Earlier this year we broke down The Best & The Worst Of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” and needless to say, there was a lot more of the latter than the former. And as with any big budget tentpole, particularly one racing to get into theaters two years after the first entry, a lot of decisions had to be made about which new characters to introduce, and which others were worth saving for down the road. One of the decisions that grabbed the most headlines was dropping Shailene Woodley‘s brief appearance as Mary Jane Watson altogether. But as it turns out, there were lots more little things that got shaved away as the movie was written and shot.
Badass Digest breaks down some of the big and small changes made in the script along the way. Among the most interesting nuggets is that J. Jonah Jameson was in early drafts (and it should be remembered that as far back as “The Amazing Spider-Man,” the character was being considered, with John Slattery and Sam Elliot among contenders for the part). There also would’ve been a bigger space of time between graduation and Gwen Stacy’s decision to go to Oxford. And perhaps most of all, the line—”With great power, comes great responsibility”—would’ve been uttered by Spidey’s Dad, Richard Parker.
There’s lots more little morsels over at Badass Digest (Electro’s Mom, whoa!), but would any of it had made the movie better if they were included? If anything Marc Webb and co. only helped the film by cutting away characters from a movie that is already stuffed with far, far too much stuff, with a needless array of villains who don’t get enough time to get fleshed out in any meaningful way. Arguably, tossing in Mary Jane would’ve only diminished the crushing emotional weight of Gwen’s death on Peter (no worries, he’s got another beautiful girl waiting for him!). And frankly, I would’ve gladly cut the ultimately useless Rhino for Jonah Jameson.
But mostly, it seems Sony didn’t learn the lessons of Sam Raimi‘s “Spider-Man 3” (by far the weakest of that series) which was so stuffed with plot and characters, at one time there was talk of splitting it into two movies. In their rush to “The Avengers“-size the franchise (with “Sinister Six” in the pipeline) they are forgetting that Peter Parker is a rich character on his own, with no need to cram as many elements as possible from the comics into the movies. With “The Amazing Spider-Man 3” rumored to be delayed until 2017, they now have time to strip things down a bit and the series in a new and better direction.
But what do you think? Would any of these things have made a difference?