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Comic-Con 2013: Marc Webb on Amazing Spider-Man 2

Marc Webb reveals how big Mary Jane’s part was in Amazing Spider-Man 2, a new villain for the franchise and hints at even more heroes in Spider-Man 4.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man Electro

Marc Webb is eating potato chips. Trust me, that will be important later. We met backstage at Comic-Con 2013 to talk about Amazing Spider-Man 2, which just about to be presented to all the dedicated fans in the hallowed Hall H. There's been so much news about the future of the Amazing Spider-Man franchise in the last few months that we had a lot to talk about, which is pretty unusual for a movie nobody's even seen yet.

With the scheduling of Amazing Spider-Man 3, the later scheduling of Amazing Spider-Man 4, and the removal of Mary Jane Watson (as played by Shailene Woodley) from Amazing Spider-Man 2, we had more than enough to cover, but Webb also managed to sneak in hints of more characters from the Spider-Man universe in Amazing Spider-Man 4 and a new villain for the franchise that nobody ever predicted.

Be sure to also check out our exclusive interviews with Amazing Spider-Man 2 producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad from Comic-Con 2013, and keep your eyes peeled for more updates on the anticipated sequel as we lead up to its release on 
 

CraveOnline: MJ got cut out of Amazing Spider-Man 2, we heard this. How tough a call was that?

Marc Webb: It wasn't… The character was just teased. It was a very minor inflection and I felt it was important to really focus on Peter and Gwen's storyline. It was hard because I love Shai. I think she's such a brilliant actor and such a lovely, wonderful warm person. That was hard and having her presence in a movie is great but I thought it was important to focus on Peter and Gwen. I'm excited to see Spectacular Now, though.
 

So, there's no chance of like, a post-credits thing where he just opens the door, "Face it, Tiger, you hit the jackpot?"

Not in this one. Well, maybe. I don't wanna give the plot away.
 

You know, that was my next question. Tell me the entire plot.

Okay. Peter Parker falls in love with a potato chip.
 

Go on.

And the potato chip is accidentally put into a FedEx box and sent across the ocean. Spider-Man can't fly over water. He doesn't like water very much. The suit tends to drag him down. So, he's gotta figure out a way to get across the ocean, to get his potato chip that he's in love with.
 

Did you write this one yourself?

I did… Well, me and Francis Ford Coppola.
 

There you go. In that case, you can do no wrong. We always expect a trilogy from movies now. It's a little arbitrary but what are you gonna do, and yet, you announce that 2 is coming out, and then the release date for 3 and then a little later you said, "Oh yeah, and we're doing 4." 

Well, I think this was conceived of as a trilogy so there was a defined architecture to the story we were telling and we had sort of a rough outline of what was going to happen. I think [for] the fourth movie, what we've discovered is there are so many ancillary characters, that have enormous, cinematic potential that there may be other ways to exploit those characters, in a way that is exciting and fun and worthwhile. It might not just be a Spider-Man movie.
 

Interesting. Yeah, because that's the thing. We haven't really introduced any other heroes in the Spider-Man universe, ever. 

Right.
 

You know, there was kind of the heroic Green Goblin but that was a footnote, and you do seem very interested in the whole world of Spider-Man and not just his immediacy of influence.

Yeah, exactly. I think there's… You know, what was fun about the comics is that there's an entire sort of encyclopedia of characters and stories and histories and nuances and idiosyncrasies and off-shoots. I think that that is something that seems to be really successful and has a lot of potential so it's sort of, as yet, undefined, but intentionally so.
 

I was talking to Matt Tolmach about how you're introducing more villains in this one than the last and that's kind of a dangerous dance. They sometimes distract from each other. 

Right.
 

But he was talking about how they could almost potentially be incidental. The scene you might have in a movie, where he just beats up a mugger, there's no reason why they couldn't just be The Shocker, and then you just move on. 

Right.
 

Do you feel like we can just present this world and people are just willing to accept that now, or do you think everyone needs their own movie?

Well, firstly, I think the main obstacle, the main villain of this film is Electro. He is our primary focus and it's somebody that has extraordinary, antagonist potential. The other thing is, it was sort of fun to tease out little bits and pieces and have references, for people who are hardcore fans and Rhino, I think, is a better example of that. Listen, it's not the whole storyline. It's not deeply integrated into the plot. He's not distracting, I think he's really elemental and fun to play around with and incredibly justified but it also allows, I think, hardcore fans a chance to see what we do with him, with that character in a way that has enough nuance to feel real but doesn't distract from the film.

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