‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′: Marc Webb Responds to Concerns Over Too Many Villains

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Amazing Spider Man 2 webslinging Amazing Spider Man 2: Marc Webb Responds to Concerns Over Too Many Villains
The 2014 summer blockbuster season truly starts this April with the Marvel Studios release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is just the first of several Marvel Comics-inspired movies hitting theaters this year. Sony is wasting no time in saturating the landscape with promotional material for their big Marvel sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Director Marc Webb’s return to the Spidey universe has had a steady stream of marketing ahead of its May 2nd release, including a featurette on star Andrew Garfield’s reprisal of his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, a look at the strained romance between Peter and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and several clips featuring narration from the comic book character’s co-creator, Stan Lee.

Webb’s 2012 reboot of Spider-Man faced something of an uphill battle, coming just five years after the conclusion of Sam Raimi’s ultra-successful Spidey trilogy. Well, The Amazing Spider-Man won over both critics and fans (mostly), grossing over $750 million around the world and cementing the multiplex dominance of the Marvel brand.

Marc Webb, who was gave the keynote for this year’s SXSW (as reported by THR), addressed the grander scale of his second go at Spidey, the perceived overload of villains, and related that when he was first approached to take the reins (with just one feature to his credit, the (500) Days of Summer), Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal told him:

“This is ‘Spider-Man.’ You’re crazy if you don’t do it.”

Amazing Spider Man 2 Official High Res Banner1 Amazing Spider Man 2: Marc Webb Responds to Concerns Over Too Many Villains

To keep the public’s attention in the midst of Marvel Studios’ own releases as well as Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past in the same month, this Spider-sequel would have to go big, and this time pits Spider-Man against a trio of villains, Electro, Green Goblin and Rhino, with broad hints that this film could begin setting the stage for the mooted Venom and Sinister Six spinoffs.

Webb acknowledged some of the more outlandish aspects of the first film, saying:

“There was a moment deep in the [first film’s] post-production process where a giant lizard smashed through a wall chasing a boy-man in a unitard and I said, ‘This is not grounded.’ “

That said, Webb consciously rejected any kind of restraint when heading into the next chapter. This is a big, splashy superhero sequel, and fans have traditionally expected some kind of escalation in both the stakes and the scale. According to Webb:

“I’m going to embrace the spectacle. I’m not going to be beholden to smallness. I want it to be fantastic, to be big, to command and express that feeling when you’re a kid and reading the comics. … I didn’t want to hide or shy away from that.”

Amazing Spider Man 2 Electro Faceoff Amazing Spider Man 2: Marc Webb Responds to Concerns Over Too Many Villains

During a question and answer segment, a member of the audience spoke about the perception that Spider-Man 3 had way too many villains in the form of Sandman (Thomas Haded Church), Eddie Brock/Venom (Topher Grace) and Harry Osborn/New Goblin (James Franco). Whereas the first two Raimi films benefitted from pitting Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man against one solid villain (the Green Goblin and then Doctor Octopus), the third film seemed too scattered and hyper-active.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 similarly features a trio of super-villains, with Spidey up against Electro (Jamie Foxx), Harry Osborn/Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan), and the Rhino (Paul Giamatti). Webb seems to have known about these concerns going in, stating:

“We’re obviously familiar with the complaints people had. We’re very careful to make sure the stories intertwine. For Peter Parker, it’s very important that you create obstacles that are difficult to overcome.”

He added that despite many of the various trailers giving the character seemingly equal screen time as Electro and Harry Osbourne, the Rhino is “in the movie for four minutes.” Exactly which four minutes is unclear – will Giamatti appear early on as Aleksei Sytsevich, only to take the mantle as the Rhino at a later point in the film, as some of the trailers seem to suggest?

Andrew Garfield as Spider Man2 Amazing Spider Man 2: Marc Webb Responds to Concerns Over Too Many Villains

At this point, it’s safe to say that Webb’s first Spidey film won over many skeptical fans and critics (read our review here), even with some of that film’s flaws, such as certain rushed set-pieces and too many plot points thrown up in the air at once.

