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Is Director Marc Webb Going To Return For 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2?'

by Oliver Lyttelton
July 3, 2012 11:55 AM
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Marc Webb

As of today, "The Amazing Spider-Man" is in theaters, ending the two-and-a-half-year build up to one of the more controversial superhero films in history. Plans for a "Spider-Man 4" were well underway at the end of 2009, with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire both returning for a script (by "Rabbit Hole" writer David Lindsay-Abaire) which saw your friendly neighborhood web-slinger come against classic villain The Vulture (John Malkovich) and his daughter The Vultress (Anne Hathaway). But wary of spiraling costs, bad reviews for the third-installment, and an aging lead (Maguire would have been 36 by the time of the film's summer 2011 release, for a character normally portrayed at half that age), Sony pulled the plug and decided to start all over again, to no little protestations from fans.

"(500) Days Of Summer" helmer Marc Webb was brought on board with a script from "Zodiac" writer James Vanderbilt, and Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans were cast as the leads. "The Amazing Spider-Man" finally makes it to theaters today, and the controversy shows no sign of abating: the film's had both highly positive reviews and deeply scathing ones, with our own falling somewhere in the middle. However the film does (and it's tracking to take about $125 million over the next six days, a decent number by any standard, but significantly down from the $150 million that "Spider-Man 3" made on opening weekend five years ago), a sequel is already firmly on the cards: "Transformers" writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have been reworking Vanderbilt's screenplay, and the studio has already nabbed a May 2, 2014 release date.

The Amazing Spider-Man Emma Stone Andrew Garfield

But will Webb be back in the director's chair? The music video veteran was hand-picked to make the film after the success of his debut "(500) Days Of Summer," but no announcements have been made regarding his presence for the follow-up. And the Webb has been non-commital about returning in interviews. When we talked to the director in the lead-up to release, he said that "I've had conversations," but that "It's like asking a woman who's just given birth if they want to get pregnant again. I'm still nursing the baby!"

And to the Huffington Post, he was a little more telling: "I want to finish this up and go to a beach and think about the future. People ask about the sequel and I'm like, 'Well, you know, I don't know if I want to do that, but I love the process.' " The director certainly isn't wanting for potential follow-ups; he seems to be high on post-apocalyptic adventure "Age of Rage," and is also still theoretically attached to thriller remake "Just Another Love Story" and musical "Jesus Christ Superstar," and the timeframe on the sequel would mean he'd be unable to take another project on in the meantime, realistically.

But if what we've heard is correct, the decision may not be up to Webb. Based on the whispers we picked up over the last few months (not from first-hand sources, it should be said, but others seem to have heard similar things), Sony executives pretty much hated the film that Webb initially delivered, ordering some extensive reshoots. And while these are simply rumors, the finished film certainly bears the scars of significant reshoots and recutting. **Spoilers in the next paragraph**

The Amazing Spider-Man Lizard
Irffan Khan's character, set up as a major villain, disappears from the story entirely, and a still (see right) shows a sequence featuring the character and The Lizard that doesn't survive to the finished film. Actress Annie Parisse had her entire role, as Martha Connors, the wife of Rhys Ifans' villain Dr. Curt Connors, excised. The Lizard turns a SWAT team into creatures like himself, seemingly setting up more adversaries for Spidey, but the next time we see the characters, they're turning back into human beings again. The film stinks of compromise and interference throughout, with a choppy, fractured feel that only just holds together. **Spoilers end**

We suspect what happens is that Sony's intial plan -- a lower budget take compared to "Twilight," with a director best known for a quirky rom-com -- shifted over time, with more spectacle demanded. That's borne out by the change of writers for the sequel: James Vanderbilt initially pitched two films, but bringing on Orci & Kurtzman suggests a more action-heavy approach than one led by character, given their track record; the scope and scale of "The Avengers" may have made the studio feel that they need to go bigger next time around. And if the reports of Sony being unhappy with Webb are true, then we can't imagine he'll be back for follow-up. 

We like Webb, who seems to be one of the good guys, and we can't imagine his career will be hurt too much if he doesn't return. The film is no "Wolverine"-level disaster, and if the movie does well at the box office, how qualitatively good or bad it is will matter less and less. And perhaps all the scuttlebutt has been incorrect, and in a month or two, Webb will be announced as returning to the director's chair for the second film. But our gut says that won't be the case. But what do you think? Could Webb get it right at this second time at bat? Or is more fresh blood required for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"? Who would you like to see? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  • Mary Jane Hater | September 16, 2012 1:13 AMReply


  • Anon | November 2, 2012 8:20 PM

    ...really? No one would miss Mary Jane, an iconic character that has been a major part of the Spider-Man universe for decades? Are you insane? I would be royally pissed if that were the case, even though I love Emma's job as Gwen.

