The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man upside down on the side of the OsCorp tower.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Marc Webb
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on The Amazing Spider-Man 
by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Dan Mindel
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
Release dates
  • April 10, 2014 (2014-04-10) (London premiere)[1]
  • May 2, 2014 (2014-05-02) (United States)
Running time
142 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $255 million[3][4]
Box office $709 million[5]

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (released with the subtitle Rise of Electro in some markets)[6] is a 2014 American superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, directed by Marc Webb and released by Columbia Pictures. It It is the fifth theatrical Spider-Man film produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Entertainment, and serves as a sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). The studio hired James Vanderbilt to write the screenplay and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to rewrite it.[7][8] Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Colm Feore, Paul Giamatti, and Sally Field star.

Development of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 began after the success of The Amazing Spider-Man. DeHaan, Giamatti, Jones, and Cooper were cast between December 2012 and February 2013. Filming took place in New York City from February to June 2013. The film was released in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on May 2, 2014, in the United States. The film received mixed reviews, and despite grossing over $709 million worldwide and being the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2014, it was the lowest-grossing film in the series.

Plot[edit]

Scientist Richard Parker records a video message to explain his disappearance. Later, he and his wife, Mary, are aboard a private jet hijacked by a man sent to assassinate Richard. With the pilot dead, the plane crashes, killing both Richard and Mary.

In the present, Richard's son Peter continues to fight crime as Spider-Man. He pursues and apprehends Aleksei Sytsevich, who attempted to steal a truck containing plutonium vials. During the chase, Spider-Man rescues OsCorp Industries employee Max Dillon. While speaking by phone with Gwen Stacy, Peter sees a vision of her father, police captain George Stacy, reminding him to leave Gwen out of it. Afterward, Peter meets with Gwen at their high school graduation ceremony, but insists he needs to keep his vow to her father and ends their relationship.

Peter's childhood friend Harry Osborn returns to Manhattan to see his terminally ill father Norman, CEO of OsCorp. Norman explains his illness is hereditary, and Harry is at the age where it first develops. Norman gives Harry a small device he claims contains his life's work. The next day, Norman dies and Harry is appointed the new OsCorp CEO. He humiliates the OsCorp board, which has been privy to Norman's secret biogenetic projects for foreign military powers.

Thinking that they have become friends, Max idolizes Spider-Man. While tending to some maintenance in an OsCorp laboratory, he loses his balance and falls into a tank of genetically modified electric eels. They attack him, and he mutates into a living electric generator. Meanwhile, Peter attempts to maintain a friendship with Gwen, but she reveals she may move to England for school. Before they can discuss it, Max wanders into Times Square and accidentally causes a blackout. Spider-Man attempts to calm him down, but the police fire at Max, making him attack furiously. Spider-Man eventually stops him, and Max is taken to Ravencroft Institute.

The first symptoms of Harry's illness show, and he uses the device Norman gave him to deduce that Spider-Man's blood could help save him. He asks Peter, who has been selling photos of Spider-Man to the Daily Bugle, for help finding Spider-Man. Peter refuses, unsure of what effects the transfusion would have, and although he does come to Harry as Spider-Man, he still refuses, and Harry develops an intense hatred towards Spider-Man. The OsCorp board-members frame Harry for covering up Max's accident, and remove him as CEO. Harry's assistant, Felicia, informs him of equipment that could help him, so he makes a deal with Max (now calling himself Electro) to get him back inside the OsCorp building. There he finds a suit of armor and other equipment made by Norman, as well as venom from the now-destroyed genetically altered spiders. The venom accelerates Harry's illness and transforms him into a goblin-like creature, but the suit's built-in emergency protocol restores his health.

Peter uses information left by his father to locate the video message in an abandoned subway station's hidden lab. Richard explains he had to leave because he refused to cooperate with Norman's biogenetic weaponization plans. Peter then hears a voicemail from Gwen, telling him she was offered the scholarship in England and is heading to the airport earlier than expected. He manages to catch her and professes his love for her, and vowing to go wherever she goes, they agree to go to England together. Electro causes another blackout, and Peter heads off to fight him. Gwen follows, and together they restore power and overload Electro's body, killing him. Afterward, the transformed Harry arrives equipped with Norman's armor and weaponry; upon seeing Gwen, Harry deduces Spider-Man's true identity and, swearing revenge for being refused the blood transfusion, kidnaps her. He fights Spider-Man at the top of a clock tower. Spider-Man subdues Harry, but despite his attempts to save Gwen, she falls to her death. Distraught, Peter ends his career as Spider-Man.