Still, its indisputable success has raised our expectations for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Webb has remained true to Peter Parker’s troubled emotional core, and the nuanced, realistic handling of the relationship between Peter and Gwen looks to be one of the sequel’s highlights just like in the original, even if we think tragedy is in store.

We’ll find out if bigger really is better in just under two months.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will open in theaters on May 2, 2014.

Source: THR

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. Four minutes? That means we’ve seen almost all of his appearance just by watching the trailers alone…

    Oh well, looks like Rhino is a cannon fodder villain this time around, not exactly an interesting villain after all. Hey, it’s great that he’s even included in the poster though.

    • Yeah but the great thing is that last year when asked, Giamatti himself said that despite not being in the movie for very long, it sets him up for future appearances and that we’ll see various iterations of the Rhino suit, meaning that he could be stopped early on then appear in the tank like mech suit and be defeated again, only to return in a sequel with an upgraded version until eventually, we see the mech suit running on two legs and being as agile as it seems in the Ultimate comics.

      Honestly, it always seems like people want to be too negative about movies that don’t deserve it and too positive about movies that don’t deserve it, months before they even release.

      • I agree, peeps just like to root for their favourites and rip whatever they feel the enemy to be. I root for every single movie to be great because that way I would never have to watch a bad movie again!!

    • Yea after all I’ve seen, it looks like they are making good use of Rhino, even if he’s only in for four minutes. Oscorp will start developing super powers, and the Rhino may be the crappy prototype deal. A test for future villians

  2. I would feel so much better about this if it wasn’t what caused the Batman franchise to collapse back in the ninetys.

    The best part of the first Amazing Spider Man were the first half with growing up and emotional stories and mystery intrigue. Then the giant lizard man showed up and it stopped being interesting and became paint by numbers flash fare.

    More to the point, the romance drama finally became interesting (to me at least) but they condensed some good character stories and didn’t give them time to sink in or be used.

    If you aren’t going to do your movie differently, why make it?

    Now I think it’ll be a top grossing opening enough to warrant a sequel, and I love the idea of plenty of characters on the big screen, but this looks like you’re saving everything for a 2 1/2 hour spectacle, and not giving this film enough of it’s own identity.

    Why waste good storytelling potential?

    And then they reboot it again and make the same mistakes over?

    *sigh* I was so looking forward to this, but I’m starting to think Marvel should just fork over some of their billion dollar pie and bring Spidey home.

    • *sigh, it must be really *sigh sad *sigh to be so *sigh pre-disappointed,

      • That’s effing hilarious!

    • I like what Sony are doing with Spider-Man and their going BIG with it. Come on, a Sinister Six and Venom movie? How awesome is that? Even if Marvel dumps a billion dollars at Sony, you think Sony will accept it? No, they won’t.

    • Thats ridiculous! Marvel Studios is more guilty than anyone with holding solid plot points off for future movies!

      Why don’t you just check this movie out before you condemn it.

    • true spidey needs to go back to marvel. amazing spiderman 2 and xmen 5 trailers look
      stupid and bloated and reeks of desperation. this movie will lose its audience fast
      and wont smell marvel studios numbers. many of you got my 12 gun salute when
      marvel backtracked and had a real mandarin out there and iam generous to give
      another 12 gun salute when this spidey does not have fuel in it for greater heights.

    • If you want MORE feelings, go back and watch The Notebook…

  3. Reason this reboot sucks: 1 all the development of connors character in raimis films was for nothing 2 we will likely never see the black cat or carnage now 3 the role of the green goblin was made for willem dafoe

    • lol, non of those are reasons why this reboot sucks. “all the development of connors character in raimis films was for nothing 2″ lmao, seriously man??

    • hmmm, “all the development of connors character in raimis films was for nothing”,, yes it was for nothing, seeing as he didn’t appear in Raimis spider-man 3.

      Wonder what that has to do with The Amazing Spider-Man though

      wow, what an dumb post

      • Amazing Spider-Man just started.
        1: That’s Raimi’s fault, but he was never “developed” he just appeared.
        2: Are you retarded?
        3: That’s a fair statement.

