Back in 2013, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘ seemed like a sure-fire hit for Sony. During the production of the film, the studio was so sure of their franchise prospects that they began to formulate plans to open up the world of Spider-Man. ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 3‘ and ‘Sinister Six‘ were both announced before the movie had even finished filming. A few months before it’s release, director Marc Webb was confirmed to direct ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 3‘. It was in this span of a few months that they began to formulate ideas for the already announced sequel.
When the film came out however, a combination of middling reviews, the infamous Sony hack of 2014, a potential crossover deal with Marvel Studios, and the lowest worldwide gross of the franchise (although still a respectable $709 million) caused the ‘Amazing Spider-Man 3‘ to be cancelled in a matter of months. Then, as history goes, the Marvel deal was made for the character less than a year later, which eventually led to the character’s inclusion in 2016’s ‘Captain America: Civil War‘. In 2017, when a film like ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming‘ is being critically acclaimed, it’s safe to say the decision they made was a no brainer. But it’s also easy to forget that the franchise could have had a very different outcome had a few of these factors panned out differently.
In a recent interview with Denofgeek.com, Webb chatted for the first time about the cancelled movies. He was asked about the story ideas they were throwing around for the ‘Amazing Spider-Man 3’:
Yeah, we were talking about the Sinister Six. They were going to make a Sinister Six movie before we did the third one.Chris Cooper was going to come back and play the Goblin. We were going to freeze his head, and then he was going to be brought back to life. And then there was that character called The Gentleman. We had some notions about how to do it, but I think maybe we were thinking too far ahead when we started building in those things. But it was a fun exercise. I look back very fondly on those days.
When asked who the villains would have been in the third installment, he responded:
Well, that was going to be the main villain. He was going to come out and lead the Sinister Six. We had talked about Vulture a little bit too, actually….
Well, maybe it’s a good thing that this movie didn’t get made. I mean, there were both good and bad aspects to both ‘Amazing Spider-Man‘ movies. But this seems just crazy. Regardless for this, the franchise had reached a point that it was so overstuffed with sub-plots that would set up other movies, that it couldn’t even tell it’s own story. Ultimately however, Webb takes full credit for the movies, and for that I commend him:
I understand why people think that, but those are my movies. It is your responsibility as a director to make those. Everything that happens is your problem. I was never pushed around. A lot of smart people had a lot of strong opinions about things, but it was my movie. Both of them were.
It’s more complicated, simply because there’s a lot on the line. There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration. But I had a really good time making those movies. They’re very difficult. I would approach them differently now than I did, but I feel really grateful for it and pretty uncynical about it. These people are all my friends, you know what I mean? Everybody wanted to make a great movie.
My impression of it is, I think, probably more nuanced, obviously, than other people’s, but I had a great time. I think it was a very difficult time for Sony because of the hack and because Marvel wanted the character back, and there are all sorts of corporate imperatives, but that didn’t have a huge impact on how we made the movie. Maybe it accelerated the timeline, which made things difficult, but that’s something I accepted. That’s the nature of what those movies are.
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