  • Iron Spider Thor Man | August 13, 2012 10:09 PMReply

    If there is a God...he will not let Marc Webb to direct TASM 2 Or 3.

  • Anon | November 2, 2012 8:23 PM

    Marc Webb is a phenomenal director. (500) Days of Summer was simply amazing, and I think he did a great job on TASM. I would blame Sony's last-minute demands of reshoots. I watched the deleted scenes for this movie, and they were all great and very important to the movie. He wanted those scenes in this movie, and Sony made him take them out, leaving a movie with weird plot holes here and there where it just seemed to jump from one thing to another.

    If anything, Marc should remain director and be given more creative freedom. Sony should have let the man do his job and create the Spider-Man story in the way he originally envisioned it.

  • josh | August 4, 2012 4:56 PMReply

    venom rhino or carnage

  • Vanessa | July 22, 2012 5:27 AMReply

    I want to see an Amazing Spider-man two!!!!

  • Ryanne | July 15, 2012 7:37 PMReply

    At this point I would just be happy if I new that an Amazing Spider-man 2 was a possibility which after reading this it looks like it might be. At the end of the movie I was left thinking that perhaps the Shocker would be the next villain because of Dr. Conner's run in with him in prison, though I would also be curious to see Webb's take on the Green Goblin. I say this only because we were left thinking that Norman Osborn was going to die and in Ultimate Spider-man he in fact made an appearance as the green goblin. If I were to be totally honest I would really like to see Venom, but I realize that it is far to early to introduce spider-man's arch nemesis so soon into the story. I have to say this I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of Gwen Stacy being the love interest instead of Mary Jane, it was much more interesting.

  • JAS | July 10, 2012 9:38 PMReply

    I have been a comic fan forever and I honestly do not want them to kill Gwen Stacy off. I know it happens in the comics, but this is a reboot and honestly I don't want everything to be the same. How about some creativity. Gwen is a role model for girls were as MJ is a damsel in distress. Come on figure out a way for Peter to learn and grow without killing her. An injury to her can be just as meaningful. How about amnesia. Anything let's just keep these two together. I know angst sells but come on. Honestly no one is going to accept MJ after Gwen. I know I wouldn't go see it.

  • Ptg | July 11, 2012 10:20 PM

    I agree with literally everything you said

  • spydurman | July 9, 2012 5:49 PMReply

    i really liked the reboot it was better than the first trilogy, but peter should have layed low on the new skills alot more, and yes keep gwen stacy ther, ther should be two villians though, venom and carnage, peter should try the suit on it changs him later he rips it off and a piece of it comes off mixes with cassidy's blood, BOOM carnage, and the rest finds the nearest person by, eddie brock, well of course u dont hav 2, just make some more he cant leave us hangin he should make 3 more

  • Gilbert costello | July 9, 2012 12:44 AMReply

    Well, not that my opinion matters much to anyone but ad a long time spiderman fan I felt compelled to add my two cents. First off I didn't have high expectations for this reboot. With the change in costume and characters chosen I felt it probably won't hold up in the eyes of true fans of the comic. After seeing the film, I have to admit I really liked how they put the story together. The costume grew on me and the acting was top notch. My only problem is the lizard face was too human. Would have went over better with a real lizard like face but aside from that weak portion of the cgi, I really was well entertained even with the compromised editing. I hope the sequel is at least just as good and sticks close to the main points in Parker's developing story which is The green goblin kidnaps Gwen and Peter snaps her neck trying to save her with webbing. I like the tone because his story truly is laden with profound tragedy. Keep Webb, keep the tragic overtone and stick close to the story. And please stay with character first action second. That makes for a much more interesting and mature movie. Here's hoping someone of influence takes my 2 cents and turns it into box office gold. Gc

  • jake osborn | July 8, 2012 9:20 PMReply

    i really, really, really will be devistated if Gwen Stacy dies. And if she does what are they gonna do? is Mary Jane gonna come back cuz i want Gwen to stay. MJ wasa beezy. Emma Stone was a perfect Gwen. You really got to know all the characters. Please keep Gwen.