Five months later, Harry is coping with the after-effects of his transformation while incarcerated at Ravencroft.. His associate, Gustav Fiers, visits Harry and breaks Sytsevich out of prison. Equipped with an electromechanical suit of armor, Sytsevich calls himself the Rhino and rampages through the streets. Peter, inspired by Gwen's graduation speech, confronts him as Spider-Man.

Cast[edit]

  • Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man / Peter Parker: An orphaned teenage boy who received spider-powers after being bitten by a genetically altered spider. Peter first uses his powers to try to hunt down the killer of his uncle in The Amazing Spider-Man but soon decides to use his powers to fight crime as the vigilante known as Spider-Man. Garfield explained that the suit that he would wear in the film would undergo a new design. Garfield hoped to bring back the theme of him being an orphan stating, "I wanna keep exploring that theme of being fatherless, being motherless, searching for purpose and finding a purpose within himself". He felt that it was a responsibility to take on the role and that he does not take it lightly.[9]
  • Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy: A high school student and Peter's love interest. When asked about Peter and Gwen's relationship in the sequel, Stone said, "She saves him more than he saves her. She's incredibly helpful to Spider-Man... He's the muscle, she's the brains."[10]
  • Jamie Foxx as Electro / Max Dillon: An electrical engineer who works for Oscorp Industries. Foxx described the character as "a nobody" who initially idolizes Spider-Man.[11] He develops an obsession with Spider-Man after being saved by him and obtains his powers through an accident at Oscorp involving electric eels.
  • Dane DeHaan as Green Goblin / Harry Osborn: An old friend of Peter and son of Norman Osborn. He was sent away to boarding school around the same time Peter's parents disappeared, and meets him for the first time since then in the film.[12] He eventually assumes the role of the Green Goblin.
  • Colm Feore as Donald Menken: A member of the Oscorp board, and Vice President.
  • Felicity Jones as Felicia: Norman's assistant at Oscorp, and later Harry's. In a marketing video for the film releasing on digital HD formats, it was confirmed that Harry's assistant was called Felicia Hardy.[13]
  • Paul Giamatti as Rhino / Aleksei Sytsevich: Giamatti said of his character, "He’s a Russian mobster. Russians are always good villains. I have an ability to just destroy things,” he said. "My accent is pretty hammy. I loved doing it. It seemed to me like an opportunity to be as over-the-top hammy as possible. It was really fun."[14]
  • Sally Field as Aunt May: Peter's aunt.
  • Campbell Scott as Richard Parker: Peter's father.
  • Embeth Davidtz as Mary Parker: Peter's mother.
  • Marton Csokas as Dr. Kafka: The head of Ravencroft Institute.

Chris Cooper portrays Norman Osborn, the president of Oscorp and Harry Osborn's father, while B. J. Novak portrays Alistair Smythe. Denis Leary reprises his role as George Stacy from the first film. Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee has a cameo appearance as a guest at Peter and Gwen's graduation ceremony. Michael Massee reprises his role as the "Man in the Shadows" from the first film, with the character now credited as "Gustav Fiers (The Gentleman)." Aidy Bryant appears as a woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

The sequel's villain was teased in the 2012 film.[15] Webb stated that the origin story would further unfold in the second installment.[16] In June 2012, Webb said he was unsure whether he would return,[17] though it was confirmed on September 28, 2012, that he would return to direct the sequel.[18][19] He stated that he "wanted to create a universe that not only can withstand but anticipate future storylines" while also "working in and of itself for one movie."[20] Andrew Garfield had also expressed hope to reprise his role,[21] and in September 2012, it was confirmed that he would do so.[18][19] Emma Stone was later confirmed to be reprising her role as Gwen Stacy, having signed a contract for two Amazing Spider-Man sequels.[citation needed] The original costume and mask from The Amazing Spider-Man was altered and has lens in the mask, making the eyes bigger. The web shooters were also modified.[22]

