Spider-Man, less than a year away from his next big screen adventure, had a triumphant showing at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Although there wasn’t a lot of footage to be seen, the movie’s director Marc Webb and stars Andrew Garfield and Jamie Foxx had a lot to say about the direction Spider-Man is heading in next.
So much so that they may have essentially sketched out how the movie starts! If you’re curious what the Rhino and the Osborns have to do with Electro, read on. And don’t miss Garfield’s response as to whether there should be a Spider-Man/Avengers crossover.
The footage that was screened was fairly loose since the movie only finished principal photography three weeks ago, but between that and the panel Q&A, one can assemble a fairly clear idea of how Amazing Spider-Man 2 begins. Speculative and mild spoilers ahead.
In the panel, Marc Webb confirmed—and has stated previously—that Spider-Man begins the sequel having hit his stride as New York City’s iconic superhero. He’s achieved a good balance between school and web-slinging, and gets a lot of joy out of being Spider-Man. Gwen Stacy is a little worried that Peter is getting too buried in his alter-ego. She loves Spider-Man, but she loves Peter Parker more.
Webb also revealed that Paul Giamatti’s turn as the Rhino is something of a bit part and the impression given is that the movie opens with Spider-Man bringing him down after Giamatti’s character breaks into Oscorp and steals some of the formula that made Spider-Man the friendly neighborhood smart-aleck he is today.
Either during this fight or afterwards, Spider-Man saves Oscorp employee Max Dillon from certain electrocution in a vat of Oscorp-enhanced electric eels. (Yes, really. Dillon is even clutching a live wire while he’s in there.)
Dillon is a desperate case. As we see Peter succeed over and over in the beginning of the film we see Dillon be betrayed by life, his love, and his work. It’s his birthday when we meet him, but no one remembers. Not even his mother.
When Peter saves him, Max is star-struck. This is the only kindness anyone has shown him in a long time and he becomes obsessed with Spider-Man.
As revealed in set photos, Peter and Gwen’s high school graduation occurs in this film (with Stan Lee attending!). Peter’s graduation coincides with Harry Osborn’s graduation from private school, and the two childhood buddies finally get a chance to reconnect now that they’re free to see each other.
At the same time, Norman Osborn lays on his deathbed in the Ravencroft Institute. Harry visits him, with both aware that the end is near for Norman. Although this wasn’t shown in the footage, or hinted at in the panel, it certainly sounds like a young Harry might do something rash to try and save his father….
Webb was insistent that the story of the Osborns and the Rhino were there to color in the edges around the main story, which is the conflict between Spider-Man and Electro. Webb and the writers wanted a villain that would seem impossible for Peter to defeat, and Electro’s powers are intense as a result. Not only can he shoot electricity, he can become electricity, travel anywhere he wants, split himself up and re-form wherever there is electricty nearby. It’s completely unclear how Spider-Man will stop him.
The story of the Osborns will play out further in subsequent films, according to the director and Sony. Amazing Spider-Man 2 is definitely trying to build a larger tapestry that will unfold over several Spider-Man movies.
No mention was made of Felicity Jones’ character, why Mary-Jane Watson was cut, or what Gwen’s fate may be, so there are still plenty of unanswered questions about Spider-Man 2. Thanks to the panel, though, we have some idea of how it will kick off, and how the movie will juggle so many elements.
There were a few other fun tidbits from the panel that were unrelated to the story:
- Andrew Garfield showed up to the panel in full costume and completely in character before excusing himself to go to the bathroom. (And return as Andrew Garfield.)
- It is really weird to see Spider-Man telling Jamie Foxx he loved him as Django.
- Foxx responded, “I love the way you die, boy.” Yeep.
- Andrew Garfield is totally up for Spider-Man appearing in the Avengers movies, or being in the Avengers.
Chris Lough is the production manager of Tor.com and can think of a thousand less dramatic ways to run into Paul Giamatti.
Pic by Page to Premiere.