The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is currently in production, and what we know about the sequel so far points to a story involving  Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy’s (Emma Stone) continued courtship; a possible competing love interest in the form of Mary Jane Watson (Shailene Woodley); new villains in Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Rhino (Paul Giamatti); and an expansion on the story of Peter’s missing parents – including their connection to mysterious business mogul, Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper).

Of course, with the Osborn saga comes Peter’s friendship (turned rivalry?) with Norman’s son, Harry Osborn, who will be played in this rebooted film franchise by breakout star Dane DeHaan (Chronicle). Since DeHaan signed on for ASM2, there has been speculation that the rising young actor could be getting positioned for a major villain arc – either as a new Goblin, or even the new version of Venom.

DeHaan was recently out doing press for his new film The Place Beyond the Pines (in which he stars opposite Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes) and as expected, a barrage of Spider-Man questions were tossed his way. The first topic (and sure to be most prevalent) was how it feels stepping into a role made famous by James Franco in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy.

Speaking to Coming SoonDeHaan, for one, seemed unconcerned with the comparison:

“I dunno, I mean Franco did his thing, I’ll do my thing,”

He also addressed how the theme of father-son troubles (which were the focus of his roles in both Chronicle and Place Beyond the Pines) would once again surface in the Harry/Norman Osborn relationship:

“First of all, ‘Chronicle’ was about a kid with an abusive father, ‘Place Beyond the Pines’ is about a kid who doesn’t know who his father is, and they’re very different relationships. Obviously with Harry Osborn, the privilege of it is another dynamic. The relationship Harry has with Norman is a different dynamic. Every son has a relationship with their father, whether that father is there or not, and that always has an effect on the person whether they admit it or not. There’s a lot of different ways those relationships are complicated.”

At the very least that complicated relationship should be somewhat comfortable for DeHaan to explore: he and actor Chris Cooper previously worked together on the 2010 John Sayles film, Amigo:

Chris Cooper was in that movie and I looked up to Chris so much. We had a lot of good moments just like having coffee during that film and I got to get to know him and really I have a lot of respect for him. He’s playing my father in ‘Spider-Man’ and I’m really happy that things have come full circle.

As for whether or not we’ll get to see DeHaan suit-up as some kind of villain: The actor was vague about the subject when we spoke to him personally during the Place Beyond the Pines junket – but his workout regiment certainly suggests that he could see some action. When asked how prepping for level of stunt work in Spider-Man differs from, say, a low-budget film like Chronicle:

It’s very much the same kind of training and stuff – it’s just fancier and more available because there’s more money, in the end. But they both have stunts.

When pressed about just what kind of stunt work he’ll be doing in the film (you know – as in the villain kind?):

Honestly I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing as far as stunts and stuff… But I’ve been training really hard to do whatever they need me to do.

His own father’s love of geek culture apparently extends beyond comic books, because according to DeHaan, a role in the new Star Wars universe Disney’s building would be considered a family milestone:

My dad would really like that! My dad’s a really big ‘Star Wars’ fan. I’ve never really been a ‘Star Wars’ fan, though. I dunno why, maybe it’s ’cause my dad liked it so much. (laughs) I have no idea why, it’s just never really been my thing. I’ve always gravitated towards comic book movies. I don’t read comic books, but I love the last Batman franchise, Sam Raimi’s second ‘Spider-Man’ was pretty sick. The first ‘Iron Man’ was really great, I couldn’t wait for ‘Captain America’ to come out. Those are my guilty pleasures for sure.

Of course, the one thing most comic book fanboys want to know about an actor stepping into an iconic character role is whether or not he/she has any knowledge and/or reverence for said character. DeHaan seems to fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum:

I knew the character, yeah. I’m not a huge comic book reader – my dad is, actually. Superhero movies have always been my guilty pleasure, but I never really read comic books growing up.

He later added in his interview with Coming Soon:

I don’t think you have to be a fan of something to do the job. I think ultimately it’s important that I’m familiar with past takes on the Osborn story, more for like common, know-it-all ’cause it’s stuff I should know. My job as an actor is the same job, whether it’s a comic book movie or a gritty Derek Cianfrance drama, or a ‘Chronicle,’ or a ‘Lawless,’ which is to take a character and, for lack of better word, to breathe life into it. I’m a fan of acting!

———

The Place Beyond the Pines will be in theaters on March 29, 2013.

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

Source: Coming Soon

Header Image Source: Celluloid and Cigarettes