The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is currently making a bid for big box office dollars around the world - but it's hard to watch the receipts being tallied with bated breath, exactly; we already know that an entire Spider-Man movie universe is on the way, regardless of whether or not this particular installment turns a huge profit. The Amazing Spider-Man 3 is coming in 2016; after that, the villains of the Spider-Man universe will get the spotlight in two films, Venom and The Sinister Six.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is being most often criticized for having too many deviations into universe-building, which distract from the main narrative (i.e., "Iron Man 2 syndrome"). That places a great deal of pressure on Amazing Spider-Man 3, which now has the job of finishing out the original trilogy of films, launching these new villain-centric properties, while still managing to tell a satisfying standalone story.
We caught up with Amazing Spider-Man franchise director Marc Webb and star Andrew Garfield during the Amazing Spider-Man 2 junket in NYC, to talk (briefly) about the future of the franchise:
Screen Rant: Marc, when we spoke to you early on, you told us the theme of this film was going to be time, which turned out to be incredibly accurate for both the story and the visual shorthand for the film.
Marc Webb: I thought you were going to say it was not accurate at all with that one.
SR: No, it was accurate both on the page and in the visual shorthand. What can you tell me about the next chapter? What is the theme of that?
MW: The next movie?
MW: I haven’t figured that out yet. For crying out loud, give me a break (laughter). We’re just finishing this movie.
SR: A theme is early, you can…
MW: Well, a theme—it’s true—you’ve got to crack the theme early. But I’ll tell you what. Themes, sometimes you work on a script and then other things emerge and then you readjust the theme and then you work on the script again. So I think it’s too premature to talk about that.
SR: Andrew: what’s it like to come back to this role? I know some actors can have trouble just coming back to a role, period. What is it like to come back to such an iconic role? Do you feel when you came back you could now have more ownership of your choices in the role and less kind of filling this icon, can you talk about that?
Andrew Garfield: Yeah, I think it’s a pleasure for me. I want to have every chance to get it right as possible. And I never will get it right. That’s the beauty of the creative arts, you know? It’s that you’re always striving and yearning for more. Yearning for something more perfect, more deep, more full. And with a character like this, you get to—it’s a character I want to honor so much. He’s my favorite superhero and always has been since I was a three year-old, so I get to keep on chipping away at it and failing, you know what I mean? I get to keep on coming back and seeing what I can do.
SR: And for you, what would be the hook for the next step in the evolution of your character? Where is that?
AG: I don’t know. I don’t want to talk about how the film ends, I don’t want to talk about—I don’t want anyone who hasn’t seen it to have any preconceived notion of what happens, but there’s a big thing that Peter has to deal with and you have to give it fair credence. You have to really honor the truth of what it will take for a human being to keep going. Could there be a girl in some of this?...
SR: A girl in spandex?
MW: Hmmmm... (Laughter)
[WARNING: Incoming SPOILERS for Amazing Spider-Man 2!!!!!]
As we discussed on our Amazing Spider-Man 2 podcast episode, it is somewhat nerve-wracking to hear Marc Webb say that not even the theme of Amazing Spider-Man 3 has been figured out - much less the finer points of the story. Even Andrew Garfield's claim that the next film should deal with the weight of Gwen Stacy's death seems a bit off the mark; after all, didn't this last film invest heavily in how the weight of Captain Stacy's death affected Peter (and subsequently Gwen)? Didn't we get that seasonal montage of Peter standing by Gwen's grave at the end of this film? His dilemma about being Spider-Man? And weren't those sorts of things present in the original Raimi trilogy as well? Do we really need MORE of that?
Marvel Studios is planning things until 2028, but it looks as though right now the Amazing Spider-Man franchise is taking it one step at a time - and so far those steps have arguably been wobbly. Can one character (Spider-Man) sustain an entire film universe? And does Sony need to start getting on more solid ground with the planning and execution of these films? Sound off in the comments!
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is now in theaters. Click the tag below for more of our interviews with the cast, and more insight into the deleted scenes from the film.
Amazing Spider-Man fan-art logo by "The Dark Rinnegan @ DeviantArt"