Sony Emails: Kevin Feige’s Notes On Amazing Spider-Man 2’s Josh Wilding did some digging around in the leaked Sony emails recently posted online at WikiLeaks. The dumped emails are searchable on that site and the email in question can be found at this link.

Before we get into the meat of Feige’s notes, here’s a comment from Wilding that I agree very much with:

What’s abundantly clear here is that Feige just gets Spider-Man. Like every other Marvel character he’s brought to the big screen, the man just understands what makes them tick and the right way to bring them to life.

While I do agree with Wilding that “Feige gets it,” I do not agree with all of Feige’s suggestions and observations. On with Feige’s notes! Remember that the email is dated November 2013, well before Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit theaters. It also gives us insight into things that were planned but cut out.

More – lots more! – below the fold!

On the parents, the plane crash at the start, etc.:

– Could cut out plane crash and Richard destroying spiders and start on armored car – don’t start with Spider-Man….let the danger/stakes to NYC build first and then have Spider-Man enter the scene heroically.
– If you cut Richard from the opening and the plane crash maybe you could instead do Harry coming home and seeing Norman at the top of the movie as a cold open.

On Electro:

– Really love Electro – feels like you may not need the scene in his apartment, which makes him seems completely crazy and hard to relate too.
– Like the idea that eel goes in his mouth and instead of burrowing, you see it glow within him…
– Seems like the movie switches pov’s a lot…why are we in Max’s pov during the car chase, worth looking at this playing out from Spidey’s pov.
– Can Electro hum Itsy-Bitsy Spider before he plays it electronically…maybe we can use this again.
– Are you using VFX to show how Electro is travelling from one point to another (bursts of electricity).

Strongly disagree with that first part. Electro was easily the weakest part of the movie, edging out even the tired, never-ending story with the parents. And Electro’s origin scene was laughable, especially with the eels. “I’ll just get up here and handle this high voltage equipment without any sort of protection while standing over this tank of genetically modified electric eels…”

On the Rhino:

– Tone down Paul Giamatti performance, so he seems a bit more menacing and less cartoonish.
– Maybe intercut the ending montage and hearing Gwen’s speech with someone going into special projects and revealing more easter eggs and see that the rhino case has been broke into and the suit is missing…great way to transition to rhino ending.

Sony definitely didn’t listen to Feige on the Rhino. Ugh.

On Peter & Gwen:

– There could be a better way to reveal that Peter is missing graduation – maybe when you cut Gwen you cut to the wide shot?
– Tiny note – don’t think Peter would lie to Gwen about sirens — maybe he just downplays it…
– There is too much back and forth with Peter and Gwen – can we recut the Dim Sum scene so that it doesn’t feel so repetitive of their break-up in the last movie – Can Peter be more honorable and definitive and less wishy-washy?

“Can Peter be more honorable and definitive and less wishy-washy?” Hell, was Feige writing to Sony or Marvel publishing?! Heh!

On Harrygoblin:

– Harry story feels like the main plot of the movie – Peter should look into the past b/c of Harry – maybe find some photos of them together as kids…use obsession wall more to set up this part of his past not just what happened to parents.
– Need to underscore capture of goblin…more sirens as you linger on the clock 1;21, 1:22 am (nice touch).
– Surveillance scene should be about following Harry not Peter…no one should be following Peter.

On Aunt May:

– Don’t like the idea that May tells Peter his parents were spies b/c two seconds later he finds out they are not and it again fights with the idea that he’s an ordinary kid.
– Like the idea that May finds out he’s Spider-Man – finds his costume instead of just the rosemary harris wink-wink all the time.
– Don’t need Aunt May in the kitchen.

Love that bit about Aunt May finding out Peter is Spider-Man!

On Peter/Spidey/Andrew (emphasis mine):

– Andrew’s performance is all over the place…a lot of crying and then a lot of mania. Hard to track him emotionally sometimes. It undermines his reaction to Gwen’s death b/c he gets upset and emotional a lot.
– Spider-man needs to feel more directly responsible for preventing the planes from crashing.
Not sure what Peter learns at Roosevelt is entirely correct. We’re distracted by the idea that Peter became Spider-Man b/c of his father’s blood — all this special back story with his super-scientist dad fights with the idea that Peter is normal kid from Queens who becomes the greatest super-hero in the world…

That last line… folks, that sums it up as to why Feige “gets it” when it comes to Marvel characters. He understands Peter Parker on a very important and fundamental level.

In general:

– Need to set up the Power Plant earlier, visually.
– Stan Lee Cameo – maybe need a little more emphasis on Peter here trying to get out of his costume and not be in seen…set up a little more the pressure of the principal getting closer and closer to calling his name.
– Instead of seeing the ghost of Captain Stacy, can just here the voice in Peter’s head and maybe flash back to the last movie?  Don’t think we should add Cap Stacy back into car chase.
– Why do we need a year to pass…
– Kind of like the morgue, but hate the dancing mortician – cliché.
– Don’t show New Yorkers looting.

Cliché can be used to describe much of ASM2. Electro and Dr. Kafka were both written as if they’d stepped out of a Joel Schumacher Batman movie and decided to cameo in the Spider-sequel. Jamie Foxx’s Electro gave Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze a real competition on who could be move over-the-top and poorly written.

Agree or disagree with Feige? Does this make you any more or less interested/hopeful on how Feige will introduce Peter Parker to the MCU? And thanks to Jay Maddox for giving us a heads-up on this on the Crawlspace Facebook page!

–George Berryman!

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(7) Comments

  1. VanGoghX

    "Andrew’s performance is all over the place…a lot of crying and then a lot of mania. Hard to track him emotionally sometimes. It undermines his reaction to Gwen’s death b/c he gets upset and emotional a lot."Amen. Some kid with ADD is not my idea of Peter Parker. They could have done worse, but they sure as hell could have done a whole lot better.

  2. James Deen

    Although he gets Spider-Man there is no reason for him to be a teenage again, that's where he loses me and pisses of other people who are tired of the same teenage shit.

  3. Spider-boyN2Jesus

    I agree with most of what said, but not all of it. I actually loved ASM 2 as well!

  4. xonathan

    @2 in a recent podcast JR commented that the Director's Commentary on ASM2 said that the intention was that Aunt May knew Peter is Spidey ever since ASM, but chose not to tell Peter because Peter himself had to tell her. She wasn;t going to make it easy on him

  5. Ronny

    Nice find @George Berryman Why didn't they listen? Oh well, everything happens for a reason, I guess. MCU+Spider-man

  6. hairychap

    I'd love a cinematic Aunt May to know her nephew is Spidey. However, I do really like Amazing Spider-man 2. Not to say the criticism is baseless but the film feels like a run of 4 or 5 70's comic issues. It's a vibe I really enjoy.

  7. 666andahalf

    The whole tension of the planes crashing should have been cut. Just to be clear though, did Kevin Feige actually have input or what we're the circumstances that lead to these emails?

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