Sony’s Spider-Man reboot is proving to be more damaging that profitable. From a domestic standpoint, the Spider-Man films, both franchises, have produced consecutive diminishing returns with The Amazing Spider-Man franchise producing lower than $300 million. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 grossed only $202 million domestically versus Sam Raimi’s $403 million. Despite that, the studio is staying strong to their convictions, and is staying the course with their cinematic universe for the franchise character by releasing a Sinister Six movie in 2016, The Amazing Spider-Man 3 in 2018, and a female character spinoff in the near future.
Whether or not these films will help reestablish Spider-Man as a lucrative film franchise remains to be seen, but the first two films since the reboot does not bode well for the franchise’s future, and now Andrew Garfield has a response to why The Amazing Spider-Man 2 performed so poorly at the box office. Hit the jump to see what he said.
Garfield is quite upfront about Spider-Man. In an interview with The Daily Beast, he talks about how he loved the script, the studio’s notes, how he got to film scenes that never made it into the film, and much more.
“Itâ€™s interesting. I read a lot of the reactions from people and I had to stop because I could feel I was getting away from how I actually felt about it. For me, I read the script that Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci] wrote, and I genuinely loved it. There was this thread running through it.”
Kurtzman and Orci did write the first two Transformers films, Cowboys and Aliens, and Star Trek Into Darkness (which was called one of the worst Star Trek films according to its fans). Even though those films had poorly written scripts, it just may be that the two did actually write a decent script. So let’s give the two the benefit of the doubt, and assume that the studio did interfere.
“I think what happened was, through the pre-production, production, and post-production, when you have something that works as a whole, and then you start removing portions of itâ€”because there was even more of it than was in the final cut, and everything was related. Once you start removing things and saying, ‘No, that doesnâ€™t work,’ then the thread is broken, and itâ€™s hard to go with the flow of the story. Certain people at the studio had problems with certain parts of it, and ultimately the studio is the final say in those movies because theyâ€™re the tentpoles, so you have to answer to those people.”
That isn’t surprising considering studios also have a lot to lose with these films. Things do end up on the cutting room floor, as we have seen with the first Amazing Spider-Man film. But his final comments should be of some interest.
“But Iâ€™ll tell you this: Talking about the experience as opposed to how it was perceived, I got to work in deep scenes that you donâ€™t usually see in comic book movies, and I got to explore this orphan boyâ€”a lot of which was taken out, and which weâ€™d explored more. Itâ€™s interesting to do a postmortem. Iâ€™m proud of a lot of it and had a good time, and was a bit taken aback by the response.”
So what about Marc Webb’s intended cut did the studio not like? Garfield mentioned the orphan boy aspect, which wasn’t really an interesting subplot but one that might have made the film’s direction more clear had it spent a little more time on.
He then goes more in depth to why he was taken aback by the criticism of the film,
“Itâ€™s a discernment thing. What are the people actually saying? Whatâ€™s underneath the complaint, and how can we learn from that? We canâ€™t go, ‘Oh God, we fucked up because all these people are saying all these things. Itâ€™s shit.’ We have to ask ourselves, ‘What do we believe to be true?’ Is it that this is the fifth Spider-Man movie in however many years, and thereâ€™s a bit of fatigue? Is it that there was too much in there? Is it that it didnâ€™t link? If it linked seamlessly, would that be too much? Were there tonal issues? What is it? I think all that is valuable. Constructive criticism is different from people just being dicks, and I love constructive criticism. Hopefully, we can get underneath what the criticism was about, and if we missed anything.”
I’m wondering how much different would the film have been if it did not have any studio interference.