The Amazing Spider-Man 2 continues the re-exploration of Spider-Man's origins with a story involving the return of Peter Parker's (Andrew Garfield) childhood friend, Harry Osborn (Chronicle's Dane DeHaan), and the mysterious machinations of Oscorp, Norman Osborn's shady corporation that is tied to the disappearance of Peter's parents, the creation of The Lizard in the last film, and will be behind the creation of Jamie Foxx's Electro in this new installment. As for the future: We already know Oscorp will give rise to more iconic villains - and will most likely be the launchpad for the confirmed spinoff films about the villain team the Sinister Six and Venom, one of Spider-Man's most famous nemeses.
Of course Amazing Spider-Man 2 will also feature a little gal named Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who may or may not have a pretty dramatic arc in the second chapter. Stone is featured in a new image from the film, courtesy of Social Toaster, which launched the image as part of a promotional campaign:
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Right now, Amazing Spider-Man 2 is suspected of playing an intricate game of misdirection with fans, so nothing should be assumed. At first it was a given that Foxx's Electro was the primary focus of the sequel - but as more casting was announced, it was clear that Chris Cooper's Norman Osborn, DeHaan's Harry Osborn, Paul Giamatti's Rhino and yet unnamed characters played by the likes of Felicity Jones, Colm Feore and BJ Novak could all be potential foes/allies from Spidey's rogues gallery. The latest marketing materials for the film have focused more on Harry Osborn and his seeming transformation into the Green Goblin - a reveal that DeHaan has been trying to hide for as far back as our Comic-Con 2013 interview with him this past summer.
Now the actor is teasing a bit more about his arc in the film - but still not revealing all that much. From an interview with Digital Spy:
"It's becoming very obvious that all of these villains are originating from within Oscorp, in one way or the other. There are things that Harry feels he owes Peter, and things he needs from Peter, there are things he feels he needs from Spider-Man, and then there's his responsibility to Oscorp. It's a very complicated storyline, really cool and dynamic."
The push-pull dynamic and dual-sided nature of the Harry/Peter friendship (vs. the Spider-Man/Goblin rivalry) are what made the mid-to-late seventies Amazing Spider-Man comic books (the Gerry Conway, Len Wein and Ross Andru era) so iconic. While the Peter/Norman/Harry/Gwen (or MJ) saga has been retconned or re-explored multiple times since then (including in Raimi's Spider-Man movie trilogy), the Ultimate Spider-Man continuity that The Amazing Spider-Man films are based on have the possibility of exploring it from a VASTLY different angle than the previous films.
Gwen could die and be reborn as Carnage - or not die at all (as many expect). Harry could become Venom. Norman Osborn might cheat death and become a monstrous Green Goblin. Who knows? Something completely different could happen...
However, the way DeHaan's quote is structured - specifically the "[Harry] needs something from Spider-Man" part - makes us think that the Ultimate comics storyline of Spider-Man's DNA holding the secret to the origins of fan-favorite villains Venom and Carnage could indeed be in play, here. For the film, a sample of Spidey/Peter's blood would be the thing Harry potentially needs to get his hands on to advance Oscorp's research and save his father Norman's life. (In the comic Peter's father created the Venom suit as a cure for cancer, and it's like to their DNA - see where this is going?)
Right now, the possibilities for this Amazing Spider-Man universe are so rich, the real fear is that part 2 could end up being an underwhelming fulfillment of it. We'll see.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be in theaters on May 2, 2014.