  • PTG | July 11, 2012 10:23 PM

    Ikr!!!! I don't like Mary Jane but I love Gwen Stacy's character and so I hope she doesnt die. I know why she dies in the comics but can't they send that message to Peter in another way? How about something fresh and new?

  • What's it to you? | July 7, 2012 6:28 PMReply

    Oh, yeah, I forgot. I loved Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, and the new Peter Parker that isn't a total nerd, but still intelligent looking with his grungy sort of clothes and skateboard. If I didn't love him with Gwen, I'd have snatched him up faster than a Hot Pocket. Because he is that cute.

  • What's it to you? | July 7, 2012 6:19 PMReply

    This movie was really good. Sure, there were some iffy parts, but every movie has them. I sincerely hope that Gwen Stacy doesn't die in the second film, because I will hunt down the person in charge and slap them silly. The point is, I'll be very angry. A lot of people don't want to see her die, and Gwen doesn't seem very damsel-in-distress like. She seems smart, and sassy, and sarcastic. I don't want to see a great character go! If she does die (she better not) at least not let it be gruesome and disgusting like Captain Stacy's in the movie. The Lizard stuck his ugly claws right through him. Disgusting. Both me and the girl sitting next to me had full-out gasps. But anyways, yeah, that's all I gotta say for this. Hopefully, the next film will be a hit.

  • no need to know :) | July 6, 2012 9:44 PMReply

    this movie was so awesome but i really truly hope that gwen stacy(emma stone) doesnt die like in the comics that would be a huge let down for me and im pretty sure alot of spidey fans agree with me we dont want mary jane we want gwen stacy(emma stone) and emma does a good job as gwen stacy i really hope there isnt much changes to this movie the only changes there should be are the villains.

  • jake | July 8, 2012 9:24 PM

    Good job protesting i want them to keep Gwen. If she dies people will be pissed. But there has to be a way to keep her and do the comics justice.

  • Brittany | July 5, 2012 11:44 AMReply

    I thought the moving was spectacular! But I do have to agree I hope that Gwen doesn't die like in the comics because what's a movie without a little love story and yeah there were some boring parts but I think y'all could fix that in the next movie! Can't wait for the second one!

  • Kraven | July 4, 2012 3:49 PMReply

    The movie seemed like a poorly executed John Hughes' ripoff starring a guy in spandex.

  • Peter Parker | July 4, 2012 2:40 PMReply

    THE HOBOGOBLIN DID NOT KILL GWEN STACEY!! THE GREEN GOBLIN DID SO EVERYONE CALM DOWN. Btw the movie was great and Peter better not be a clone

  • Armando | July 4, 2012 4:55 AMReply

    Carnage venom and the hobgoblin

  • alex | July 4, 2012 3:44 AMReply

    i think that carnage and venom should make an apperance mostly carnage being that in the s.m trilogy they didnt bring carnage i thought that they should have in s.m 3 also maybe even bring in all the other symbiots like anti venom, agony, phage, riot,toxin,lasher,etc. and then combine them into hybrid. the ultimate symbiote, i know that a lot of people want to see the green goblin return but we need something new and for all spiderman nerds like myself brought back the forgotton symbiotes.and also all the other kinds of carnages like unlimited carnage and so on please reply back on what you think of my own choice of villans

  • drummerboyjac | July 4, 2012 3:27 AMReply

    Ok, first of all. So many people are saying that Gwen was killed by Hobgoblin...not the case. She was killed when the GREEN Goblin threw her off the bridge, and when ol Spidey tried to catch her with a web strand, the sudden stop caused whiplash and snapped her neck. Hobgoblin had absolutely NOTHING to do with Gwen's death. I don't even think he was created until 10-12 years after that issue came out.
    I will say this much....the first film in 2002 ripped off the Gwen Stacy death sequence. Green Goblin throws Mary Jane from a bridge along with a tram full of people. The only thing is, Mary Jane is saved along with the innocent people. So unless the future film wants to repeat the original film, something will have to be new and creative when Gwen's death happens on screen.

    But when it comes to Webb returning, I really don't have an opinion. I think where this film was heavily emotionally-based, the next needs to include those same elements that made this film succesful, but also be very action and suspensefully driven to the point of total surprise...take us somewhere in a direction where we had NO idea it was headed. Give a total plot twist that we never saw coming, adding another element to expand on what was already done. I think the fact that he still has to go to college, has to be employed by the Bugle as a photographer, Gwen has to die, Norman Osborn has to be introduced because he was mentioned (and SPOILER: that's who I think was talking to Connors in the post-credits scene...since Green Goblin threw Gwen off a bridge, he'll have to make an appearance sooner or later), Mary Jane has to be introduced etc. No matter who directs, there's so much material left to the director's disposal that really, it'll be a great franchise if the people behind it do it right. There's no excuse for bad sequels with this massive amount of material to feed off of.