Actor J. K. Simmons expressed interest in reprising his role as J. Jonah Jameson from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy should the studio offer it to him.[23] In October 2012 Electro was rumored as the next villain.[24] Jamie Foxx was given the role.[25][26][27] That December, Foxx confirmed that he was cast as the character, and during an interview with MTV, he explained that the redesign of the character would be more grounded along with details of his depiction.[28] On December 3, 2012, Marc Webb revealed that Dane DeHaan was chosen to play Harry Osborn.[29] Paul Giamatti was confirmed as a cast member in February 2013.[30] Felicity Jones confirmed her involvement with the movie under an undisclosed role.[31] Giamatti also indicated in an October 2013 interview that he would return in The Amazing Spider-Man 3 as well.[32] On February 27, 2013, Chris Cooper was cast as Norman Osborn.[33]

By October 10, 2012, Shailene Woodley was in talks for the role of Mary Jane Watson.[34][35] By March 14, 2013, Woodley had concluded filming her small role.[36] Garfield recalled, "I think all of [those scenes] were in our backyards. We had two or three scenes with me talking over the fence, and there was one with us riding together on a motorcycle that we never got to shoot."[37] By mid-June, Mary Jane was cut from the film, with director Webb explaining it as "a creative decision to streamline the story and focus on Peter and Gwen and their relationship."[38]

Filming[edit]

On February 4, 2013, Marc Webb posted on his Twitter account that principal photography had begun and that the sequel was being shot on 35mm film in the anamorphic format,[39][40] instead of being filmed digitally as the preceding film was. Sony revealed this would be the first Spider-Man film to be filmed entirely in New York State, including a car-chase scene that was filmed in Rochester because the speed laws are less restrictive in upstate New York.[41] It became the largest film production ever in New York State.[42] The decision to film in Williamsburg, Brooklyn near the Passover holiday caused some controversy, as critics believed that this was culturally insensitive, and would cause problems with parking.[43] The filming company decided to work with the community and then agreed to adjust its production activities for Passover.[44][45]

On June 25, Webb posted on his Twitter account that filming was completed.[46]

Soundstage work was done at Grumman Studios and Gold Coast Studios, both in Bethpage, New York, and at the at Marcy Armory in Brooklyn.[41][47]

Post-production[edit]

The film was mixed in Auro 11.1 and Dolby Atmos in the converted William Holden Theater. The mix for both was completed by Paul Massey and David Giammarco.[1]

A mid-credit teaser scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past was added to the film after its London premiere, due to an existing deal between Webb and 20th Century Fox, in which Fox allowed Webb to direct the film if Sony would promote the X-Men film for free.[48] The scene, set during the Vietnam War, sees Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), a rogue mutant, trying to infiltrate a military camp led by William Stryker (Josh Helman) in an attempt to recruit fellow mutants Havok (Lucas Till) and Toad (Evan Jonigkeit).[49][50][51] The scene's inclusion sparked confusion among some viewers in the United Kingdom, who thought it meant an X-Men–Spider-Man crossover film was being planned, based on how Marvel Studios and Disney use codas within the Marvel Cinematic Universe to promote future films.[48]

Music[edit]

In a review for the soundtrack, Movie Wave wrote: "If you'd said to me while I was first listening to The Amazing Spider-Man back in 2012 (and writing about how much I hoped it might mark a return to a more traditional approach in general to these films) that two years later the sequel would come out and be scored by Hans Zimmer with dubstep, I'd probably have punched you in the face (well, if I weren't the world's most mild-mannered individual, anyway). I guess others will feel the same way. But open your mind to it: it's dazzling stuff."[52]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

On July 20, 2013, Webb announced that Hans Zimmer would be composing the music for the film, replacing James Horner, the composer of the first film.[53] On October 25, 2013, Pharrell Williams revealed to Billboard that he would co-compose the score with Zimmer.[54] Webb and Zimmer formed a supergroup with Williams, Johnny Marr, Mike Einziger and former Eurythmic David A. Stewart to create the music for the sequel.[55] Eventually, Stewart did not participate in the film's music, and the supergroup, credited as The Magnificent Six (a reference to the Sinister Six) was composed of Williams, Marr, Einziger, Junkie XL, Steve Mazzaro and Andrew Kawczynski assisting Zimmer. The soundtrack for the film was released on April 22, 2014 by Columbia Records and Madison Gate Records.[56] Hans Zimmer described his work for this movie to be different from previous works that he did, thus revealing one of the themes for the movie, which was first heard on the website.[57][58]

On March 31, 2014, a track called "It's On Again" was uploaded to Soundcloud. It features vocals by Kendrick Lamar and Alicia Keys. Via Twitter, Keys announced the song and credited Zimmer and Williams along with Lamar and herself for the song, and she included a hashtag saying "Spiderman", indicating the song is part of the soundtrack.[59][60]

