THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
About The Film
"It's hard to be Peter Parker, but it's great to be Spider-Man," says Andrew
Garfield, who returns to the role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, after launching
a new chapter in the hero's story in 2012 with The Amazing Spider-Man, a
worldwide hit that went on to take in over $750 million at the worldwide box
office. "As Peter Parker, he has all of the same problems that we all have -
girl problems, money problems. But when he puts on the suit, it's a massive
release. He can breathe. Spider-Man always knows the right thing to do - he's a
vessel for good, heroic energy and saving people. He takes joy and pleasure in
it, and a playfulness comes out of him."
"We wanted this film to be more playful, more fun," says director Marc Webb,
who returns to the helm. Capturing Peter Parker's natural wit - especially as
Spider-Man - was one of the keys to the film that Webb wanted to make. "You look
at the comic books and you see it - his quips, his funniness, his lighthearted
qualities. That's part of what so many people love about Spider-Man - and
certainly what I love about him."
But it's not all fun and games for Peter. His vow to keep his fellow New
Yorkers safe will lead him right into the heart of the most powerful and
important company in New York: Oscorp. The company that once employed Peter's
father and played a role in his parents' disappearance now seems to be behind
new enemies that are emerging, all of whom have advanced technology and powers.
"The stakes have never been higher for both Spider-Man and Peter than they are
in this movie," says producer Matt Tolmach. "Spider-Man, because he is facing
enemies that have joined forces against him - all with some connection to Oscorp
- and Peter, because the choices he makes and the promises he tries to keep have
"In this Spider-Man film, it's clear that Spider-Man loves being Spider-Man,"
says producer Avi Arad. "As in all Spider-Man movies, being a hero clashes with
Peter Parker's everyday life and wishes. A major villain emerges and it is
Oscorp. His life, his father's life, Harry's life and all the villains emanate
from this tower of evil. The stakes are higher as Peter finds himself up against
an institution that is all-powerful."
"Oscorp was built for a single purpose - to preserve Norman Osborn's life,"
says Webb. "He has a terrible disease, and the wealth of the company has been
used to create the company's Special Projects division - crazy solutions to a
very simple problem. But Norman Osborn is not an ethical man, and in Special
Projects there exist a lot of hidden, dark, nasty things that the rest of us do
not want to see unleashed on the world."
When it comes to Electro and the Green Goblin - two of the enemies that
Spider-Man will take on - not only do the villains have different motivations
for taking on the wall-crawler, but in some ways, they consider themselves
fighting a different enemy. "You've got two guys, one who hates Spider-Man, and
one who hates Peter Parker," says one of the screenwriters, Alex Kurtzman. "They
want to kill the same person, but for different reasons. That's why the two of
them team up - they are driven by their emotions."
Jamie Foxx, who plays Electro, says that joining the Spider-Man franchise
isn't quite like taking on any other role. "It's a great feeling to come to work
on a Spider-Man movie," he says. "I remember the moment I first stepped on to
the set and I saw Andrew in the suit. For me, it was like a moment in history.
We're doing something that people really love. It's a part of our fabric, part
of our culture. That was very meaningful to me and it was a responsibility I
took seriously - in crafting Electro, I wanted to be a formidable opponent."
For Webb and his fellow filmmakers, it was important to keep in mind that
even as Spider-Man takes on these villains, it is the boy behind the mask that
makes Spider-Man who he is. "As Spider-Man, Peter thrives on fighting crime,
trouncing bullies and swinging from the high rises of New York - but as Peter
Parker his challenges are more familiar," Webb continues. "Peter is just a kid
who loves a girl. And when Gwen gets an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream,
Peter has to confront a difficult truth that we all understand: that sometimes
the most difficult part of loving someone means letting them go."
"As always, Peter Parker is trying to balance being a young man, a boyfriend,
and a superhero - he's trying to make it all work. He thinks he can have it all.
But life is about having to make choices and compromises," says Tolmach. "This
is fundamental to any Spider-Man story. This is always going to be his dilemma.
And in this movie, events are going to conspire to force Peter to make some big
choices that are not necessarily in his control."
Though Peter promised Gwen's dying father that he would protect Gwen by
staying away from her, it's clear that the two share a romantic bond deeper than
any promise. Simply put, she's his match, in intellect and in emotion. "This is
what should be a wonderful moment in Gwen's life - she's valedictorian, she's
about to go to Columbia, she has an offer to go to Oxford - but in the midst of
that, she's dealing with the loss of her father and trying to find her way with
this boy who clearly has a lot going on," says Emma Stone, who returns as Gwen
Stacy. "I'm so glad that the audience is getting the Gwen story - it's so rich
and exciting to play."
