A lot of us came into The Amazing Spider-Man reboot with a refreshed hope that the perceived errors of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy would not be repeated. Although still altering the original Spider-Man mythos more than a bit, The Amazing Spider-Man movie stayed true enough to the comic book source material to satisfy plenty of Spidey’s die-hard fans, while still managing to bring in over 700 million worldwide, and making actor Andrew Garfield (Spider-Man) a household name, overnight.
With Amazing Spider-Man 2 already in development, the questions of the characters' fates looms large in fans' minds - and one of the franchise stars has some designs of her own to share.
WARNING!!! AMAZING SPIDER-MAN SPOILERS BELOW!!!
One of the most observable in ASM was to the fate of Spider-Man’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy. When the news broke that the cute but nerdy Gwen Stacy would be taking the place of sultry Mary Jane Watson as Peter Parker's love interest, fans were more than pleased, but immediately expected to hear a Funeral March soon after. Now it appears Gwen’s indispensable death at the hands of her lover has not been altered, but simply delayed.
In a recent sit-down with Interview magazine, Gwen Stacy actress Emma Stone touched upon what her cherished comicbook counterpart’s pivotal death means, and how she feels the critical event should happen in upcoming squeals:
“Essentially the argument is that Spider-Man kills her by accident, so the person she loves is the person who kills her, which is the most horrifying thing. Apparently people unsubscribed to the comic book when that happened because they were just so flipped-out over it. But, of course, I want to stay true to that.”
Emma Stone as the ill-fated Gwen Stacy with co-star Andrew Garfield
For those who are only casual readers of the Spider-Man comics: Spider-Man’s classmate-turned-girlfriend Gwen met her tragic end in a 1970s Amazing Spider-Man story arc, "The Night Gwen Stacy Died". Following a seemly routine confrontation with his archenemies Norman Osborn (AKA The Green Goblin), Spider-Man is shocked to find out that the Goblin has kidnapped his girlfriend Gwen and is holding her captive at the George Washington Bridge. Spidey arrives just in time to witness the Goblin mercilessly hurl the frightened Gwen off the top of the bridge.
Acting on instinct, Spider-Man quickly wraps his web around Gwen’s ankles apparently saving her - only to find out that due to his lack of proper bungee support, he has inadvertently snapped his beloved’s neck. After Gwen's death, Spider-Man hunts the Green Goblin down and beats him within an inch of his life - but can't bring himself to kill his enemy. The Goblin uses this moment of mercy to turn the tables by attempting to impale Spider-Man with his glider – but alerted by his Spider sense, Spider-Man dodges the charging gilder, which skewers Osborne instead, apparently ending the dark reign of The Green Goblin.
Gwen’s death was also the catalyst for the romantic relationship between Peter and Mary Jane Watson to grow in the comics. As both were close friends of Gwen, they found comfort from the tragic loss within each other’s arms, and the two eventually progressed to become more than friends.
Gwen Stacy's death as seen in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ #121 (click to enlarge)
So here's the truth about "The Night Gwen Stacy Died": Gwen died simply because no one knew what else to do with her. The decision was made conjointly by Marvel staff writer Gerry Conway, artist John Romita Sr., and Editor Roy Thomas when they found that with Peter and Gwen getting out of high school and slowly reaching adulthood, their deep relationship was reaching its inevitable conclusion; marriage. At the time, Marvel was beat-fist adamant that they did not want Spider-Man to get hitched, as they felt it would have drastically aged the character and would have made previously-planned plotlines difficult to initiate. To add to the problem, the team felt a messy breakup would have appeared too unrealistic for the two – thus Gwen’s execution papers were signed.
Gwen's death was somewhat breezed upon in the first installment of Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy when The Goblin lures Spider-Man to the top of the Queensboro Bridge by kidnapping Mary Jane (instead of Gwen) and a Tramway car full of children. The Goblin drops both Mary Jane and the kids forcing Spider-Man to choose which one he will save – but a quick thinking Spidey is able to save them both. (A moment we deliciously twisted into this comedic Spider-Man movie mashup.)
It’s always awesome to see actors not only acquainting themselves with the original comic book source material, but actively wanting to remain true to it. However, the topic of Gwen Stacy's death rests in the hands of director Marc Webb (who is rumored to be on his way out of the series) and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. So far the team has done a decent job remaining fairly close to the original Spider-Man story - but ultimately (no pun) time will tell what direction they eventually decide to go.
Source: Indie Wire