[WARNING!!! This Video & Article Has MASSIVE SPOILERS for Amazing Spider-Man 2]
If you haven't seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2 yet, then STOP READING THIS NOW. Still here? Then let's discuss.
In the sequel to the 2012 reboot to the Spider-Man movie franchise, the theme of the story is time - specifically, not having enough of it. Peter Parker never had enough time with his parents, his Uncle Ben - or even with life as a carefree teenager, before fate pushed power and responsibility onto his shoulders. Even with the powers of a superhuman, Peter never seems to have enough time to save the ones he cared about - especially two members of the same family.
Between Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2, Peter loses Captain George Stacy and his daughter Gwen (the love of Peter's life) to the supervillains created from Oscorp science. The loss of Gwen (Emma Stone) is undoubtedly the harder of the two, and the full ramifications of that tragedy have yet to be felt (we expect it'll be a major starting point for Amazing Spider-Man 3).
While at the Amazing Spider-Man 2 junket in New York City, we sat down with Emma Stone to talk about returning to the role of Gwen Stacy, the very modern (and feminist) take on the character, and how it felt filming that climatic final death scene with her real-life boyfriend Andrew Garfield.
Screen Rant: How is it coming back for a second time to a role that is so iconic? Do you feel like you have more comfort with it, more ownership with it? Can you tell me about that?
Emma Stone: I think I was so excited for the second one because I knew what was going to be happening with Gwen’s story. And yeah, the character in comic book history is just incredibly iconic and a really important part of the Spider-Man that we now know in modern day. A lot of people didn’t know the Gwen Stacy story. I didn’t know it before I auditioned to play her, so it was pretty cool being back in it.
SR: One thing I noticed that’s very distinct is this is really one of the first comic book films that really emphasizes that the woman behind the hero is every bit his equal. Was that something was already loaded in the script, or did you have more kind of input into the character and really kind of emphasized that from your end?
ES: They were pretty clear that that’s what they wanted to—the kind of Gwen that they wanted. At my first audition, that she was going to be his equal and that she was going to be a modern woman. But I think especially in the second movie that point is really driven home because she is so willfully putting herself into these situations even though he wants to protect her and keep his distance from her. And she’s also, you know her ambitions are strong and she’s going off to school and she’s carving out her own path with or without Peter.
SR: The "Wait here and let me protect you!" thing really doesn’t fly anymore.
ES: Yeah, it doesn’t really fly with her. Especially when she gets webbed to a car, she’s super pissed.
SR: All right, now talking towards the end of the movie... how was it filming that final scene with Andrew and how was that, just getting into the emotions of that?
ES: It was pretty crazy, I mean, it takes a while to film. It takes like a week, so you’re sort of, you know, all the different parts of it. But we shot it out of sequence, so I actually croaked before I croaked, if that makes any sense. Like a frog. I’m not talking about death, I’m talking about frog noises. Just kidding. So I had to do the death scene and my last day actually on the movie was Dane holding me as the Goblin about to drop me. So that was probably the most emotional part. Just because it was—I was about to fall and I also knew it was my last day and my last time working with these people...
SR: Is it [you're last time working with these people]?
ES: I don’t know... is it?
SR: Is it?
ES: There could be a—I don’t know, there’s a whole plotline that could happen that may bring her back.
What Emma is of course referring to is the multiple times in the comics that Gwen Stacy has been brought back to life, more often than not as a clone. In classic Spider-Man lore, Gwen Stacy returns as a clone created by Professor Miles Warren, a.k.a., The Jackal, a mastermind mad scientist who makes Peter Parker's life a hell of clones and uncertainty. Warren's character was just one of many Amazing Spider-Man 2 comic book references fans spotted in the sequel, so the character is now officially part of the movie universe, if only tangentially.
However, in the Ultimate Spider-Man mythos (on which much of this film series is based), Gwen returns as a humanoid disguise of "Ultimate Carnage," the murderous symbiote who is a fan-favorite nemesis of both Spider-Man and Venom - the latter of whom is also getting a feature film, which could also feature the Carnage entity as an antagonist. As we discussed on our Amazing Spider-Man 2 podcast episode, seeing Emma Stone's adorable face morph into a freakish symbiote creature would be a thrill - and the kind of mashup between Spider-Man and The Thing that we wouldn't mind seeing.
Of course, Carnage's traditional alter-ego, serial killer Cletus Kasady, has also been introduced to the film world via viral marketing, so this Carnage thing could really go either way, at this point.
BONUS: Emma Stone turns the tables and interviews Screen Rant Editor-in-Chief Kofi Outlaw!
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is now in theaters. Click the tag below for more of our interviews with the cast.