10 years ago, the Spider-Man film franchise rebooted with The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 followed two years later, but like her comic book counterpart did in the ‘70s, Stone’s Gwen met an untimely demise caused by a Green Goblin. That sequence alone puts ASM 2 pretty high when fans discuss every Spider-Man movie, ranked. As it turns out, though shooting Gwen’s death scene for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 involved Garfield ignoring Stone for a whole week.
CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell has a new book out covering Spider-Man’s film history called With Great Power: How Spider-Man Conquered Hollywood During The Golden Age Of Comic Book Blockbusters, which can be purchased from Amazon (opens in new tab) and other book retailers. Among the people he interviewed was Jerome Chen, the visual effects supervisor on both Amazing Spider-Man movies, who recalled the unorthodox way Andrew Garfield prepared to shoot The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s big death scene with Emma Stone. As Chen remembered it:
The circumstances surrounding Gwen Stacy’s death in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did have some notable differences compared to what happened in the comics, including it taking place in a clock tower rather than a bridge, and Harry Osborn being the Green Goblin in question rather than his father Norman. But the end result was the same: Gwen fell from a great height caused by the Green Goblin, Peter tried to stop her fall with one of his webs, but his efforts accidentally resulted in her death, albeit through her head striking the floor rather than whiplash breaking her neck. With this being such a tragic moment, Andrew Garfield decided that for him to get in the proper emotional state, he needed to ignore Emma Stone for a week. As Jerome Chen noted, this resulted in the quietness feeling even stronger when the time came to shoot Gwen’s death compared to the other scenes that director Marc Webb oversaw.
Also keep in mind that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone began dating in 2010 (one of the many instances of movie costars becoming romantically involved) and were still together during The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s shoot. So this wasn’t just Garfield avoiding a co-star; he had to steer clear of his then-girlfriend for seven days! That effort paid off though, because while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was met with overall mixed critical reception, that scene is one of the sequel's standout moments.
Plans to make The Amazing Spider-Man 3 were scrapped following the 2014 movie’s underwhelming theatrical performance, but Andrew Garfield later reprised his Peter Parker in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, where we learned that Gwen Stacy’s death had pushed him to treating criminals more brutally and spending more time in his masked persona rather than as a civilian. However, Peter was able to achieve some spiritual redemption when he prevented Zendaya’s MJ from suffering a similar fate as the late love of his life.
Check out with With Great Power to learn more behind-the-scenes stories about Spider-Man’s Hollywood outings, including how the Captain America: Civil War screenwriters never discussed the character’s origin story. You can can also look through our guide showing the Spider-Man movies ranked and continue checking back with us for updates on what’s going on with Tom Holland’s next Spider-Man trilogy.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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