  • Jan Castaneda | July 4, 2012 2:17 AMReply

    So I saw the movie today and it was FANTASTIC!!!! Definitely beats the older three. I do hope that Gwen doesn't die like in the comics because nobody and I mean NOBODY really likes a superhero's love dying!!! Wth is with that? But I do agree that there were some bad parts to this move I thought the infected officers WOULD add on as extra adversaries but apparently not. And I don't know about Peter being a clone from his dad, that would kinda suck too... I REALLY hope the creators, producers or director continues FROM the first movie and doesn't change it and DOESN'T let Gwen die. I actually like Gwen Stacy's character now, rather than MJ's from the previous movies so, hopefully they hear our cries and do the right thing...

  • TheTruthKid | July 4, 2012 12:01 AMReply

    I forgot to mention, I am quite scared for the second one because what I mention below *SPOILER ALERT* people are saying he is a clone, and the villain is the hobgoblin - Richard Parker, and saying Peter is a clone of Richard. I like to mention, I believe Gwen gets killed in the comics ether her neck snapped because of the Hobgoblin, or the Hobgoblin just killed her to kill peter, so we can say goodbye to Emma Stone sadly. I hope she stays or at least allow her to dye her hair red and allow her to play MJ - Mary Jane.

    I also like to mention, the romance between Emma & Andrew will never be the same with a new actor why? Because they both fell in love during the making of the film, that's why the romance was so real & they are both great rising actors. I though Emma was going to have an annoying voice during the film, but I confused her with some other girl who played in "Can't Get Your Number" that looks exactly like her, I was so thankful and I am going to be happy when she's the next film. The only crap I don't want is.

    Emma dying
    Peter a clone of Richard his father.
    His web shooters breaking - Maybe give him organic web shooters since he's a cross species.

    Can't wait! =] Just don't want to wait another 2 years & a half for the film to be made again, I don't believe it took 2 years & a half to make, other movies take 5 or longer like this and suck ass.

  • TheTruthKid | July 3, 2012 11:54 PMReply

    He needs to come back, the movie was amazing I don't understand how it was "bad" the story actually had made sense, the older Spider-man I still do love made no sense & it was all about Tobey & his fame. This Spider-man barley had fame, they finally made him a hero at the end of the movie. The movie was about 2 hours it started at 4:40pm & ended at 7 something, so I think it might of been a bit longer. *SPOILER ALERT* - Their is people claiming that the next person is going to be the Hobgoblin and saying that it is going to be Richard Parker because they are saying "Peter is a clone of Richard Parker, that's why when Uncle Ben said, he looked exactly like him" in the movie, it showed he was an experiment & was his clone. I hope he isn't a clone though, it would kinda ruin everything & be pretty retarded, I don't support the idea of a"Clone" but honestly, the movie was great.

    I will be defiantly paying another $14.50 + $2.00 tax to watch the second movie of this the movie also was in 3D + UltraAVX, it was amazing! It was so much better then the last Spider-man movies, I am sorry but I have to admit the suit wasn't bad, I really like the suit in this one but when he was far away and in the back it looked pretty fake & dead, but close up shots it looked great especially in the night. I love the older suit, it has a much more Spidey effect but I am sorry this one was great. *SPOILER ALERT* he also didn't lose any webbing in his web shooters they were pretty much organic until the Lizard crushed it..

    God, I really recommend this movie please put Webb to film why? Because the new director is going to be a dumbass, know nothing about the movie will be confused, make it different & the original story from the first one wont follow.

    Nuff said, go watch this movie it's amazing!

