Mary Jane Watson
One of the big talking points of the film so far has been Shailene Woodley’s Mary Jane Watson being cut - can you say anything about the streamlining that led to that?
“I probably can't elaborate much more than you've already heard. I'm such a big fan of Shailene's, she's a really brilliant actor. I just felt like when I put the movie together, I wanted to really focus on that relationship between Peter and Gwen, and the truth is Shailene was only in the movie - MJ's character was only in the movie - for a couple of quick flashes, it was not very much, and I thought it was better to focus on the story with Gwen and not confuse it.”
Is there a chance for MJ to appear in future movies?
“I think MJ will be in future films, yes, probably. [ Grins ]”
Is Shailene’s schedule likely to keep her out of the running?
“Who knows? We haven't crossed that bridge yet. We haven't figured out exactly how to do the third movie yet. We'll see.”
There was some negativity to some set photos of Shailene that were released, is that something you guys ever look at?
“Oh no, you don't even engage in that, I mean Shai's beautiful and wonderful, y’know? I don't think that's up for debate really.”
There’s potentially quite a few villains in this, how will you avoid those pitfalls?
"I think there's one main villain, that's Electro. I think people like to concoct scenarios which have no basis in reality. But really the main villain of this is Electro. Rhino makes an appearance, in a very funny, provocative way, but it's just an appearance.
"Electro is a very captivating, cinematic villain. I wanted to create a foe for Peter that was as difficult physically to confront as I could possibly conceive of. He is god-like in his powers, if you really come down to it. If you get within a few yards of him your hair starts to go up, and if you touch him a thousand third rails volt through your body, and you're decimated.
"How does Spider-Man fight someone when his most powerful weapon - his webs - are going to conduct all that electricity? What's he going to do when people are being threatened? It's going to put a lot of pressure on Spider-Man, which is always fun to do.”
So is Rhino more like a supporting character?
“Yeah [ Grins ]. I mean, Rhino makes an appearance…”
What about others? For example, Norman Osborn has villainous potential...
“He does have villainous potential, but that storyline will evolve over time, shall we say. [ Smiles ]”
So you're looking at the long game?
“Yeah, exactly. Again, one of the fun things about this movie and with the first one was to set up a world over multiple films, and part of that is introducing characters and committing to them before they totally unfold. And that was something we did in the first movie, you didn't even get to meet him you just felt the enigma of him, and in this movie you'll get to meet him for the first time. And when you first meet him, it's a really provocative situation in which you get to engage with Chris Cooper as Norman Osborn.”
There are a few actors in the film whose characters haven’t been revealed yet, is that because they’ll be familiar to fans?
“Hmmm... Well, how do I answer that? [ Laughs ] How about this? Anything you expect, you'll be surprised. To be totally honest, I intentionally conceal these things because I want people to be engaged and surprised when they see the film and experience it for the first time. It's not like Harry Potter or Twilight necessarily where you know the stories.
"And we are constructing them from elements of the comics obviously, from the canon, and we pay homage and are very protective of certain elements of the canon, but we want people to experience it for the first time in the theatre and I think that’s an experience that it often robbed from the audience, so you’ll forgive me being coy [ grins ].”
Is that difficult with such a well known and well-loved property as Spider-Man?
“It’s tricky, you have to plan it out beforehand. Like when we shoot outside people are going to take photos and people make speculations so we have to be very protective of where we shoot things, how we shoot things and what the actors are talking about just to preserve a level of excitement and enthusiasm and curiosity about that, about what’s going to happen when you go into that theatre.”
The Future Of The Amazing Spider-Man
With the release dates scheduled for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 , do you have a plot mapped out, and do you plan to direct those films?
“We’ll see, I’ve got to finish this movie first. But yes there are certainly elements that we have considered and thought about, even from the first film, that are going to play out in time. I think there are a lot of answers that people will be curious about that will be answered in this film. They’ll also be things, that if you pay attention in this film, you’ll get some indication of where this world is going.”
Will you stick with them?
“Who knows? It would be nice to have a life, but I’ve had such a great time with Andrew and Emma and Dane and Jamie and Sally on this movie, that to let that go would be tricky, but I don’t know. We’ll see.”
You’re very active on Twitter, tweeting teaser images. Do you think it’s important for filmmakers in this day and age?
“I don’t think it’s important, I think it’s a personal choice. It was an experiment for me, I was curious to see what would happen, how much engagement people would have. I think it’s interesting because people come up with theories and I think that’s fun. But again, I don’t want to answer the questions until the movie comes out. But I don’t think it’s mandatory for any filmmaker, it’s a personal choice.”
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The Amazing Spider-Man opens in the UK on 18 April 2014.
Read The Amazing Spider-Man 2: 10 Things We Learned At Comic-Con 2013