Marketing[edit]

The release of the film in the United Kingdom was pushed forward to April 16, 2014, two days ahead of its original April 18 date.[61] Deadline reported that, in addition to the production budget, the film's marketing budget was $180–190 million.[4]

Andrew Garfield and Jamie Foxx at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International promoting The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

On July 17, 2013, Sony released a clip from the film with the first released footage of Jamie Foxx as Electro to encourage attendance at their panel at the San Diego Comic-Con International.[62] At the panel they premiered a four-minute trailer, which was not publicly released but eventually leaked on the internet. Viral marketing for the film included a version of the Daily Bugle on the blogging service Tumblr, which included references to Kate Cushing, Detective Stan Carter, the "Big Man", Izzy Bunsen, Joy Mercado, Donald Menken, the Vulture, Hydro-Man, Spencer Smythe, Ned Leeds, Anne Weying, J. Jonah Jameson, Shocker, Alistair Smythe, Doctor Octopus, Eddie Brock, The Enforcers and Puma.[63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71] Marc Webb tweeted a photo of a message in Dwarven language revealing that the first trailer would debut prior to 3D screenings of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.[72][73][74]

On December 8, 2013, it was announced that new footage from the film would be presented during New Year's Eve festivities at New York City's Times Square.[75]

The film was further promoted during the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) "Earth Hour" campaign. The cast was present at the launch of the 2014 event in Singapore.[76] Disney Consumer Products announced a merchandise product line for the film at the American International Toy Fair on February 17, 2014.[77]

In March 2014, Gameloft and Marvel announced the launch of a mobile game of the same name for smartphones and tablets.[78][79] It was released on consoles afterward.[80] Kellogg's released an application featuring the film.[81]

Evian serves as a promotional partner of the film. On April 1, 2014, the brand released an advertisement "The Amazing Baby & Me 2" featuring Spider-Man and a baby version of him, as a follow-up to their original "Baby & Me" campaign.[82]

The film partnered with NBCUniversal for advertising. Spots for the film appeared on Bravo, E!, USA, Syfy, Telemundo and mun2 and a customized page was created on Fandango.[83] In May 2014, Marvel announced that Spider-Man's costume from the film would be available within Marvel: Avengers Alliance.[84]

Home media[edit]

Fans who saw the movie have started petitions on several petition websites to include a "Director's Cut" in the home video release for cutting out scenes from the film's marketing, including scenes featuring Martin Sheen reprising his role as Uncle Ben and Chris Zylka reprising his role as Flash Thompson, along with Shailene Woodley's deleted scenes and a post-credits scene.[85] The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for digital download on August 5, 2014 and was released on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and DVD on August 19, 2014.[86]

Creative agency Deckhouse Digital was hired to produce several animated GIFs ahead of the DVD/Blu-ray release as part of a sponsored ad campaign on Tumblr.[87][88]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 received mixed reviews from film critics.[89] The Los Angeles Times said, "[The film is] overstuffed with plot lines, set pieces and villains, although stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone do their best to give the movie heart."[90] Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 53% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 5.9/10 based on 257 reviews. The site's consensus states: "While the cast is outstanding and the special effects are top-notch, the latest installment of the Spidey saga suffers from an unfocused narrative and an overabundance of characters."[91] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film also has a score of 53 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[92] CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend revealed the average grade cinemagoers gave the film was B+ on an A+ to F scale.[93]

The main criticisms of the film were the underdeveloped characters, overlong running time, and crowded script.[94][95][96] However, the special effects, chemistry between Stone and Garfield, and Dane DeHaan's performance were met with high praise.[97][98] Foxx's portrayal of Max Dillon/Electro was met with mixed reviews.[99]

