Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man has newfound popularity after his return in No Way Home. In fact, fans are calling for a third Garfield-Spidey flick. Now, The Amazing Spider-Man films are divisive among fans, but it’s a wonder they are as good as they are, given the conflict behind the scenes. Here, we give you a low-down on the 10 facts you didn’t know about these two ‘middle-brother’ movies…
1. TASM3 would have resurrected George Stacy
Denis Leary enjoyed his time on The Amazing Spider-Man movies, citing great relationships with Marc Webb, Andrew Garfield, and Emma Stone. So, imagine his disappointment when TASM2’s lackluster success sent the planned third film into oblivion. That said, Leary gave us a little taster of what we could expect in TASM3 – namely, more Denis Leary! In a 2015 Comic-Con interview with IGN, the comedian-actor said that Spider-Man would “regenerate the people in his life that had died” via a “formula.”
2. Mary Jane Was Going to Appear in ASM2
Face it, Tiger – you didn’t hit the jackpot this time around. Behind the scenes, Mary Jane Watson was going to be included in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. In fact, Shailene Woodley (known for the Divergent movies and A Fault in Our Stars) was cast and filmed scenes. However, Marc Webb and company decided to nix her scenes in the editing room. “Shailene is a brilliant actress, and she did a great couple days of work,” says Webb in a 2014 Los Angeles Times interview, “but it was very difficult to introduce someone as a competing love interest when so much is on the table with Peter and Gwen.” Given the movie is already jam-packed, this is perhaps a blessing in disguise.
3. Andrew Garfield is Responsible for the Skateboarding scenes
In a 2012 interview with The Daily Mirror, Andrew Garfield reveals that he “fought” to get certain scenes into the first TASM movie. One of these is the scene where Peter Parker is skateboarding. “I won a lot of the battles and lost a couple,” Garfield says, “At least I fought. I gave everything I could. There’s only so much you can do. Eventually you have to let go.” Given that in November, Garfield said that he would often have heated arguments with Sony Co-Chairman Amy Pascal over the movie’s creative decisions, it would be fair to assume that’s what he’s referring to here.
4. Andrew Garfield Studied Famous Athletes and Spiders for Spider-Man movements
Andrew Garfield is an unabashed fan of the Spider-Man character. So much so, he wanted to get the character’s feel right – movements included. Garfield studied the movements of famous athletes like Muhammad Ali and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, he also studied the movements of spiders – you know, because he’s Spider-Man. “If you’re gonna do it and treat it real — if my DNA is being mixed with that of an actual spider,” Garfield says in a 2012 NPR interview, “then why not actually bring in the physicality of a spider? The lightness, the stillness, the patience, and how that changes a 17-year-old boy. That’s a fun thing to play with, as well.”
5. Why fans are Disappointed with Curt Connors
The Amazing Spider-Man gave us our first live-action adaptation of Dr. Curt Connors, AKA The Lizard. But let’s be severely honest – he’s a forgettable villain. In fact, his actor, Rhys Ifans, felt disappointed by the end product. As he explained to TotalFilm:
As I got into it, I remember looking into The Lizard and there was one of the comics where Dr. Curt Connors goes home, and he’s messing about with his Lizard-ness. He takes his work home with him, and he eats his kids. I remember thinking at the time, ‘That’s the film I want to be in.’ Not necessarily Dr. Curt Connors eating his kids, but in terms of exploration, in terms of what this film could be about, that was the film. And of course, it could never be that. Whatever you’re told and promised at the beginning of something, when it comes to franchises like that, it’s never ever going to be what ends up on screen.
6. Kevin Feige Gave ASM2 Filmmakers some notes
Like or hate the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and many do), but you can’t deny Kevin Feige’s passion for the universe. If his current projects aren’t evidenced enough for you, then these behind-the-scenes notes he took for Sony’s shambolic Amazing Spider-Man 2 might be. As revealed in the leaked Sony e-mails, the MCU mastermind was highly critical of the Andrew Garfield-led spider-sequel (join the club, Kev!) and made several suggestions to the filmmakers on how they might improve the film. Feige disliked the emphasis on the “super-scientist” background of Peter’s dad because it undermines the idea he’s a normal kid from Queens. He also criticized the over-the-top performance of Paul Giamatti’s Rhino and, of course, the multiple storylines. Sadly, Sony didn’t take Feige’s advice, leading to the weaker of Andrew Garfield’s TASM movies.
7. Sally Field Hated Working on the films
Sally Field has worked in many significant roles over the years. However, if there’s one role she doesn’t have fond memories of behind-the-scenes, it’s Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man films. In an interview with Howard Stern, Field mentioned that she only played May as a favor to the films’ producer Laura Ziskin, of whom she was a close friend. Behind the scenes, Sally Field reckoned, “It’s really hard to find a three dimensional character in it, and you work it as much as you can, but you can’t put ten pounds of s**t in a five pound bag.” Wow, tell us how you really feel, Sally!
8. Sony Considered Making Peter a College Student
Andrew Garfield was 26 when he was cast as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. However, the age did concern many who thought that the British actor would be too old to play high school. According to rumors, Sony was among them and, for some time at least, considered having Peter in college. This, of course, was a contradiction since Amazing Spider-Man was constantly marketed as ‘Spider-Man in high school.’ That said, TASM did have Peter in high school (and Andrew Garfield’s youthful looks made him a credible teen anyway).
9. The Spider-Man Artists Were inspired by “Ultimate Spider-Man”
Amazing Spider-Man was heavily inspired by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley’s Spider-Man run. In a 2012 interview with Assignment X, Senior VFX supervisor Jerome Chen mentioned that the VFX team looked to this famous comic run for visual inspiration. “We looked at Ultimate Spider-Man a lot,” says Chen, “We went with the more recent artists, and we tried to look for poses that would translate to the next pose without it looking too much like keyframe animation.” He goes on to mention that Mark Bagley’s art heavily inspires the final swinging sequence of the film.
10. Marc Webb Discussed the Web-Shooters with Stan Lee
Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb discussed the web-shooters with Stan Lee before he famously implemented them in the final film. “I was curious about the incarnation of them [because] of course in the previous films [they went away from them] and we wanted to reestablish ourselves,” the Director explains in a 2011 interview with The Los Angeles Times. Not only were the shooters helpful in differentiating ASM from Raimi’s trilogy, but Webb felt they would “dramatize Peter’s intellect” and look cool.
So, what’s your opinion of Andrew Garfield in the TASM movies? Is he the underrated ‘middle-brother’ of the movie Parkers?