Even those who adore Marc Webb’s summer blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man
have to concede that – at the moment – Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2
probably ranks as the best web-slinging adventure we’ve yet to see on-screen. The reasons are varied. Raimi and his Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) had years of experience developing the characters in their world. The action and special effects were improved. And Spider-Man 2
boasted a compelling villain in Doctor Octopus, played by the wonderfully droll Alfred Molina.
Because the sequel in a superhero franchise often improves on the original, we’re thrilled by the news that Webb has agreed to return to the Spidey series for an as-yet-untitled part two. Andrew Garfield is coming back as Parker, joined by Sally Field and Emma Stone as Aunt May and Gwen Stacy, respectively. Shailene Woodley of The Descendants
is rumored to be circling the coveted role of Mary Jane Watson, while rumors recently broke that Oscar winner Jamie Foxx is eyeballing the villainous part of Electro
It was there that we began our conversation with Webb, who had called to discuss his original Spider-Man
movie as the film reaches DVD shelves on Friday, November 9. (We’re giving away a copy right here
We spoke about the triumphs of the first film, his plans for the second film, and the idea of Foxx playing Spidey’s nemesis. Here’s Marc Webb:
Movies.com: The Jamie Foxx news is literally breaking before our eyes. You’ve seen the report that Jamie Foxx wants to play Electro in the Amazing Spider-Man 2?
Marc Webb: What?!?
Movies.com: You’re going to play shocked?
Webb: Look, Jamie Foxx is a genius actor, and I think he’s electrifying. That’s my standard quote right now. [Laughs] But I think he’s a brilliant actor. From his work back in In Living Color to Ray to what he did in Ali, he’s just one of the great character actors of our generation.
Movies.com: And hopefully he’ll make a great Spider-Man villain.
Movies.com: Fair enough! Looking back, what did you learn about tentpole pictures and the character of Spidey while managing The Amazing Spider-Man that you think are going to help as you prepare for the sequel?
Webb: You know what’s funny? What I realized is that it doesn’t really matter how big or how small a movie is. What matters is how you feel about those characters. In a very real way, the same things that were important in 500 Days (of Summer) also were important in Spider-Man. That was something that was really comforting.
There is a “hugeness” to the visual effects pipeline and the technique of the film, and how interested and invested the fans were… that was a little bit overwhelming. I feel a great obligation to them. But I also feel that it’s important to create a universe that’s new, to try and find other things.
Movies.com: It's surprising how much emphasis you put on the relationship between Peter and Aunt May. There are several scenes that establish them as the core of your story. How do you plan on developing what you already have in coming films?
Webb: We had seen Aunt May in a certain way before, but I wanted that the audience to put themselves in Aunt May’s shoes. What would we really happen if you saw this kid coming in with bruises on his face, he’s out all night, you don’t know where he is… that would freak you out! What is he doing? I wanted to play a realistic, domestic version of that, so that you don’t know what this kid is doing. We can only imagine what is going on in her mind.
She’s heartbroken. She feels responsible for him. This is her boy! And I felt like that relationship was really important. I wanted to build in their bonding. When it started off, there was a real tension between them in the story. What’s so brilliant about Sally is that she plays that… you immediately trust and love her, so that they can have an argument, but you get to see both sides of it. It’s still one of my favorite scenes in the movie where Aunt May is saying she can’t sleep. “Where do you go? Who does this to you?” And Peter says, “Go to sleep, Aunt May.” You know he can’t tell her, and she desperately wants to know to be put at ease. It just breaks her heart. First of all, I love Sally in anything. But I love Sally in that moment. I think it’s really relatable. Every parent can see themselves in those shoes.
Movies.com: You brought up parents. How will Peter’s parents factor in to the mythology that you are constructing here? Does Peter’s father’s research directly affect his transformation?
Webb: The identity of Peter Parker’s parents is the long shadow that I’ve cast over these films. And there certainly will be more to talk about in the next film. I think people will be very intrigued by the next installment when it comes to the parents.
Movies.com: With the DVD coming out, point to a feature that you’re really proud of, that you think is going to impress Spider-Man fans.
Webb: Listen, we’re under a lot of pressure to create something that is really fantastic and special, because people just don’t buy DVDs like they used to. So we spent a lot of time creating content that feels exciting.
My favorite feature is the second-screen app. You can watch the movie along with your iPad, and you can click on different documentaries as you are watching the movie, and it will affect the volume on the screen. You can look at your iPad and interact with what’s on-screen. It’s like texting while driving, only far more safer than that. The interface is radical. I worked with a guy who is the king of Blu-ray, and I think we came up with some content and some interfaces that are truly spectacular.
Movies.com: As for deleted scenes, there was a lot of discussion about scenes that were taken out of the film that stayed in the marketing materials. Will fans be able to see those scenes here?
Webb: There is a lot of stuff here that will allow people to see what was in there and what we trimmed out. When you are editing a movie, it’s like writing the final draft of the film. And there were certain things that either felt confusing or repetitive. I wanted to create an efficient version of the film. You can watch those things out of context, and they might still be interesting. But in the movie, they often felt a little redundant and maybe a little boring, frankly. But I like the idea, as a superfan myself, I always like seeing what remnants litter the cutting room floor.
Movies.com: Last question: Any chance we’ll see J. Jonah Jameson in the sequel?
Webb: Ooohhh! We’ll see. [Laughs]