Amazing Spider-Man 2 Exclusive: Marc Webb Talks Easter Eggs, Overlap With Other Films

Marc Webb

Marc Webb is the director behind The Amazing Spider-Man and the soon-to-be-released sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. A fan of Spider-Man comics since his childhood, being able to bring Spider-Man to film for a new generation of fans seems like something Webb was destined to do. Just days before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens int heaters, Webb found some time in his schedule to talk to us about the film and the burgeoning Amazing Spider-Man film universe. The first Amazing Spider-Man film was Spider-Man's origin story. What story are you telling in The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Marc Webb: Spider-Man is very confident at being Spider-Man. He is embracing his virtuosity. He thinks he can have it all, and he can't. I wanted to challenge him and throw everything I possibly could at him to challenge those assumptions. And really, the relationship between Peter and Gwen became a really important component of the film and, as much as anything, is about time and the nature of time and valuing the time you have with the ones you love. And that's a theme that I wanted to explore and cut into the film in different ways and through as many different character's eyes as I possibly could do that with. You mentioned that you're throwing as much at Spider-Man as you possibly can. I know that includes at least three villains: Electro, the Rhino and the Green Goblin. Out of Spider-Man's vast rogues' gallery, why did you chose those three villains for The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Marc Webb: Well, the Rhino only briefly appears, but I think there's something really fun about that character and having that character allowed to explore the humoristic, funny, playful, cartoonish bombast of the Spider-Man comics that I knew and loved growing up. Then Electro is an incredibly, brilliantly visual character that there's just so many cool things I could with him. But also, to understand Max Dillon who is just this guy who has been ignored by the world in the same way, or at least a very similar way, to how Peter Parker was ignored by the world. When you're working with villains, you always want to find villains that bring something out in your hero, that bring something out in the protagonist. For Electro, he has this idea that he's trying to help Spider-Man out. One of the great things about Spider-Man that's very specific, and part of all superheroes but very much highlighted in Spider-Man's ethos, is that he's a rescuer. Physically, he has these webs that he shoots out and they're nets to save people, to give people a soft landing. That goes beyond his webs and it goes to his attitude and his personality and his ability to emphasize even with those who are in very dark places in their lives, like most villains are. So that was part of what the Electro character revealed about Spider-Man. Harry Osborn has access to Peter's private life and the things that he holds dear, and that's going to pose a certain challenges to Spider-Man and Peter Parker that are very different. I thought one of the strongest parts of The Amazing Spider-Man was the chemistry between Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, and just the relationship between those two characters. How did you balance the narrative between that relationship and all of these new villains and challenges that you're throwing at Spider-Man? Marc Webb: I don't think that was difficult. The movies probably a little longer in order to indulge those storylines, but I don't think it's extreme. It's certainly shorter than a lot of movies in this genre. I think the movie functions at its best when all those storylines overlap. All those kinds of scenes overlap when there's an action scene with drama at the center of it and romance at the center of it and yearning at the center of it, while the action's taking place. People often talk about balancing action with drama and I don't think of it in those terms. Action scenes, or scenes in which action takes place, still, very much, have other things going on. Or they should. I really enjoyed the idea of combining as many of those things as possible. In the trailers in the film we noticed some Easter eggs or possibly hints at things to come, such as the Vulture wings and the Doctor Octopus arms in the background at Oscorp. Should attentive, eagle-eyed fans be looking for more of that when the watch the film? Marc Webb: There's little hints and teases, certainly, and some of those storylines and characters we'll pick up and some of them we won't. We just wanted to make the universe as rich with references to the comics we know and love as possible. I know that Drew Goddard is going to be helming Sinister Six, but it seems like this The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is at least attempting to set the stage for that film. How involved in the creative process for Sinister Six are you? Marc Webb: Well, it's just beginning and I didn't really do anything with this film, but, of course, this film will overlap with other films in a very specific way. I think we're still figuring all that stuff out. In terms of my involvement, I'm kind of at their disposable [laughs], but we had discussions and showed the movie to those guys really early on so they could help integrate and have their worlds emerge from mine in an organic way. They're great advisors in their own right. It's fun to sit in a room and "spitball" with these guys who are huge comic book fans, but also really brilliant storytellers. We know that you're signed on to direct Spider-Man 3 and, at least at this point, you don't plan on returning for any future sequels. Once you're done with Spider-Man, are there any other superhero characters that you'd like to work on? Marc Webb: You never know. Who knows? I think it will be hard to be "married" to any other superhero, you know? Spider-Man was my first love. It would be really hard to do that. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in theaters May 2, 2014.