This past weekend, Sony Pictures finally opened The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in North America and remaining foreign territories and there's one particular moment in the last act of the movie that's gotten everyone talking.
If you haven't seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2 yet and still would like to see it without having a major third act event spoiled then STOP READING NOW!
Seriously, you've been SPOILER WARNED!
Anyone who is even remotely familiar with Spider-Man from the comics knows that one of the pivotal events that changed Peter Parker's life following the death of his parents and the death of his Uncle Ben was the death of his girlfriend Gwen Stacy at the hands of the Green Goblin in 1975's The Amazing Spider-Man #121. It was a controversial move on the part of Marvel and writer Gerry Conway that had fans upset and furious and clamoring for heads to roll… and yet, it was a first for comics where a major character who had been around for over a decade was unilaterally killed by Spider-Man's greatest foe, but in a way that put much of the onus of her death on Spider-Man himself.
When Emma Stone was cast as Gwen Stacy in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man, the big question on many minds was when and whether her Gwen Stacy would suffer a similar fate, especially since the chemistry between Stone and Garfield's Peter Parker in the first movie was so undeniably strong.
Rumors began circulating the filmmakers might be building up to Gwen's death as they were shooting the movie's sequel and on-set pictures of Stone in an eerily familiar outfit started to surface, but few thought director Marc Webb and the producers would actually go through with it and kill off one of the rebooted franchise's most beloved stars.
At the New York junket a few weeks back, SuperHeroHype and ComingSoon.net had a chance to talk to Stone and Webb about making the decision of when and how to kill Gwen. First, we have the always lovely and delightful Emma Stone talking about how she knew about Gwen Stacy's death and when it might happen before she even signed on for the role:
Later on, SuperHeroHype asked Webb about the decision to kill Gwen Stacy at the end of the movie, essentially removing a large part of the equation that made his two Spider-Man movies so popular.
We had previously spoken with Webb last summer when he was attending Comic-Con in San Diego, a point where they hadn't even revealed that the Green Goblin might be appearing in the movie.
At the time, Webb brushed off our suggestion that Gwen Stacy would probably have to be killed off in one of the upcoming movies with: "Do we have to? Why are you so violent? You have such blood lust! Yeah, it's an extraordinary thing the dynamic between Peter and Gwen and you know, we'll have to see what happens."
Now that we've seen the movie and know Gwen's fate, we addressed the misdirection that took place at Comic-Con to focus more on Jamie Foxx's Electro with Webb and he told us, "That whole thing was a charade because everybody was trying to get us to admit it, which is annoying. There are some people trying to trick you into revealing something, then there's all these other people who are like, ‘You revealed too much!' You can't win."
The decision is certain to shock anyone going into The Amazing Spider-Man 2 not knowing the history of the character from the comics, and the reaction to Gwen's death in the movie has run the gamut, starting as many debates as it did when she died in the comics in 1975.
"It's a controversial thing in the comic, certainly," Webb agreed. "People flipped the f*ck out, but it also ushered in a new era of comics. It changed Spider-Man but it changed all of comics because people took it seriously. It's like ‘Game of Thrones.' When somebody pulls out a blade, you're like, ‘I don't know what the f*ck's going to happen.' And that's important, that kind of drama. It's important that actions have consequences. I think that it's easy to lose track of the idea that these people are dealing with really dangerous elements of the universe."
The decision to kill Gwen also changed the very nature of the story they planned on telling in the sequel, because it meant they would have to introduce some version of the Green Goblin to stay faithful to the comics.
"We were very careful to adhere to that," Webb told us. "I think in this movie, we reverse engineered everything from that event. We knew that the Goblin had to do it, but who the Goblin was, I think we had some leeway because there was a precedent in the comics that Harry actually did turn into the Goblin, but we wanted to kind of withhold that. We knew if we just made him the only villain, the cat would've been out of the bag."
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is now playing worldwide in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D theaters.
Feel free to discuss your thoughts on Gwen's death in the movie in the comments section below.