Earlier today, select press (including MTV News) were invited to a special screening of footage from “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” hosted by director Marc Webb. Sony showed off the first 15 minutes of the movie, and then a few selected scenes before opening up a brief QA with Marc Webb.
And like in the first movie, the reboot series proved its worth through the spectacular 3-D, showing Spider-Man swinging his way through the streets of New York City, fighting villains and saving citizens.
…But that’s not why you’re reading this, right? You want spoilers, so here are all the secrets we learned from the footage:
Before the screening started covers and images from Spider-Man comics flashed on screen, including pictures of the villainous Green Goblin. Right before introducing the screening, though, two particular images flashed on screen: the cover to “Amazing Spider-Man #121″; and a scene from the issue set on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Avid comics fans will already know what this refers to, but for those who don’t: in the issue, Spider-Man battles the Green Goblin, who has kidnapped Spidey’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy and taken her to the Brooklyn Bridge. The Goblin drops her off the Bridge; and though Spider-Man tries to save her, her neck is snapped and she dies.
Given we’ve seen photos of Gwen Stacy actress Emma Stone wearing the exact same costume as in the comic, and the character gives a speech in the footage we saw about how time is precious, and everyone dies… Well, either those covers were a deliberate misdirection, or Stone’s time in the franchise is numbered.
The first scene in the movie extends and wraps around the scene from the first movie, where Mary and Richard Parker (Peter’s parents) leave Peter in the care of his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Here, we get to see Richard trying to delete his research from Oscorp, recording a message for Peter and then escaping with Mary on a private jet.
Only things don’t go so well: the co-pilot kills the pilot; shoots Mary in the gut; and tries to shut down a mysterious upload Richard is making on his Ethernet enabled airplane, before getting sucked out the door and leaving the plane to crash down. The upload seems incredibly important, and is being sent to something or someone called “Roosevelt.” Whether that’s a location (Roosevelt Island), or one of several former Presidents of the United States, we’ll just have to stay tuned.
In Russia, Paul Giamatti’s You
Then we cut to the previously glimpsed Spidey vs. Aleksei Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti), the man who will later become villain The Rhino. Aleksei is driving a truck carting dangerous Oscorp owned plutonium, escaping from the cops, but not Spider-Man.
In this scene, Giamatti is mostly played for comic relief, having his pants pulled down and getting conked on the head with a falling gun; as well as speaking in an insane, guttural Russian accent. We imagine later he gets Rhino fueled revenge, but of note is that he was stealing from Oscorp… Meaning he’s probably not in cahoots with the Big Bad, Norman Osborn.
Peter’s ringtone for Gwen? A musical version of the classic “Spider-Man” theme song.
Requisite Stan Lee Cameo
Stan The Man shows up at Gwen and Peter’s graduation, spotting Peter when he’s wearing his graduation robe… And a Spider-Man mask. “Hey, I know that guy!” Lee shouts. The scene ends with Peter making it just on time, and dipping Gwen on stage into a very romantic kiss.
(500) Days Of Spider
Except all is not well in the world of Gwen and Peter. The duo has not been together since the first movie, and meet for the first time since on the High Line post graduation. This, to our minds, captures the Andrew Garfield/Gwen Stacy magic of the first movie, as the pair make a deal on all the things they can’t do (Gwen can’t laugh in a cute way, Peter can’t say she looks adorable), so they won’t be attracted to each other. It’s a sweet, cute and funny scene that we could have watched for a whole movie.
Unfortunately Gwen and Peter’s idyllic date is interrupted by Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), also known as Electro, as the confused villain attacks Times Square. Two items of note about the blue-skinned baddie: he can see electricity, feeding on it to gain power; and Pharrell tells him to kill people.
Well, not exactly, but Pharrell composed the music that follows Electro around, music that literally speaks the subtext of what’s going on in Electro’s mind on the soundtrack. It’s a bizarre choice that underlines the off-kilter frame of mind Dillon finds himself in post powers.
Worst NY1 Coverage Ever
All Electro wants is attention, so when local news network NY1 catches wind of Electro’s Times Square attack they broadcast a close-up of his face to every screen in the area. This makes Electro happy, until Spider-Man shows up, and then NY1 switches their round-the-clock coverage to a close-up of Spider-Man’s face, angering Electro and causing him to go on a rampage.
Imagine watching that at home, and you can see why we’re calling this the worst news coverage of all time.
Spidey Saves Everyone
If there’s one big takeaway we had from the footage, it was that unlike certain superheroes we could mention Spider-Man goes out of his way multiple times to save absolutely every one he can, often to the detriment of stopping the villain. He catches flying cars (“Good thing you’re not one of those cops that rides a horse,” Spidey quips to a police officer after catching his car), stops buses and even pauses to make sure people are okay.
There’s a large chunk of the Times Square fight that’s taken up with a ramped, slow motion sequence where Spider-Man has to stop a flying bus and save two people about to be electrocuted on opposite ends of the TKTS booth. And he does it. This, more than anything else in the footage got to the essential core of why Spider-Man is so great: he saves everyone.
Except, as one person we talked to after the screening pointed out, perhaps the person who means the most to him.
When Harry Met Sallectro
Last scene we saw was one later in the movie, when Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) goes to the Ravencroft Institute to free Electro, who has been captured post-Times Square. There were a ton of details thrown out here: Electro designed the glider that will be later adopted by the Green Goblin; Harry has been locked out of Oscorp; Harry hates Spider-Man; and Harry is suffering from some sort of disease… To the point that if Electro doesn’t help him get back into Oscorp, Harry claims he will die.
They decide to team up, Electro blasts holes in some guards, and Electro has a Dr. Manhattan moment as he blasts apart, only to reappear bit by bit across the room. Luckily, he’s also able to electricity reassemble his underwear so we didn’t get the full Manhattan.
Last general impression of the footage: it’s legitimately funny, a first for a Spider-Man movie. Every movie before has been surprisingly bereft of jokes, but the dialogue has Spider-Man quipping non-stop, and it works. There’s a scene where he introduces himself to Giamatti that has a superb quip, followed by a physical joke straight out of the comics, and it’s lovely.
We don’t know how this will all pan out during the two hour plus movie, but this footage at least seemed to be in good shape.
“Amazing Spider-Man 2″ opens in theaters on May 2.