Were you disappointed with The Amazing Spider-Man 2? You’re not alone. Apparently Andrew Garfield is in a way, too. The film had its moments, but due to the overabundance of main characters, there just wasn’t enough time to flesh them out and make sure each had a compelling arc, so the result is essentially a mishmash of neat CGI tricks and a handful of particularly well acted moments, but nothing to link them all together.
Turns out, there’s a reason for that. According to Garfield, it’s the studio. Apparently The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did have a “thread running through it,” but some folks at Sony insisted that certain parts be removed from the final cut and when that starts happening, it’s tough to keep it all together. Hit the jump for more.
While at the Toronto International Film Festival for his new movie, 99 Homes, The Daily Beast told Garfield The Amazing Spider-Man 2 felt “crammed with characters” and “like a set-up film for The Sinister Six” to which Garfield replied:
“It’s interesting. I read a lot of the reactions from people and I had to stop because I could feel I was getting away from how I actually felt about it. For me, I read the script that Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci] wrote, and I genuinely loved it. There was this thread running through it. I think what happened was, through the pre-production, production, and post-production, when you have something that works as a whole, and then you start removing portions of it—because there was even more of it than was in the final cut, and everything was related. Once you start removing things and saying, “No, that doesn’t work,” then the thread is broken, and it’s hard to go with the flow of the story. Certain people at the studio had problems with certain parts of it, and ultimately the studio is the final say in those movies because they’re the tentpoles, so you have to answer to those people.”
Tapping back into how he really feels about the project, Garfield continued:
“But I’ll tell you this: Talking about the experience as opposed to how it was perceived, I got to work in deep scenes that you don’t usually see in comic book movies, and I got to explore this orphan boy—a lot of which was taken out, and which we’d explored more. It’s interesting to do a postmortem. I’m proud of a lot of it and had a good time, and was a bit taken aback by the response.”
“It’s a discernment thing. What are the people actually saying? What’s underneath the complaint, and how can we learn from that? We can’t go, “Oh God, we f*cked up because all these people are saying all these things. It’s shit.” We have to ask ourselves, “What do we believe to be true?” Is it that this is the fifth Spider-Man movie in however many years, and there’s a bit of fatigue? Is it that there was too much in there? Is it that it didn’t link? If it linked seamlessly, would that be too much? Were there tonal issues? What is it? I think all that is valuable. Constructive criticism is different from people just being dicks, and I love constructive criticism. Hopefully, we can get underneath what the criticism was about, and if we missed anything.”
Even though I’ve participated in my fair share of criticizing The Amazing Spider-Man 2, this is the type of thing that inspires me to hold out hope for the franchise. Clearly Garfield isn’t the man in charge and when you’re making an enormous studio movie, there’s always a chance even just one person’s decision could hinder another person’s exemplary work, but knowing that there are people involved who care so deeply about the project is encouraging. Garfield’s always given the impression that he’s giving the franchise his all, but after The Amazing Spider-Man 3 was pushed all the way back to May 4, 2018, it’s nice to hear how important it is to him to get this character right again.
But of course, that in no way fixes the content issue of the second film and does raise some concern for future Spider-Man movies as well as Sinister Six and Venom. I’d be curious to read the original Amazing Spider-Man 2 script and see what came out, but if we just take Garfield’s word for it, there may be some individuals with a lot influence that might want to stop thinking about what lies ahead so much and focus on making the film that they’re working on at the moment a great one.