Long before Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man shattered the box-office record for a Tuesday opening (signifying the start of a potentially lucrative opening weekend), Sony started the ball rolling on a sequel to the franchise reboot. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orici are hard at work on a script for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (or whatever it will be called), helping the film reach it’s pre-determined release date of May 2, 2014.
Needless to say, spoilers abound in this article, so stay away if you haven’t yet seen Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man:
Now that many of you have seen what Webb and company spun for their Spider-Man reboot, we can start talking in-depth about what we’d like to see in subsequent chapters. Several crucial blocks to the updated Spider-Man’s foundation have been established by The Amazing Spider-Man. Other key bits of in formation have been gleaned from cast interviews leading up to this film’s release. But with The Amazing Spider-Man currently playing in theaters, here are the three things we absolutely think need to happen in the next film.
1. Gwen Stacy Must Die
You don’t introduce Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) unless you plan on following the seminal Gwen storyline, which finds the Green Goblin knocking Peter’s childhood sweetheart off the George Washington Bridge, resulting in her death. During press interviews for The Amazing Spider-Man, Stone told me in person that she’s fully aware of Gwen’s fate in the comic books, and that was part of the reason why she chose to play this character in a i>Spider-Man reboot. But she stopped short of admitting the producers planned to kill her off.
There are, however, indicators all through The Amazing Spider-Man that Gwen is a goner. First, the film shows it isn’t afraid to eliminate those close to Peter, from Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) to Capt. Stacy (Denis Leary). Also, Stacy makes Peter promise that he’ll stay away from Gwen, believing that’s enough to protect his daughter from future dangers. He might as well have put a bullseye on her chest.
If producers plan on killing Gwen (and they should), they need to do it at the end of the second Spider-Man, so our hero can find redemption in the third part of what they’re now calling a trilogy. This gives the second Spider-Man movie its Empire Strikes Back ending, the downbeat cliffhanger that seems to drain all hope. Stone and Garfield have been earning raves for their chemistry in Amazing, so breaking them apart in a sequel would hurt. But it’s essential to the growth of the Spider-Man we know and love. It has to happen, and it should happen in the next movie.
In order for it to happen, however, we have to get to No. 2.
2. The Green Goblin Has To Be Introduced
Two key bits of information regarding Norman Osborn are revealed in Amazing. One, he’s dying. And two, he needs a serum created through Curt Connors and Richard Parker’s research to fend off whatever is killing him. Connors is ordered to escalate human trials before the serum is administered to Osborn. Such trials turn him into the Lizard. Imagine what an injection will do to Osborn?
By establishing Oscorp as the “Dark Tower” connecting everything in this new Spider-Man universe, the sequel will be able to tie Osborn/Goblin into Peter’s history. Richard Parker worked for Oscorp. Norman wanted him to take his research to ethically questionable areas, and Richard refused. Since Peter gave Curt the equation that unlocks the serum’s potential, if Norman uses it to become the Green Goblin, then Peter once again will be responsible for creating a super-powered threat. And that’s a narrative thread that’s severely hinted at in this conversation between LatinoReview and producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad. A must read.
And finally …
3. Richard and Mary Parker’s “Untold Story” Needs to be Told
I’m one of The Amazing Spider-Man’s most vocal supporters, and even I have to admit that the promise of the film’s marketing campaign went unfulfilled by Webb’s movie. While it has been established that the Parker’s disappearance acts as the catalyst for this retweaked origin story, too much of why the Parkers fled (and how they might have played a role in Peter’s transformation) was left for potential sequels.
Well, here come the sequels. And while I don’t need everything to be spelled out in the new Spidey 2, I think Kurtzman and Orci need to paint a clearer picture as to how this updated mythology includes the key players who’ve already been introduced, even in passing.