Critics of Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-man 2 complain that the sequel was overstuffed, with characters who didn’t get proper treatment because they had to be shuffled along to serve a larger mythology – the OsCorp narrative. Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) often are cited as significant characters who were shortchanged by the sequel’s pacing. I, however, wanted to know more – a LOT more – about Ravencroft’s mad scientist, Dr. Kafka, who appeared to have a significant role until most of his footage ended up on the cutting room floor. And the actor who played him is annoyed by this.
While attending the Toronto International Film Festival, I interviewed Marton Csokas, the actor who played Dr. Kafka in Marc Webb’s second Spider-Man film. The demented doctor, as you may recall, had two noteworthy scenes in the movie – one where he interrogates Foxx’s Electro; and one where he dies. Kind of anticlimactically. He looked like this in the film:
When I asked Csokas if he was happy with the way his portrayal of Dr. Kafka turned out, he happily admitted that he hasn’t seen the film, and likely never will.
"I hear there were only about two scenes [that they used]. I’m not going to see that [film]. I had too good of a time working on it. I had too good of a time making it. I heard, ‘Oh, it doesn’t sound like they used very much of my stuff.’ I’m sure everybody else is fantastic. I’m being very selfish by not seeing it. Selfishlessly, I am not going to ever see that [movie]."
I always find it fascinating when an actor admits that they haven’t seen a film that they worked on. Johnny Depp is one of those performers who notoriously claims to have never seen a film that he acts in (at least, from start to finish). What, then, is the point? Film is such a visual medium. You pour your heart and soul into a feature. Don’t you want to see how it turns out?
In Marton Csokas’ case, I guess I can understand if all of the work that he put into The Amazing Spider-Man 2 didn’t pan out. Negative reviews of Marc Webb’s sequel claim that the movie feels like it was butchered in post-production by a studio that had different goals than the filmmaker and his cast. Even Andrew Garfield recently came out and blamed the studio for the erratic nature of the finished film. And when Csokas and I continued to discuss what was supposed to happen with his character, he teased a LOT of footage that hit the cutting-room floor.
We filmed a good, maybe eight scenes… maybe more. There’s a good beginning, middle, and an end [to my character]. I loved working with Marc, by the way. He was fantastic. We improvised, we journeyed. It was very humorous. There was a dark humor to it that was very funny. We went to town!"
There once was a petition started by fans to see the Director’s Cut of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. And now, the more that we learn about the film after the fact, the more I’m convinced that what Marc Webb, Andrew Garfield and the main players behind the sequel started to film isn’t what we were able to see. Marton Csokas, Campbell Scott, the actress hired to play Jamie Foxx’s mom… they all fell victim to the editing knife. We can only wonder what might have been, and hope the errors are corrected before The Amazing Spider-Man 3.