Amazing Spider-Man 2 Must Read: Marc Webb On Goblins, Internet Rumors And 'Thinking Bigger'

By Sean O'Connell 2013-07-20 09:32:20discussion comments
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When Marc Webb started adding actors the caliber of Chris Cooper, Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti to an Amazing Spider-Man roster that already included the likes of Sally Field and Martin Sheen, it became clear that the studio was mapping out a much larger Spider-Man cinematic universe. I wrote this piece explaining my expanding Spider-Man theory. It was retweeted by Webb with the message, ďThink bigger.Ē

The fact that Webb retweeted my column was special. A career highlight, given the fact that I grew up on Web head and loved the directorís Amazing Spider-Man reboot. The fact that Webb brought it up at the start of our conversation at San Diego Comic-Con blew my mind.

What follows is a spirited, in-depth conversation about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the world that Webb is trying to build on screen. I held very little back in terms of specifics, and Webb was as gracious and open as he could be Ö while still trying to protect the integrity of his sequel. We talked about Ravenscroft, Norman Osborn, Felicity Jonesí recent comments about dating a Goblin, and Webbís hopes for a Sinister Six fight. I think Spider-Man fans will find it very informative. Hereís Marc Webb:

Marc Webb: Are you from North Carolina?

I am.

You wrote that piece. The one I retweeted.

You remember that?

Sure. ďThink bigger.Ē

Yes! Damn, man. The fact that you retweeted the column made my world and the fact that you remember it, is blowing my mind.

Of course. Well, it was nice because Ö listen, Iíve listened to the Internet sometimes if Iím bored on a Sunday, or feeling insecure, which really is not a good time to go online.

Stay off Twitter.

But, yeah, that article that you wrote -- we had been talking about, you know, thereís so much possibility. And what I tried to do with the first movie was build out, or create, a foundation that had levels of nuance and teases that would continue on in an ongoing way. Itís incredibly complicated to think too far ahead of the game, because you want everything to feel right. And yet, you have to be very careful to not hold out or withhold the excitement you have, where youíre trying to create the movie thatís in front of you. Thatís an all-consuming task.

That said, we are trying to create a world that feels a little bit more nuanced and a little bit bigger and I think there are a lot of characters in the Spider-Man universe that could justify their own movies. And I get really excited and titillated by that possibility. The reality of that is sort of dependent on a lot of factors that are sort of beyond my control, but certainly there is a lot of conversation that goes on behind closed doors about how to give life to that.

Is it scary that Marvel set up this expectation now for bigger worlds? Like with Sony, it feels like theyíre trying to do with Spider-Man Ö not exactly what Marvel did, but theyíre at least thinking of that blueprint.

Well, it is Marvel, but I think what people are realizing is that people love to spend time in these worlds, and the audience demands and expects and is curious about how well you can develop sort of little characters that are in the shadows. As a storyteller, itís really fun to think about that kind of stuff.

But when you start putting people like Paul Giamatti and Chris Cooper into these roles, itís obvious youíre not using them for one scene.

Exactly. You want to build out, yes, the possibility of something more. And I think, not just since The Avengers, but even Harry Potter, I think they created a universe. I mean, obviously the books were incredibly well crafted and well thought out, and that allows for really wonderful actors to come in and chew off deep, meaty roles. Again, itís really fun as a filmmaker, as a storyteller, to think about those possibilities.

You know, you say you check the Internet. One of the theories fans keep throwing out involves The Sinister Six. How much of that is wishful thinking on a passionate fan base aside and how much of it is discussed?

Listen, I donít want to give away too much. I really donít. I donít want to give away too much. I want to preserve the surprise -- which is always under attack, for the right reasons. People are enthusiastic and theyíre curious, but you know, itís really difficult to let people get into that theater for the first time and experience it, that sense of awe and curiosity, and I think thatís a little bit tragic.

But I think ... Iím a fan of The Sinister Six, Iíll say that. I think if you pay attention to this second movie, youíll see hints of whatís to come.
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