Sony leaks show Marvel exec knew Amazing Spider-Man 2 would be bad


Another Spider-Man story brought to you by our friendly sponsors Wikileaks. Basically if you are in the Spider-Man news business then right now you’ll be reading through thousands of Sony emails trying to find something to write about and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing!

This time I’ve come across some Amazing Spider-Man 2 notes from Marvel exec Alan Fine who thought that Marc Webb’s second film definitely had it’s flaws. What’s particularly interesting about them is that these notes were made before the film was released but seemlessly echo the sentiment of many of the film’s critics afterwards.

So let’s take a look and see if we agree or disagree with Marvel’s Alan Fine in his fairly extensive critique of Amazing Spider-Man 2! There’s quite a lot to go through so I’ll be breaking his comments apart onto different pages to prevent this from becoming one big wall of text!

Too Dark and Depressing

"This story is way too dark, way too depressing.  I wanted to burn the draft after I read it never mind thinking about buying the DVD."

Having been blown away by the Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy which was the epitome of dark and depressing I didn’t mind the fairly moody tone of Amazing Spider-Man 2. I will however validate Fine’s point here by saying that I found the tonal shifts from wise-cracking Spidey to angst-ridden Peter Parker to by slightly jarring.

That being said I wouldn’t say that the film is too dark and depressing. I found that most of its emotionally strongest moments were due to the dramatic weight of what was going on onscreen.

What About the First Three Films?

This is a continuation from the points that Alan Fine, Tom Cohen and Kevin Feige made regarding Sony’s decision to reboot the Spider-Man film franchise that I discussed in this article. Basically all three men thought it was a horrendous idea to completely reboot the franchise after three films

"I think that it is a mistake to deny the original trilogy it’s place in the canon of the Spider-Man cinematic universe.  What are you telling the audience?  That the original trilogy is a mistake, a total false-hood?  We lied to you? Just made it up?  Why should the audience buy into the world we create now?  Will we deny it’s place in the Spider-Man cinematic universe at the next reboot?"

Whilst I absolutely agree with the above paragraph entirely I can’t help but be amused by the irony that Marvel’s 2017 Spider-Man is rebooting the franchise again, introducing a younger Peter Parker and completely ignoring not only Sam Raimi’s trilogy, but also Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man films!

"I was under the impression that one major reason for the reboot was to be able to put Peter back in High School because we could tell better stories in that environment.  So,  Why do we begin this story with a graduation?"

The bold emphasis is Alan Fine’s, not mine! And once again he’s absolutely nailed it. Sony did say they wanted to reboot Spider-Man to put Peter back in High School and then a single film later he’s left it. Obviously it was a decision made to place more dramatic emphasis on Gwen Stacy’s choice to study in England or stay with Peter/Spider-Man but it’s a decision that nonetheless undermines the entire point of the new franchise.

The Night Gwen Stacy Died

"The chemistry between Emma and Andrew is so good and such a positive that I wonder why it’s so necessary to kill her off in this movie?  Let the relationship flourish and commit the deed in the next movie.  Why rush?  Their relationship was the best part of the first movie and it’s the best part of this story.  This draft needs to shed some depressing weight any way."

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield’s chemistry as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy was without a doubt the highlight of Marc Webb’s two films and it was especially evident in Amazing Spider-Man 2. Both Peter and Gwen were excellentely acted characters that worked so well together so it is indeed baffling that Sony made the decision to end the electrifying on-screen chemistry between the two real-life partners.

Waiting until another film as suggested would not only make Gwen’s death more powerful but it also solves a tonof pacing issues such as the High School conundrum on the last page. You could have all of these events happening in the third film and it would feel more like a trilogy with Gwen’s death really and truly being a high-point built up through three films.

My only problem with this is that if you take out Gwen’s death from the end of Amazing Spider-Man 2 then the film you are left with is significantly worse because the final dramatic moments were the film’s highlight and in many people’s opinion, the film’s redeeming feature.


"I don’t buy Electro’s hate of Spider-Man.  Feels manufactured, convenient, undeserved.  It’s part of the whole formulaic issue I mention above.  Why do we always have to witness the Spider-Man movie villain be created from scratch and imbue him with all the reasons why he should hate the world and especially Spider-Man?"

Nail. Head. I genuinely thought that Jamie Foxx’s Electro was an incredible let-down and the reason above is exactly why. I do not understand how someone who worships Spider-Man would turn into a fully fledged supervillain whose only desire is to kill Spider-Man just because he got more Time Square screen-time than him? It absolutely, as Alan Fine says, felt manufactured and undeserved.

"In any case, we need to develop some rules around the scope of Electro’s powers.  He seems to be able to do whatever he needs to do when he needs to do it."

A bit like Spider-Man’s powers in all of comic-book history, or Silk’s powers in the recent Amazing Spider-Man comic-book storylines. Sometimes in the world of superheros things absolutely do have to happen purely because the plot neccesitates it. That being said films are a different beast entirely and the same thing doesn’t wash well!

Too Many Villains?

"3 villains?  Give me a break"

Am I the only one around here that thought that Amazing Spider-Man 2 actually got the balance between the villains fairly right. Paul Giamatti’s Rhino was nothing but extra fluff to bookend the story. Jamie Foxx’s Electro was the catalyst and Harry Osborne’s Green Goblin was the consequence. It all sort-of worked fairly well in my opinion.

Besides the ‘too many villains’ argument is entirely redundant because in anything it’s not the quantity but the quality that matters. Take the Avengers film for example, that could have quite obviously been bogged down by the number of protagonists but they managed to find a healthy balance. Basically the number of villains doesn’t matter if the writing, direction or characterisation is bad.

Think about it. Are you mad that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 had Sandman, Venom and Proto-Goblin, or that Sandman was retconned into Spider-Man’s origin, that Venom was absolutely butchered and that the Proto-Goblin arc was superfluous?

Next: See Spider-Man make an appearance in Marvel's Daredevil Netflix series

Next: Which Spider-Man characters appear in Marvel's Daredevil?

More from Bam Smack Pow

If you enjoy what you’ve read here at Whatever a Spider Can, we’ve got some exciting news for you — you can be part of the team here too! We’re looking for enthusiastic Spider-Fans to write for us on anything Spider-Man related. just fill in the form you’ll find here and tell us why you want to write for Whatever a Spider Can. We look forward to hearing from you!