The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be kicking off the 2014 summer movie season, and we certainly learned a lot (and will be speculating and analyzing even more) from what director Marc Webb and his cast - which includes Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx and Chronicle star Dane DeHaan - had to say while at Comic-Con 2013.
With a storyline that is still shrouded in so much mystery and rumor, finding a foothold on what Amazing Spider-Man 2 is about is a difficult thing. What we know so far is that Peter Parker will be well settled into his role as Spider-Man at the beginning of the film, with a cocksure attitude that will inevitably be tested by his new foe, Electro (Foxx). Beyond that, there have been many, many vague hints about what's to come - especially where the character of Harry Osborn (DeHaan) is concerned.
We first spoke to DeHaan about his mysterious role in the Amazing Spider-Man sequel earlier this year during his press tour for Place Beyond the Pines, but Amazing Spider-Man 2 has come a long way since then, and fan excitement has grown exponentially. However, studio secrecy surrounding the sequel - and its implications of a Spider-Man vs. Sinister Six storyline - has also grown tighter, and while speaking to him at Comic-Con 2013, DeHaan was tight-lipped about rumors about where his version of Harry Osborn might end up:
So I know when we talked in New York, you’re [a] very character driven actor, tell me just a little bit about your character arch in the film.
Dane DeHaan: So basically Harry and Peter in this version were really close friends in childhood. Then Harry got sent off to boarding school and he had a very complicated relationship with his father so he never really went home that much and stopped talking to Peter. Now they’ve graduated High School and Harry is coming home for the first time and having to face Peter and rekindle their friendship and deal with the complicated relationships they both have with their fathers and finding a way back into their friendship through that.
How was the dynamic between you and Andrew?
Dane DeHaan: It was amazing I think Andrew is an incredibly talented actor and one of the most emotionally available actors I’ve ever worked with and I have great respect for him so it was really fun to go to work with him every day.
When we talked to Marc [Webb] yesterday he mentioned that one thematic arc in this movie has to do with time and not having enough time. Is that something that’s relevant to your character?
Dane DeHaan: Well I think like in the thing I just talked about, so much time has passed since Peter and Harry had seen each other, it’s about making up for lost time I guess, maybe.
What was it about this particular character that grabbed you - because I know you are pretty discerning about that kind of thing.
Dane DeHaan: Well it’s just an incredibly interesting person. I felt like it was unlike anything I had ever done before. Like Harry comes from extreme wealth and he uses his wealth to hide what’s actually inside. He almost buys his happiness and he asserts himself, he’s a bit of a womanizer, likes fast cars and that kind of person was someone I had never really explored. So I felt like it presented a great challenge and it was an opportunity to do something different.
I know you’ve probably gotten plagued with questions about the differences between you and [James] Franco and what the new Harry and Norman relationship is all about. But how does this differ from the first trilogy?
Dane DeHaan: Well what I can tell you is the difference is that this takes place today. So it’s a modern day take on Harry Osborn. The relationship between Norman and Harry is still extremely complicated but different.
Is there anything specifically that spoke to you about making your character relevant to the now? Relevant to any particular kind of theme or anything?
Dane DeHaan: Well I think when I look at kids that are in New York City that are kind of trust fund babies in today’s culture—there’s a whole hipster culture of trust fund babies that exist now in today’s modern society that didn’t exist really ever before - so that was kind of my gateway into Harry.
When I talked to you in New York you were kind of unclear about what kind of stunt regiments they would be putting you through - it was kind of early on. I feel like you might have a better idea now about what kind of stunt regiments they put you through.
Dane DeHaan: Yeah, it was a really exciting challenge of a part and it wasn’t only a mental challenge, it was a physical challenge as well. I underwent a really big training regime, the days were long and that kind of thing. I don’t want to get into too much detail because I think there’s a lot in the movie that’s going to be really exciting for people to not know going into it. And I think I owe it to the audience to let the story unfold without them going into it already knowing everything about the movie. But it was definitely challenging mentally and physically.
Could you settle something? ARE you the new Venom?
Dane DeHaan: Am I the new Venom? I thought Eddie Brock was Venom?
In the Ultimate Spiderman cartoon continuity, Harry Osborn becomes Venom.
Dane DeHaan: Wow, now you sound like a dude at Comic Con!
Gotta know this stuff, that’s what I get paid for. So there may be a possibility? Let me back up and ask a more general question: Are you signed on for the long term or are you just taking it [one film at a time]? Do you have sequels or spin-offs lined up?
Dane DeHaan: Oh I have no idea what’s happening beyond this. I guess it depends on what happens when the script comes in, but I’d love to continue to be a part of it. I had a really great time working on this film, it’s filled with a lot of really great people. I honestly truly enjoyed working with everybody. I think Marc [Webb] is really great and if they invite me I would love to continue.
Would you ever be interested in headlining your own franchise?
Dane DeHaan: Would I ever headline my own franchise? Yeah! I was really shocked at how much fun I had doing this and how fulfilling it was. I didn’t know that a movie this big could be as fulfilling as this was. I found the amount of time it took to make it extremely luxurious; like to have 6 months to make a movie rather than 24 days was to me a great gift. I’m a person that is really methodical in the way I do things. I’m a person who likes to do a lot of work and research and the fact that I was given 4 months ahead of time and I wasn’t shooting every day over a 6 month period it really became a really interesting process in character study for me. So if a franchise came along that I thought would present myself with those same challenges? Sure, why the hell not.
Are you going to look cool? When it’s all said in done—people are very critical--do you think you’re going to look cool in terms of costuming and all that stuff?
Dane DeHaan: The costumes were very important to me - it’s like I said: [Harry] uses his [money], he buys his happiness and that includes clothes - so I worked with the costume designer actually from the day of my [screen] test to find very specific, very cool clothes that Harry would look cool in.
Do you have a good range of things to do? Performance-wise?
Dane DeHaan: Yeah, I mean I wouldn’t have taken the part if it wasn’t dynamic and challenging. If I didn’t think I could make it dynamic and challenging.