Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

The Utterly Insane Production of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

And here I thought we’d be done talking about superheroes for a while.

Today, it was revealed that Shailene Woodley has been cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  She was set to play love interest Mary-Jane Watson in a small, supporting role (she was only on set for about a month back in March).  Now, she is no longer going to appear in the film with the idea that her scenes are going to be held for a potential third entry.

This move is incredibly odd.  Granted, small roles are cut from movies all the time.  For example, Michael Biehn shot an ultimately cut scene for Terminator 2.  However, the cutting and editing of this nature typically happens during post-production when the director and editor sees what works and what doesn’t. And even stranger is that Woodley’s casting was considered big movie news.  For her to be cut completely out of the movie is a really weird turn-around.

Of course, people on the internet are rejoicing.  As Zack and I recently discussed, Woodley’s casting as Mary Jane was considered “controversial” in so far that internet neckbeards claimed she was not “hot enough” to play Mary Jane.  That is completely insane.  Woodley is an incredibly attractive young lady and talented actress.  To quote Zack, “has the internet ever seen a woman in real life?”  Of course, these same people are claiming that their negative reaction was what caused her to be cut from the movie and that they will “probably recast her”.  I don’t know about recasting, but I am sure it is a safe bet that they had nothing to do with this decision.

Only guys with unrealistic expectations of women wouldn't find her attractive.

Only guys with unrealistic expectations of women wouldn’t find her attractive.

Getting back on point, the recent news of Woodley being cut from the movie just continues to highlight how crazy the production of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems to be.  Are they restructuring the story, and, if so, that is a scary sign when a movie does something like that this far into production.  Or were her scenes so superfluous that they were easy to remove without damaging the overall narrative.  If that is the case, why was Mary Jane added into the script in the first place (or at least kept in it this far).  It raises a lot of questions.

But the Woodley situation is not the only thing that is making me question what is happening to this film.  Another problem that I continue to notice is that the movie seems to be completely overstuffed with characters.  According to casting notices, the film is rumored to have around three-to-four villains appearing.  This is in addition to two-to-three other side characters popping up in Peter Parker’s life.  This strikes me as a character overload with a case of “too-many-villianitus”.

Granted, we do not know how these characters are going to be used or if some of these roles are incredibly minor only to be explored in a sequel.  The evidence is there that this is a case of set-up since Sony recently announced release dates for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4.  What movie studio does that especially since part two is still a year away from coming out?

I can think of only two reasons behind Sony’s decision:

  • 1)      They are really impressed with what is going on with the currently in-production sequel.
  • 2)      They see that Marvel Studios is doing well with their shared universe of films, that Fox is developing something similar with the X-Men, and that Man of Steel is looking to lead into something like that for Warner Bros.  Sony wants their own extended movie universe.  I am willing to bet this is the reason for the announced third and fourth installments.  I also would not be surprised if Sony announces various Spider-Man spin-off films in the near future. I fully admit that this theory is complete conjecture, but would it honestly surprise anyone if it turned out to be true?  And, to be honest, I would not blame them for wanting that.

Whatever the reasons behind announcing a third and fourth movie this early, is this really the best way to create a movie?  There is nothing inherently wrong with having aspirations of a long-running franchise, but it seems foolhardy to simply assume the money train won’t stop.  And if they are telling a continuous storyline will there be a sense of satisfaction when watching an individual installment?  Will each movie stand on its own?

Regardless of that, how will the upcoming sequel avoid being a complete mess with all this stuff being crammed into it?  Remember Spider-Man 3?  It was overloaded with characters, and the final product suffered for it.  With the crazy production The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is having, I cannot help but feel we are heading towards a train wreck of a movie.  That said, with the news of Shailene Woodley being cut from the movie mid-way through production, I suppose director Marc Webb and his crew are realizing their movie might be a bit over-stuffed and are looking for ways to streamline it a bit.

I guess we will find out next year if all of this ultimately works.

~N

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8 responses to “The Utterly Insane Production of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

  1. CultureCast-Z June 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Nick-

    First of all, great write-up! Loved it and your thoughts are logical and well-put. Secondly, IGN is now reporting that Shailene Woodley may be cut from the series entirely, with a possible new MJ being cast. This is from an interview Marc Webb did with The Holywood Reporter. What is going on!??

