mixed reviews from critics, although it's fared slightly better with cinema goers (rating 6.7 on IMDb compared to 7.8 for Spider-Man 2).

But it's tempting to think the bearded one's outburst has more to do with the fact that Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic wasn't involved in creating the special effects for Spider-Man 3 rather then stemming from an objective evaluation.

Whatever the cause Lucas certainly doesn't mince his words. Commenting on Spidey's third outing, Lucas said: "It's silly. It's a silly movie. There just isn't much there. Once you take it all apart, there's not much story, is there?"

Ouch.

"People thought Star Wars was silly, too," said Lucas. Heaven forbid. "But it wasn't," he added.

Here's a point George, whose genius lies in creating franchises rather than than his efforts as a hack director, ought to consider: Spider-Man 3 took $59.8m on its opening day in the US breaking the previous record of $55.8m set by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest last year.

Raiders of the lost franchise

Separately, the franchise marketing pioneer talked about his plans to further milk the Star Wars cash cow. A new Clone Wars animated series is scheduled to air in 2008, with two new hour-long straight-to-TV live action Star Wars adventures - set between Episodes III and IV - due to arrive in 2009.

Before then we'll have the fourth Indiana Jones film, whose plot Lucas and co-creator have managed to keep under wraps. Lucas is bracing himself for details of the plot to leak out. "Steven [Spielberg] thinks we can keep the whole thing a secret. I explained to him that it's impossible nowadays," he added. ®

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