2014 will see the release of four tentpole movies based on Marvel Comics titles, and two of them are in May: Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on May 2nd, and Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23rd. The marketing for director Marc Webb’s highly anticipated sequel to his 2012 reboot of Spidey’s movie universe has been coming in a steady stream.

From new images of villains Rhino and Green Goblin (teasing the days-away release of the film’s last trailer), to the film’s producers discussing the planned spinoff movies and soundtrack details, to Webb himself addressing concerns about the second Amazing Spider-Man installment’s preponderance of villains, Sony is sparing no expense in saturating any and all media outlets as the sequel’s release draws near.

As Peter Parker (the returning Andrew Garfield) faces off against a trio of threats in the form of the powerful Electro (Jamie Foxx), the Rhino (Paul Giamatti), and Harry Osbourne/Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan), he also continues to work on his relationship with Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone). Beyond all of this, Peter has the shadowy monolith of OsCorp to deal with, and we’ve heard that the end credits could tease additional villains, building towards 2016’s The Amazing Spider-Man 3, the Sinister Six and Venom spinoffs, and beyond.

Sony has tapped a deep creative team to tackle the spinoffs, including Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Jeff Pinkner (who all worked on The Amazing Spider-Man 2), along with Ed Solomon (Now You See Me) and Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods). They also have Marc Webb locked in for The Amazing Spider-Man 3, but while talking to The Daily Beast at SXSW, Webb confirmed that he won’t be helming The Amazing Spider-Man 4.

According to Webb:

I’d like to be involved as a consultant, and I’ve already talked to these guys about it, but in terms of directing it, that will close out my tenure. I’ve had so much fun doing it, but after the third movie, it’ll be the time to find something else.

Webb talked about a wide range of topics, from the special effects involved in TASM2 to how his career as a director started – even discussing the karaoke skills of his (500) Days of Summer stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He addressed the decision to cut the character of Mary-Jane Watson (who would’ve been played by Divergent‘s Shailene Woodley) by stating that “It felt wrong” since her role was so small to being with.

As for whether or not he’d like to see a proper crossover between the Spidey movie continuity and that of Marvel Studios, Webb said:

We’re building out a more complicated Spider-Man universe with characters that people haven’t seen in other Spider-Man movies—The Sinister Six, Venom, and more. We’d all love to overlap with other studios, but it’s beyond my pay grade.

The new, rebooted Spider-Man movie-verse has so far featured villains we haven’t yet seen on the big screen, but Chronicle star Dane DeHaan’s character Harry Osbourne was a fixture throughout Sam Raimi’s original trilogy. When quizzed about his approach to this character, Webb stated that “Yeah. There will be some “creature of the night” popping up.”

Webb elaborated:

I wanted him to be as smart as Peter Parker. James Franco is a very intelligent man, but his Harry Osborne was a little bit dopey. This Harry Osborne is incredibly sharp. Harry and Peter are bound by the loss of their fathers and their abandonment issues. In Raimi’s film, Harry is trying to protect Peter from getting bullied or whatever, and in this one, they’re more like brothers.

Webb talked about his focus on the characters when he took on the job of directing the first film, and his attempt to keep Spidey’s re-introduction centered around Peter Parker’s internal life, saying:

Just from a narrative standpoint, exploring the storyline of the parents was important, and I wanted it to be more “grounded,” and during the post-production process of the first movie, I thought, “I don’t know if ‘grounded’ is the right thing for Spider-Man,” but there’s a bombastic thrill and a spectacle which I wanted to chase. The first movie is terrestrial, but with this one I was like f*ck it, I want to go for a ride.

We’ve already heard Webb’s intention to go big with this chapter of the Spidey saga, and there’s little doubt at this point that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will set up not only its direct sequel but form a cornerstone of Sony’s own inter-connected Marvel movie universe. With Webb stepping into the background after The Amazing Spider-Man 3, the big question will not only be who will direct the fourth film, but how much of Webb’s character-driven approach remain? Will the directors of not only The Amazing Spider-Man 4 but also the spinoffs retain any of Webb’s directorial style?

We’ll be seeing the final trailer for the film in just a few days. Stay tuned as the marketing push shifts into overdrive over the next month or so.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in U.S. theaters on May 2nd, 2014, followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 3 on June 10th, 2016, and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 (or one of the spinoff films) on May 4th, 2018. Venom and Sinister Six do not currently have official release dates.

Source: The Daily Beast