Amazing Spider-Man 2 Director Marc Webb Talks Multiple Villains, Video Game Influences, More
Two's company, but does three have to be a crowd?
by Jared Larson MARCH 11, 2014
When it was revealed that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would feature not one, not two, but three villains, fans understandably got nervous. Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 -- which many believe squandered fan-favorite villain Venom in favor of Sandman and Harry Osborn's New Goblin -- is still fresh in the minds of many film-goers. Is the reboot's first sequel already going to fall into the trap of overcrowding?
At a SXSW panel held over the weekend, director Marc Webb addressed concerns about the number of villains in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, especially as the issue relates to Spider-Man 3.
“It's about writing," the director said, according to The Playlist. "We're aware of those movies and the complaints people had. The main villain is Electro. Every other villain emerges around that. We were careful to make sure the stories entertained. You had to make sure to create obstacles that were difficult to overcome. We wanted to make the physical and emotional obstacles difficult. Rhino is in it for four minutes so it's a legitimate comparison, but when you see the movie, I'm confident.”
Though the revelation that Rhino will appear for only four minutes is sure to raise some eyebrows, it's likely that his screen time, along with other possible cameos, will be used to set up appearances in future sequels and the recently announced Sinister Six spin-off.
01:14Venom and The Sinister Six Announced by Sony
Webb went on to talk about how he was approached to direct the franchise in the first place. Apparently, he was just as cynical about the reboot as many Spidey fans were.
"It was the stupidest idea I had ever heard," he says. "[Sony chief] Amy Pascal brought it up to me and I thought it was crazy! But of course I was a Spider-Man fan, but more of Peter Parker. It was a tricky time. I had just finished 500 Days of Summer. I didn’t know what to do next. And those movies, which are really sacred to people, weren’t that old. They gave me a script I didn’t like. And Amy said, 'You can’t turn down Spider-Man.' And she was right. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. But to build that up, it was an adventure. Not only being a fan of Spider-Man is one thing but I was really curious about the process and [to] work with people who were up-and-coming like Andrew Garfield [who plays Peter Parker] but also Sally Field [who plays Aunt May]. The opportunities were extraordinary. I’d wake up every day and think about what I’d done right in a past life."
Concerning the first Amazing Spider-Man, some people compared aspects of the movie to a video game, for better or worse. According to Webb, that's not an accident.
"When video games started, it was a big slate," he says. "Those games, you could see the entire universe you were playing in. Your experience was more abstract. And then there was Pitfall and then there was Super Mario Bros., where the game play was that big thing but you closed in the space. So you could only reveal what was directly around that character. And when that happened, video game sales skyrocket. And it wasn't because of the complexity of the game but because the experience was more emotional and personal. Then first person shooters came around and you were literally in the point of view of that character, and video game sales jumped up again. In the first Spider-Man there was literally point-of-view and you wanted to make the audience connect. That's always a guideline for me. All of that is about rending [sic] the inner life and thought process of the characters on screen."
If you're interested in reading more of Webb's Spider-Man talk, including improvements he wishes he could make to TASM 1 and his approach to the soundtrack (which will feature Oscar-nominated talents Hans Zimmer and Pharrell), you can check out the panel's transcription at The Playlist.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 swings into theaters May 2.