    • Nick! June 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      The internet is now exploding with that, even though nowhere did Marc Webb or any rep from Sony claim the role was getting recast. There was even an article title on Bleeding Cool that read “Mary Jane Watson to be Recast For Amazing Spider-Man 3”, but nothing in the actual article even suggested that.

      While it is possible the role will get recast, this is more of the media grasping at straws for sensationalism. With all the attention this has gotten today, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony comes out within a day or so to clarify the matter.

      That said, Shailene Woodley has taken this news in good stride so far publicly.

  2. goblinfanatic July 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    I just hope Green Goblin gets to be the main villain in one of these movies again. As Spidey’s greatest enemy, the one that has hurt him the most, he at least deserves that.

    No other villain killed Spidey’s love interest, and if ANYONE but GG kills Gwen, I shall declare the entire franchise a failure.

  3. JD July 12, 2013 at 9:00 am

    I really hope this movie fails. I hated the “amazing” spider-man. It was so dull, felt forced and had an incredibly 1 dimensional cg lizard villain with a nonsensical scheme that felt like a rehash of every other super hero movie that has come out in the past decade. I know you guys don’t like Spider-man 3 very much but I love all 3 of the Sam Raimi Spider-man movies. Spider-man 3 is definitely messy and much cheesier and problematic than the first two but I enjoy 3 as an action packed hilarious melodrama with a few good messages about redemption and forgiveness. Obviously Spider-man 1 and 2 are better but even 3 is more entertaining and genuine than “amazing” spider-man was.

    On top of all that Jamie Fox looks hilarious bad as electro from what we’ve seen of his costume so far on top of the stuff you mentioned here already about the production. Andrew Garfield and Emma stone had good chemistry in the first movie but that wasn’t enough to make me like the movie or Garfield as Spider-man. He came off as too much of a skateboarding pretty boy. Also it seemed like they were trying so hard to make the origin story different from the sam raimi spider-man movie but all the changes they made less sense and weren’t as iconic. Also, it kind of bugged me how small the universe felt in “amazing” spider-man. Everyone was interconnected like Gwen working for the lizard who was working for the shadowy guy at the end and her dad is the police chief who is after the lizard and spider-man ect.

    • Nick! July 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      I really do not understand this mindset of hoping that films will fail. Do you really want people to lose their jobs and/or never be able to work in the industry again because you didn’t care for the interpretation they went with for Spider-Man? I’ll admit I didn’t care much for “The Amazing Spider-Man” and I find some of the production questionable in the upcoming sequel, but I am not wishing failure on them for ultimately petty and subjective reasoning.

      And I’m not talking about the actors or director or any of the bigger names who can probably bounce back. I’m more so referring to the mid-level folks we never hear about who do most of the heavy lifting to make the movie happen.

      As for Electro’s look…he looks fine. And pretty cool if the first official picture in Entertainment Weekly is anything to go by. Unless you want him to look like how he does in the comics with the green spandex and the yellow lightening bolt mask. Now that would look dumb.

      • JD July 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm

        Unfortunately even if it’s really bad (which it most likely will be) I’m sure a bunch of people will pay to see regardless of the quality because it’s a spider-man movie. Even if everyone hates it the movie is going to make enough money that the people who made it aren’t going to be blacklisted from hollywood forever. I don’t want the mid level people to get blacklisted I just want them to cancel this crappy spider-man series so in a few more years they could reboot it with people who are actually talented. I don’t think it’s going to happen but that’s what I want.

        The Raimi movies were classics and now I have to sit through a decade of dull cheap product amazing spider-man movies till the next time the spider-man series is rebooted because people will go to see this no matter how bad it is.

        I’d rather see them get ballsy and make a really campy spider-man series, a really arsty and bizarre spider-man or a really gritty spider-man rather than this sterile cg middle of the road interpretation of Spider-man that we are stuck with.

  4. Pingback: Comic Con News and Thoughts | The Culture Cast with Zack and Nick

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