  • GRACE C | July 3, 2012 11:27 PMReply


  • Kari | July 3, 2012 8:25 PMReply

    i loved the first three Spiderman movies and have nothing against them. but i think Webb created a darker, sexyer version of the story then the maguire movies and managed to make it a dramatic, action packed, romantic and comedy filled film. i also think Andrew was the perfect choice to create a more mysterious, sexier version of Peter but still managed to keep the original spark of the smart shy Peter Parker. i would love to see the same cast and have Webb direct the second movie! i cant wait to see how it turns out

  • josh | July 3, 2012 8:13 PMReply

    and by the way don't listen to your head, listen to your heart

  • josh | July 3, 2012 8:08 PMReply

    i love the movie, and i like emma stone acting, and i love andrew garfield action's romance is awesome, i like rhys infans acting. and especially, i think webb is gonna be okay for the next movie. there's more untold story to come. think about it. There are a lot of people to see super hero movie's one way or another, stan lee is an old man, and he still a creative man and steve ditko too. think about it, and they don't wanna see another cancellation! and especially not green goblin in spider-man (2002). garifield, stone, infans, vanderbilt, and weeb, trust me your gonna make another movie, and i like to see the villan, the Vulture.

  • ian d. | July 3, 2012 7:41 PMReply

    I bet that webb does a great job doing the movie, and garfield and stone look terrific out there, and i thought the 3d look good i recommend to see a sequal

  • Rich | July 3, 2012 5:00 PMReply

    I enjoyed the hell out of this movie .
    I think it is much better than the original 3.
    Garfield played a cooler and slightly darker Peter while Tobey was so boyish.
    Kristen was a pain while Stone did great in her role
    The CGI was far better than the last movie where it flowed flawlessly in 3-D
    Im Going back to see it again in a few days

  • Seth Stelly | July 3, 2012 4:58 PMReply

    I thought it was amazing. Garfield was hot and made it nice to watch. Though I was a huge sucker for Green Lantern which got horrible reviews, I would love to see a second installment. The whole audience in the theatre was laughing and getting grossed out with the spiders at the times they were supposed to. So despite everyone kind of booing it, I still say success.

  • JT | July 3, 2012 4:49 PMReply

    Honestly, no movie is going to follow the comics directly. The Spiderman trilogy with toby mcguire certainly didnt. I personally thought this was a much better film but of course thats opinion. I like the gwen stacey aspect much better than that of a mary jane watson one. Personally (and I know im not a purist) Lets just deviate a bit and give everyone what they wanted way back when they killed stacey off in the comics. KEEP HER ALIVE. I think that will make for a much better and different spiderman story. Besides. I just like Emma Stone.

  • Pablo Q. | July 3, 2012 2:37 PMReply

    I honestly wouldnt like to see the green goblin in ths next movie because then, that would mean that gwen stacy would have to die and without gwen, the movie would lose a large amount of its popularity. It wouldnt be the same

  • TheTruthKid | July 4, 2012 12:03 AM

    It's most likely going to be the Hobgoblin, because in the comics Gwen was killed by the hobgoblin, for more information & if you really love the movie and just can't wait, I would look for spoilers.

  • Some Good, Some Meh | July 3, 2012 1:56 PMReply

    Garfield and Stone are great, Webb does a good job with the characters and the emotional part of the sotry, but the film overall is a bit meh.

  • webhead | July 5, 2012 1:01 PM

    She was killed by The Green Goblin.

  • TheTruthKid | July 4, 2012 12:04 AM

    Actually, it wasn't really Webb who did their romance, he just written a great love story for them & the actors fell in love on set and now go out, they expressed their true feelings in the movie.

  • Steve E | July 3, 2012 1:47 PMReply

    I thought it was average at best. Garfield does not really channel Peter Parker well. It had some decent moments, but paled versus the version with Tobey McGuire 10 years ago. Just a popcorn movie.

  • Curt | July 8, 2012 6:26 PM

    Toby Macguire sucked as Spidey to me. He tried but just came off as whiney and childish to me. Plus, The first 3 movies made Spiderman so wimpy nor could he fight, not to mention he barely used his Spidey Sense.

  • Harry P | July 3, 2012 1:38 PMReply

    I had quite a fun time watching it, so I think Mark has done a pretty good job, more or less. His Spider-Man is a really interesting character and at times he makes him look even cooler than Reimi's one. The film has it's awkard moments, but overall I believe it's one of the best comic-2-film movies I've ever watched. And, if this says something, I think it is much better than Spider-Man 3.

  • Ryanne | July 15, 2012 7:39 PM

    I couldn't agree with you more I have been a Spider-man fan for longer than I care to remember and I can honestly say that I very satisfied with this rendition.

  • Ian | July 3, 2012 12:19 PMReply

    Just saw this and, boy, was it a huge mess. I honestly don't know if those critics with positive reviews saw the same movie as I did. If I was the studio, I know I wouldn't bring him back. I'd find someone to Nicholas Meyer this franchise.

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