The Spider-Man reboot The Amazing Spider-Man was a sizeable hit this summer at the box office, but the film was surrounded by an air of production troubles. The film was only director Marc Webb’s second feature, and was a huge step up from his swell but small-scale debut (500) Days of Summer. A fair amount of reshoots took place, and when the film hit theaters we saw that much of the footage from the film’s marketing (including the entire “Untold Story” storyline) had been removed from the finished pic.
Sony hired Transformers and Star Trek scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to rewrite the script for a sequel before the first film came out, but Webb’s involvement in the follow-up was less clear. Though many assumed another director would be brought in to helm a more commercial (ie. action-centric) sequel, it now looks like Webb is coming back after all with his leads in tow. Hit the jump for more.
Though the involvement of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone was all but guaranteed for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Webb was a bit of a question mark. Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad said in July that Webb might not direct the sequel due to “obstacles,” which seemed like an interesting comment to make on the heels of the first film’s success. We learned a few weeks later that Webb made a previous deal with Fox Searchlight to direct two movies for that studio, and with (500) Days of Summer fulfilled he still owed them one more feature. In short, Fox Searchlight wanted the now-hot Webb back and had first-claim on him before Spidey 2.
A solution was floated that Fox would let Webb direct The Amazing Spider-Man 2 if he agreed to helm two more films for Fox Searchlight instead of one, but we have no solid word on whether that kind of negotiation took place or not. What we do know is that Webb is confirmed to return for the webslinger follow-up, and I sincerely hope that he’s given more creative freedom on this film than he was on the first reboot.
Amazing Spider-Man wasn’t a bad film, but it was obvious that a fair amount of post-production tinkering and homogenization had taken place to streamline the pic for the widest of possible audiences. Webb showed tremendous promise with (500) Days of Summer, and the intimate character-centric scenes of Amazing Spider-Man were by far the best parts of the movie. Hopefully we see that developed further in the follow-up.
Sony notes that a deal is closed with Garfield to return as the titular superhero, while Stone is in talks to return as well and is expected to reprise her role as Gwen Stacy. She has effusively stated that she wants her character to meet the same fate that she does in the comics, so it’ll be interesting to see how the arc progresses in the follow-up. We know that The Amazing Spider-Man was the first in a planned trilogy, so we can reasonably expect Spidey 2 to continue an arc that may or may not be fulfilled in Spidey 3.
Screenwriting credits for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 go to Kurtzman & Orci and Jeff Pinker (Fringe, Lost), based on a previous draft by James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man). Production is set to begin in early 2013, with the untitled sequel set for release in 3D on May 2nd, 2014.