Tim Robey of The Telegraph said, "Marc Webb's Spider-Man sequel is overstuffed with high-voltage villains, but the sparks between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone save the day".[100] Simon Reynolds of Digital Spy said, "Peter's past, present and future all intertwine in a sequel that offers bang for your buck. That said you can't help feel the franchise bean counters at work here thanks to all the ominous foreshadowing and unresolved character arcs. Too many cooks and all that...".[101] Kim Newman of Empire scored the film three out of five stars, saying: "A few too-broad gags aside — and even these are in the funky spirit of ’60s Marvel — this is a satisfying second issue with thrills, heartbreak, gasps, and a perfectly judged slingshot ending."[102] Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter said, "The eponymous hero hits his super-heroic stride here, as does Andrew Garfield in the role, especially when Spider-Man's alter ego Peter Parker learns there's always some fine print in a contract with this many benefits. The plot gets itself tangled up in multiple villain strands, but in the main, this installment is emotionally weightier and more satisfying than its predecessor."[103] Guy Lodge of Variety said, "Redundancy remains a problem, but this overlong superhero sequel gets by on sound, fury and star chemistry."[104] Richard Roeper gave the film a B+, stating that "It's about 20 minutes too long and it's overstuffed with too many characters and too many subplots, but there's enough good stuff in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to warrant optimism about the next chapter of the franchise."[105] A negative review came from Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, giving the film two stars out of five, he said: "Things go wrong quickly with Amazing 2. Am I the only one who hates the word Amazing to describe a movie that isn't? Just asking."[106]

Box office[edit]

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 grossed $8.7 million on its early Thursday night showings.[107] It finished its opening weekend in first place with $91.6 million, almost $30 million more than the opening weekend gross of the first film.[108] The film grossed $202,853,933 in North America and $505,835,227 in other countries, for a total gross of 708,689,160.[5] Calculating in all expenses, Deadline.com estimated that the film made a profit of $70.38 million.[109]

Outside North America, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opened on April 16, 2014 to $2.73 million in the UK and to $190,000 in Belgium, while opening to $1.44 million in Australia and $1.11 million in Germany.[110] The film's release in India was the biggest opening weekend of all time for an American film at that point.[111] In China, the film played on 11,002 screens, which is the biggest release of any film in history.[112] On its opening day in Hong Kong, the film earned $1.23 million, the highest opening gross in the territory ever.[113]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2014 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie - Sci-Fi/Fantasy The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Nominated [114]
Choice Actor - Sci-Fi/Fantasy Andrew Garfield Nominated
Choice Actress - Sci-Fi/Fantasy Emma Stone Nominated
Choice Villain Jamie Foxx Nominated
Choice Liplock Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone Nominated
2015 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Nominated
Favorite Movie Actor Jamie Foxx Nominated
Favorite Movie Actress Emma Stone Won
Favorite Male Action Star Andrew Garfield Nominated
Favorite Villain Jamie Foxx Nominated

Canceled franchise and planned reboot[edit]

Sony had originally intended the film to launch an expansive film universe to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 2013, Sony announced a third Amazing Spider-Man film with a release date of June 10, 2016, which Kurtzman, Orci and Pinkner would return to write, and a fourth film with a release date of May 4, 2018.[115][116] Additionally, the series was to include spin-off films featuring the Sinister Six and Venom, with Drew Goddard writing and directing Sinister Six and Kurtzman directing a Venom script co-written by himself, Orci, and Ed Solomon.[117][118][119] Sinister Six had been planned for a November 11, 2016 release.[120][121] Additionally, by August 2014, Sony had hired Lisa Joy Nolan to write the script for a 2017 film starring a Marvel superheroine.[121]

However, between December 2013 and the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in May 2014, Garfield and Webb revealed that while they would both return for the third film, neither was certain of their involvement in the fourth, with Webb adding he would certainly not be directing.[3][122][123] Following the mixed critical reviews and franchise-low box office performance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the future of the franchise was unclear. By July 2014, Orci had left the third film to work on the sequel to Star Trek Into Darkness,[124] The Amazing Spider-Man 3, which would have included the return of Norman Osborn[125] and focused on Peter's recovering from Gwen's death,[126] was delayed to an unspecified date in 2018, and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 was moved to a later, unknown date.[120]

In December 2014, Sony was revealed to have been in talks to have Sam Raimi return to the franchise to direct a new trilogy for the character and was in discussion with Marvel Studios about including Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Captain America: Civil War. Marvel reportedly was unhappy with some of the terms of the proposed arrangement, including the film rights staying with Sony, and both talks allegedly ceased.[127][128] However, in February 2015, Sony and Marvel Studios announced that a new iteration of Spider-Man will appear in the MCU, with the character appearing in either Captain America: Civil War or Doctor Strange before Sony releases a Spider-Man film produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal on July 28, 2017. The role of Peter Parker will be recast. Sony also announced plans to release a Sinister Six film after the 2017 reboot film, possibly as an MCU film.[129] Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films. Marvel Studios will also explore opportunities to integrate other characters of the MCU into future Spider-Man films.[130]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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