Minor spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man to follow.
There is no question that a sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man was intended from the very beginning (ASM screenwriter James Vanderbilt was hired to write the screenplay an entire year and a half before the first movie premiered). But it's only after catching the film does one realize how serialized the installment is meant to be. Amazing Spider-Man is not a stand alone movie, purposefully leaving out explanations for its central mysteries, including one major plot point: the disappearance of Peter Parker's parents.
While the attempt to paint a bigger pictures using a singular adventure is ambitious and potentially lucrative, it can be hardship for a filmmaker, whose sights lie mainly on the task at hand. When I sat down with director Marc Webb to discuss The Amazing Spider-Man, the conversation naturally slipped into sequel talk. The movie ultimately demands it from scene one, in which we see the fateful moment where Peter said goodbye to his family forever. For Webb, the unfulfilled throughlines were rooted in character and part of an ambitious plan to expand the Spidey universe:
Marc Webb: One of the things we talked about early on was here's this kid who gets left behind by his parents at a really early age. What kind of impact does that have? That's a real significant event. To me it's about…he goes into the world with a little bit of distrust, and I think that manifests itself, it culminates in that scene with the car thief, where he's f**king around with the car thief, being a bit cruel to him. Again, he has a chip on his shoulder. I thought that was interesting to explore. He's an outsider in a way, partly by choice. There's a barrier between him and the world around him. He doesn't get great value or esteem from social acceptance.
Can you talk about the choice about not paying off what happened to them? That seems risky.
Webb: You know, when we were thinking of the movie, the absence of the parents, in particular his father, it was a large shadow cast over a bigger swath of film. There are unresolved things with the intention of letting that flow into other, deeper stories. I didn't feel like tying everything up…it didn't feel like the right thing to do.
Is this an investment for you that you want to continue telling Peter's story?
Webb: We'll see. These movies typically have a life beyond a single movie. Obviously, there's a narrative obligation to tie things up and a certain pressure to tie up all the loose ends. But I feel like, why not dance with the idea that there's going to be a larger story? There's enough stuff going on, enough obstacles that Peter Parker to face, that we didn't need to wrap up everything. We could leave people more curious about the future.
The producers of The Amazing Spider-Man have also alluded to bringing the same kind of interconnectivity seen in The Avengers to their cinematic comic book world. An Amazing Spider-Man sequel is already locked for a May 3, 2014 release date with new writers (Transformers and Star Trek screenwriters Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman) set to pen the latest draft. Whatever Peter Parker's Dad was really up to, whatever caused them to leave behind their son for a major portion of his life, will be tied to the hero's future adventures and paid off down the line. Was it worth it?
Click the link to read more Spidey secrets from Marc Webb!
[Photo Credit: Sony Pictures]