Dec 4, 2012

Interesting Talent Throw Themselves Onto the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Bonfire

The Amazing Spider-Man was one of the more frustrating movie experiences of this past summer.  Sony managed to not only snag an interesting director in Marc Webb, but to also fill the cast with incredible talent.  Unfortunately the story was a complete disaster.  While much of the blame surely falls on the various attached screenwriters, the obvious hatchet job that took place in the editing room makes it hard to determine exactly who was at fault for the film's astounding incoherence.  (The pinnacle of the film's idiocy was a post-credits stinger comprised of unimportant dialogue between Kurt Connors and an unnamed character that even die-hard Spider-Man fans couldn't decipher.)

But if we've learned anything from Michael Bay's Transformers, poor storytelling is no reason to deter a marketable franchise so of course we're getting a sequel in 2014.  Webb will return to the director's chair, while stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are joined by some interesting new faces:

Shailene Woodley, who made her mark alongside George Clooney in The Descendants, will be taking on the mantle of Mary Jane Watson, (SPOILER: all but assuring that Gwen Stacey won't make it out of this film alive.) and Dane DeHaan, who was so good in last year's Chronicle and barely present in this year's Lincoln, will play Harry Osbourne.  While each of these two actors have had interesting break-out roles, they both feel like largely unknown quantities here with the potential to either elevate the material or get completely lost within it.

But lest you think that it's nothing but semi-famous teenagers playing characters we've already seen, none other than Jamie Foxx has signed on to portray Electro, a classic Spidey villain that was left untouched by Raimi's Spider-flicks.  Electro is a guy who, no surprise, controls electricity after being struck by lighting.  (I expect we'll get a slightly altered, "modern" origin for his powers.)  The interesting side story here is that Electro has never been African American in the comics and yet no one seems to mind the racial shift here.  That's a big departure from when Donald Glover said he wanted to play Spider-Man or when Idris Elba was cast as Heimdall in Thor, and the comics-loving denizens of internet message boards everywhere lost their freakin' minds.

I guess that goes to show that we can all move past racism when it comes to our second-tier super-villains.

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