[THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2.]
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is currently sitting atop the U.S. box office and has grossed some $369 million worldwide already, so it's safe to assume that Sony will be pressing ahead with Amazing Spider-Man 3 followed by the villain teamup spinoff film, Sinister Six. However, while the general moviegoing public appears to be by and large pleased with the film (judging by its user ratings on sites like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes), ASM2 is currently the lowest-ranked Spider-Man movie released to date on RT. Yes, it's even lower than Spider-Man 3.
If you've read my Amazing Spider-Man 2 review, then you know I was among those who enjoyed the film despite its narrative flaws. Those shortcomings appear to stem from the movie being a well-made standalone story about Peter Parker directed by Marc Webb, who was also forced to pull double-duty and setup an expanded Spider-Man film universe at the same time (causing the Amazing Spider-Man sequel to suffer from what I called "Iron Man 2 syndrome").
A petition has been started at Change.org, demanding that Sony release Webb's director's cut of Amazing Spider-Man 2 on DVD and Blu-ray, based on the argument that it could fix the film's primary flaws - commonly identified to include a "disjointed narrative" and "lack of character development." The petition also lists a few pivotal ASM2 scenes rumored to have been left on the editing room floor, in order to shrink the movie down to the still-sizeable 142 minute running length of the theatrical version.
Last warning - SPOILERS for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ahead!
Here are a few of the pivotal scenes rumored to have been shot, then discarded, for the theatrical cut of Amazing Spider-Man 2:
- An attack on Oscorp by the Green Goblin
- An alternate scene in which a tumultuous scene is portrayed differently
- Extended Times Square and Clocktower scenes
- Another Peter/Gwen scene.
Having seen Amazing Spider-Man 2, I can agree that it feels as though the Clocktower battle (e.g. the film's climax) was a little rushed, as far as the Spider-Man/Goblin fight portion of the sequence goes. Similarly, the trailers might've included the above-mentioned scene between Peter (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), as revealed by this line of dialogue from Stone. By the sound of it, this could've been a brief, yet still insightful, moment in the buildup to Gwen's death - which, by the way, seems a probable choice to be the "tumultuous scene" mentioned in the fan petition.
Our Amazing Spider-Man 2 Easter Eggs article even includes a trail screenshot that teases the aforementioned Goblin attack on Oscorp. Equally intriguing, however, is the fact that Felicity Jones' character "Felicia" - heavily speculated to be potential Sinister Six member Felicia Hardy/Black Cat - was featured in that scene, which makes its being left out of the film's theatrical cut all the more questionable. That is, assuming that you agree that both Jones - as the assistant to Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) - as well as Harry's jump from becoming the Goblin to fighting Peter and then plotting to put together the Sinister Six team, feel like they would've benefited from an additional scene or two for development.
As was discussed during the Screen Rant Underground Podcast's Amazing Spider-Man 2 review, there are other key scenes that were heavily featured in the film's marketing, but ultimately left out from the theatrical release. That includes an exchange between Harry and his father Norman (Chris Cooper), where they discuss Peter, as well as a later scene where Harry reveals to his old friend that OsCorp has been keeping surveillance on him. Even more intriguingly, those sequences appear to be separate from the scenes between Harry/Norman and Harry/Peter that made the final cut - and, frankly, would've helped to fill in the blanks, as far as the progression of that storyline in the film is concerned.
Similarly, the rumor of the Times Square sequence in the film having been cut short makes sense - if only because, in the theatrical version, the situation with a panicked Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), newly transformed into Electro, deteriorating into Electro attempting to kill everyone within his reach happens rather quickly. One also starts to wonder if maybe there aren't additional cut scenes with a pre-Electro Max, wherein - through more interactions with Oscorp employees like his dismissive boss Alistair Smythe (B.J. Novak) - it's made clearer just how under-appreciated Max is, despite his contributions to New York City's power grid.
Such moments could not only make Electro a more sympathetic villain, but also better present the idea of him being a city servant who is mistreated and shunned - creating a stronger juxtaposition with Spider-Man, who is celebrated by much of the public, and thus giving Max more reason to be envious of Spidey. In previous interviews, Foxx alluded to such elements being in the film, such as when he mentioned that "People have stolen [Max's] ideas at the big company [Oscorp]" - something that was arguably not made crystal-clear in the theatrical cut.
The list of items featured in Amazing Spider-Man 2 marketing but not the final movie goes on, yet it all ultimately suggests the same thing: that the world-building in ASM2 might've been better done - and been less at odds with the standalone Peter Parker story being told - in a different cut of the film. Whether or not Webb preferred an earlier cut that included the aforementioned material - stuff that would've filled in the cracks in the film's shared universe construction and other plot threads - and thus, he and editor Pietro Scalia were required to remove key elements of the superhero movie in order to shorten the running time - that's an unsolved mystery for now.
At the end of the day, though Amazing Spider-Man 2 may've gotten where it needed to in terms of laying groundwork for additional installments, it does feel as though the film has elements of greatness - but just didn't come together, to produce a truly fantastic addition the superhero genre. By releasing a director's cut on DVD/Blu-ray, Sony could better allow fans to better enjoy the journey offered by the sequel - and thus, become all the more excited to watch the upcoming chapters in the rebooted Spider-Man movie universe unfold.
If you want to add your name to the petition for a director's cut release of Amazing Spider-Man 2, you can do so over at Change.org.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is now playing in theaters.