    • wow that must be the stupidiest argument ever it’s reboot of course they will stay away from the original and on what can you base yourself for saying that the black cat or carnage will never be there and the role was made for willem dafoe lol just like the joker was made for jack nicholson lol you should really think about putting a statement next time caus you sure look dumb

  4. Help me out here. He sees a giant lizard chasing a boy-man in a unitard, decides that isn’t grounded, and then adds way, way more splash to the sequel?

    I guess he just went with it then.

    Despite what I’ve read, I didn’t feel that Spiderman 3 suffered from too many villains. It suffered from the wrong ones, and screwing them up. They had already set up for the Lizard by including Doctor Connors in Spiderman 2. Why didn’t they use him? They decided on Sandman. Okay, but I expected the Ghostbusters to show up when he was the size of a building. They had Venom, but it was Topher Grace as Eddie Brock, Jr. for some lapse of reason. Venom’s character seemed closer (if less psychotic) to Carnage than Venom. (No “we” or “us”?)

    That’s also not what stumbled the Batman movies in the 90’s. That was Joel Schumacher and his piss-poor execution of the featured characters, casting every villain as if they were on the Adam West series in an era that was long past that.

    It’s not the number of villains that matters so much. It’s the execution, the quality over the quantity.

    • Years later, when I watched The Wiz with my wife and saw Joel Schumacher in the credits, the neon-painted street gangs of Batman Forever made a whole lot more sense. Those kids in the Wiz, apparently, inspired the street gangs Robin rumbled with in Batman Forever.

      Which is kind of jacked up…

    • the Schumacher batman films focused more on being toy commericals.

      • @ Big_Boss

        It’s one of the reasons why WB wanted the Batman franchise to go Family Friendly back then.

        • More like the main reason why, But I saw some of the behind the scenes footage and it turns out designers for that film could never finish their concept arts and finilize them because the producers would come by and take their NOT finished concept art, all so that they can market them as toys. The whole production of the film was rushed so that they can have all the actors and sets decked out with crap they can sell in toy stores. If there is any truth behind the Kevin Smith story about the planned Superman reboot then chances are that if we had gotten a superman film in the 90s it would’ve sucked too.

          • That makes loads of sense. I distinctly remember being a kid with a new Disney Adventures magazine (yeah, I read that) about the new Batman & Robin movie. Schumacher said he thought kids would love this new character, “Bane”, because he was big and strong, and not much else.

            Batman & Robin may be the first movie I consciously knew to be completely horrible.

  5. I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised, really I am, but the press releases seem to emphasis scale over depth.

    And with so much potential for said depth previously established, I just hope they use the good they have instead of bury it in superficial elements. That’s all.

    • It doesn’t sound like the film will be any deeper than your average superhero film. Look at what Webb said. He felt the first film, which was supposed to have taken a clue from The Dark Knight, wasn’t grounded, because it’s Spiderman running from a giant lizard. So what does he do? He just ups the ante, and it looks like the Fox Kids cartoon from the mid-90’s more than anything.

      Is that what you’d like to see? Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t, but you are right: That doesn’t spell depth of character.

      • The probaly is that Spider-Man is not Batman. The first file tried to be Batman. Peter Parker is not a character obsessed with death, like Bruce Wayne.

        Peter’s wisecracks and wit was missing.

        They also tried to distance themselves from Sam R’s version.

        This movie will make $ week 1 but will fizzel out.

      • Spiderman is one those comic book characters that doesn’t need to dark and gritty like Batman. It’s supposed to fun and light hearted, The only film I can use as a good example is the first Ironman film, that film managed to find a perfect balance between being a fun superhero film and also maintaining a serious and grounded tone.

        • @Big_Boss, completely agreed, of course. If this film is getting over the Dark Knight syndrome, then in and of itself, that’s great!

  6. Bigger is not always better, but often, more convoluted.

    I personally prefer a single villain with a focus on character, origin, and intent.

    This will be a DVD or Netflix viewing for me.

    • Well put! Marc Webb should know that bigger doesn’t mean better. But I guess Sony promise him too much money. And this is the result.

    • Oh, so you saw it and can now confirm that this movie is bigger, but instead of being better it is just more convoluted??? Thanks for the heads up!

      • He did not say it was definitely bigger not better.

        Do you really not know what “not always better, but often,” meant lol.