Part of the reason the Gwen Stacy story was so interesting to the filmmakers
was that it marked a turning point in comic book history. The chance to go back
to the comic books, to present that story on the big screen in an emotionally
honest way, was very appealing. "The Spider-Man movies have paid cinematic
reference to this story before, but we wanted to pay homage to it in a different
way," says Webb. "We're taking some cinematic liberties, but we're going back to
the comic books for our inspiration. Amazing Spider-Man #121 is one of the most
profound issues in the canon - profound in the way it affects Peter Parker.
Gwen's fate directly derives from the choices of the hero. It's the story that
allowed comic books to take a more complex turn, and from that, we were able to
give the movie a tone that is Shakespearean or operatic."
Marc Webb returns to the director's chair after helming The Amazing
Spider-Man and the indie romance (500) Days of Summer. Arad says that Webb has
proven that he is a master of all of the aspects of directing that a Spider-Man
film demands. "One of the many aspects of Marc's genius is his love of character
and storytelling, but he also has a genuine understanding of how to make an
action movie, a big popcorn story," says Arad. "He also has the skills and the
ability to make a very large, action-filled Super Hero movie. He never loses
sight of what's happening for the characters, even in the most crushingly
enormous action sequence. And that gives these movies a whole other layer.
Recognizing that at the heart of a Spider-Man movie is the character's story has
to be in every frame, even the big action ones. Marc's keen sense of humor gives
us the true Spider-Man story in which we enjoy one of the most famous
characteristics of Spidey. Fun and a funny sense of humor."
"The superhero genre is built on creating extremes - physical extremes, but
also emotional extremes," says Webb. "The thing about Spider-Man that I most
identify with is that he's not stoic - he's a kid. I think it's important for
heroes to express their emotions, to let that flow in a way that is true, and
authentic, and honest. In my films, I like to see people crack open, when life
is at its most brutal but also at its most joyful."
"At the heart of this film is Peter Parker's relationship with Gwen," Webb
continues. "Spider-Man's destiny is crucial, but it comes at the expense of
Peter Parker's identity, and that's a really tricky thing for Peter to deal
with. As Peter fights the growing specter of Oscorp, the power of which he
doesn't even fully comprehend, the real difficulty he's going to have to face is
how to handle his love for Gwen. That's the most relatable and important part of
For Webb, that is what separates out the Spider-Man films. "Our film has as
much or more spectacle and action as any film out there. It is extraordinary in
its scope. But none of that dynamic visual conflict, action, means anything if
you don't care about the characters. The conflicts that surround Peter Parker
create an incredibly tender, human story about a kid trying to grow up in the
world. We expand that into an epic, operatic form, but the heart is alive and
well, protected, beautiful, funny, and entertaining in its own right."
Put another way, Webb says, "Peter's powers are only part of his heroism -
and not even the most important part. It's his character, his integrity, that
makes him who he is."
For this film, the filmmakers have turned to the screenwriting team of Alex
Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner - writers who have been responsible for
such franchises and groundbreaking television programs as Star Trek,
Transformers, "Alias," "Fringe," and many others. (The screen story is by Alex
Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner and James Vanderbilt.)
Arad says that the screenwriter trio brought a new vitality to the franchise.
"This movie is very different from any other Spider-Man movie - different in
scope, different in intensity, but most important, different in humanity," says
Arad. "It's in the way people really behave, in the humor - think of the scene
in which Peter and Gwen are making the rules for their relationship. It's not
about what is said; people fall in love with a gesture. This team of writers
created a story of hope, a story that will relate to all of us and make us
"When we started developing the story, we talked about where Peter Parker is
in his life," Webb says. "The writers are brilliant at delving deeply into parts
of the character we haven't seen before."
Still, as Kurtzman, Orci, and Pinkner joined the franchise team, they took
care to ensure that their screenplay felt like part of the same world that was
established in the first Amazing Spider-Man film. "We loved that movie for its
tone," Kurtzman says. "It feels grounded in the real world, entirely fresh, and
yet it didn't betray at all what Spider-Man is; in fact, it only enhanced it in
a new way. So our challenge was to live up to that and build it to new and
exciting places. There were so many unanswered questions from the first movie -
that was a real drive for us."
Pinkner adds, "This movie is very much a maturing process for Peter - not
only in his relationship with Gwen, but also what it means to go from being a
young man to a young adult. One of the things that Peter is going to have to
face is that life is short, and always transient; relationships are coming and
going, and the best we can do is try to enjoy the journey and make the most of
the time we have."
Kurtzman notes that though the screenwriters took some liberties in telling
the story, some basic elements from the canon are immutable, and they paid
homage to those. "It was an interesting challenge - how do you stay totally
truthful to the spirit and origin of the characters, while also updating it?
We're standing on the shoulders of giants - we have to honor what came before.
For us, Marvel's 'Ultimate' series helped us a lot - they laid the path."
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