Posted on Monday, March 10th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
Are there too many villains in The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Director Marc Webb knows you might be concerned that this sequel has too many characters for its own good. A common complaint about Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 was that the film featured too many villains, and was consequently unfocused and unable to do justice to any of them. So with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 having not only Electro as the core baddie, but also the Rhino and some version of the Green Goblin, fans have wondered if this film would follow the same path.
During a recent panel discussion Webb demonstrated that he is aware of the possible comparison, and explained a bit about why his film will be different.
Webb spoke at a SXSW panel over the weekend, and The Playlist transcribed his comments. The first key bit has to do with the round-up of characters included in this sequel. Note there’s something in here that we’ve known to some degree, but which might be considered a minor spoiler:
It’s about writing. 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 intertwined. 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.
The director also talked about coming on to the Spider-Man series in the first place, which wasn’t a decision he made easily:
It was the stupidest idea I had ever heard. [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 ofPeter 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 work with people who were up-and-coming like Andrew Garfield but also Sally Field. The opportunities were extraordinary. I’d wake up every day and think about what I’d done right in a past life.
Finally, Webb had some good things to say about creating this film’s score with Hans Zimmer and Pharrell — with one idea being that Electro’s theme should make Skrillex want to retire.
I worked with Hans Zimmer, who’s a brilliant composer, and one of the reasons I wanted to use him this time was because I wanted to work with a composer but also a contemporary artist because I wanted Peter Parker to live in a world we know. I told that to Hans and Hans was like, ‘I have the perfect person.’ I know Pharrell and he would be perfect. I said, ‘That’s amazing! Of course!’ So I was super excited about that. And he said, ‘I have another person –Johnny Marr from The Smiths!’ Then he brought in Mike Einzing, another brilliant guitarist and Junkie XL, who is a DJ. When you go to Hans’ studio there are 15 people milling around and he’s in the center like the ‘Phantom of the Opera.’ We were trying to come up with a theme for Electro. He’s the main villain, played by Jamie Foxx. As you might guess, he’s made of electricity. So we have to embrace the electronic nature of this guy. I wanted to makeSkrillex retire when he hears this. Then Hans shows me a 17th century aria. What Hans was tracking is the song is about a cold demon that is being summoned from the winter, against its will. He’s singing about wanting to return to the cold. What’s great about the aria is the cadence is a shiver. And that, for Hans, was like being electrocuted. So that became the foundation for the electric pulse of the theme. It was very different than the rave I had in my head.