  7. Only films where the plot had more than one villain without feeling too big or convoluted were the dark knight films, and that because the they did the smart choice of having just one villain act as the main antagonist and then give all the other villians supporting roles.

  8. Everyone loves to blame Spiderman 3’s problems on too many villains but that is ridiculous! Its 3 characters, if they had a half decent script developing 3 characters plus the returning cast should not be a problem. That movie was bad because it was poorly written and lazily executed.

    • THe LOTR trilogy had too many characters but good script and character development.

      • Exactly!

    • Couldn’t agree more man.

      3 evil characters wasn’t the source of Spider-Man 3 being awful, a badly written script was. Well that and, hey, Peter Parker is dancing and jumping around the street as a Jazz loving weird Emo

  9. I figured Rhino would have a much smaller part. Looks to me that they’re taking the Joker/Two-Face approach from The Dark Knight. One villain keeping the spotlight most of the time while the other sort of lurks in the shadows until the end. But I could be wrong. We’ll soon find out!

  10. I get really confused with this movie. I watch the trailers and read the articles and then I come and I read the comments and wonder what everyone else is watching/reading.

    The first one was so much better than Sam Raimi’s. Seriously, go watch them, not the version you have in your head, the version that is real. The one where the Green Goblin was a Power Rangers villain.

    The originals had some good moments (hell, they’re really good movies in general), but they were from a different age of comic book movies and Mac Webb’s are much better all around.

    • I think it looks good. I don’t need to see it, I won’t hurry to do so, but each time I see a preview or article, it looks good. It looks like a cartoon or comic book.

      And yes, the Green Goblin felt like a Power Rangers villain lol

    • Green Goblin looked more like a cybernetic crocodile in those films. If I were to change it’s design honestly a raggedy hooded cape or robe would’ve made him look less silly.

  11. I expect good things from this movie.
    Spiderman 3 had to much story not enough action IMO. The Sandman was a terrible choice for a villain. They let the venom story line drag on for too long.

    I think this movie will be much better. Better action and better villains. Hopefully they will have a Venom and Carnage in a future Spiderman films.

    I expect bigger and better in any sequel.

  12. I hope we eventually see Scorpion and Mysterio. If Spidey is gonna have so many enemies, tho, he needs people allied with him. How about buying the rights to Moon Knight?

  13. Related to calls for Spidey, etc to revert to Marvel my biggest concern with X-Men, Spiderman, and the Fantastic Four reverting back to Marvel is that Marvel may not have the bandwidth to release movies ever year or two with these characters along with the existing characters there currently are doing. If that is the case I would just assume they stay at Fox, Sony, etc and we get more movies total each year. If they were to revert to Marvel it might be the case that lesser characters such as Doctor Strange or Black Panther take many years longer before they would come to the big screen in their own movie. As it is now Fox, Sony, etc… are trying to step up their game to match Marvel. What may eventually result is they make movies just like Marvel and they do crossovers (as there is money to be made there as well). If that results it will be a win for all fans.

  14. I am hoping the Rhino 4 minute (cameo) isn’t the equivalent of Nick Fury popping in on Agents of Shield. That would be a real let down.

  15. The movie was rebooted. Get over it, jerky.

  16. Time will tell but it is not sounding like the studio ever learnt their lesson from spiderman 3.

    I hope i’m wrong. I want this to work.

  17. Superman II had 3 villains : General Zod, Ursa & Non

    TDKR had 3 villains as well : Bane, Catwoman ( she was a villain in the first half of the movie) & Talia al Ghul.
    That movie made $ 1 billion. So clearly the more the merrier.

  18. Up until this point, I didn’t know Harry was going to be the Green Goblin this time around, still assumed it would’ve been Norman. It might be a good idea to edit that out as not to spoil someone who is just glancing through looking for a director interview.

  19. Man I hate ultimate’s! They really have destroyed the marvel universe!
    And this the Sony-Spider desperately trying to keep a franchise!

    • I enjoyed Ultimates up until Joeph Loeb began writing for that series and wrote Ultimatum which is probably the worst comic I’ve ever read.

  20. “We’re obviously familiar with the complaints people had.”

    Evidently not, considering how many people think this one was worse than the original.