Director Marc Webb is untangling some secret strands from “The Amazing Spider-Man” even as he’s ready to spin a new film adventure for Marvel Comics’ friendly neighborhood wall-crawler.
As the super-heroic summer hit – which recast the cinematic web-slinger in the form of actor Andrew Garfield and paired him with Emma Stone as potentially ill-fated first love Gwen Stacy – makes its home video debut, Webb took a hands-on role in the assembly of the discs, including several deleted scenes that add even more intrigue as to the role of Peter Parker’s parents in his origins and also reveal a more sympathetic side of Rhys Ifans’ Lizard.
As the director discusses the home video version and looks back at the lessons learned from the audience, he also provides a tantalizing hint or two about what lies ahead for the sequels.
Are you excited for people to get a chance to see some of the extra scenes that you couldn’t squeeze into the theatrical release?
As a filmmaker, I’m always interested in seeing behind the curtain, and I think it’s really important when you’re creating a DVD that you’re catering to the people who are really big fans of the material. As a viewer, I’m interested in seeing how movies are made – and I think there are a lot of directors who are rightly protective of that process, but I find that the viewer, I’d be curious to see how these things evolved. There’s an interest in seeing that, but when you’re editing a film, It’s like your brain is the final draft of film – there’s a lot of things that go on, and I thought it was an interesting thing to put forth.
Once the audience got to see the film this summer, to respond to it, what did their reaction mean to you?
I think what I was really pleased about was that people really reacted to the relationship between Peter and Gwen, which was always my avenue into the movie. It’s the most relatable and most meaningful part of his life and that kind of relationship has always fascinated me on screen, cinematically. ...I think people reacted positive to Emma and Andrew. And that was really the hardest part: finding a Spider Man that felt new, but also honored the character. I think Andrew was really exceptional and people have embraced him in a way that’s pretty incredible, and I’m really proud of that.
Did the audience reaction give you any new insight as to where you wanted to take future adventures?
Certainly, there are parts of the parents’ story, the father and the mother story that we’re going to pick up in the subsequent films but I think that’s something that people left the movie a little more curious about.
Is there a scene, when you watch the movie now, that makes you say, ‘Yeah. We really had a good time that day'?
The scene where Peter asks Gwen out for the first time. It was in a hallway shot. It was really funny – they connected in a way that you don’t get to see very often in big superhero movies. There’s sort of a something innocent but something true and dramatic and something very intimate about it. It just felt really real. I remember on that day things were really clicking, and I think it really shows on screen.
Of the behind-the-scenes material that’s going to be on the discs, what do you think the home viewers are going to find the most fascinating?
I think the second screen app is pretty amazing where you can follow the movie on your iPad and watch the special features – that was something that I worked on really hard with Charlie de Lauzirika, the author of the DVD who’s done great, amazing DVDs before – he did the ‘Transformers’ and the ‘Avatar’ DVDs and he’s just a brilliant guy and it’s going to be a really interesting feature for people.
Where are you as far as planning stages for the follow-up film right now?
We have a really killer script, and of course we have an amazing cast, so we’re getting ready to go. We’re really at the starting line – we’re going to start production not too far from now.
How far ahead did you look at Spider-Man’s story when you were making the first one?
Usually these kinds of movies have a trilogy, and I wanted a certain storyline to remain for longer than one film. So in some ways I anticipated what was happening down the road and I wanted to plant certain acknowledgments of what would happen in the future.
I think there’s something really interesting with franchise films that’s emerging recently. It’s become more of a novelistic form. It happens in a lot of serialized TV: you can see the big stories unfold in a much bigger universe because of they way people view things, because they have DVDs. There’s a more complex, nuanced universe, and I think that’s really fun for the audience.