Marc Webb has spoken positively about his experience making The Amazing Spider-Man, defending the two movies. When Spider-Man: Homecoming arrives in theaters this summer, it won’t be the first time the beloved web-slinger has graced the big screen. Fans will recall that Sam Raimi helmed a Toby Maguire-fronted trilogy in the early 2000s and Marc Webb rebooted to the character for 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man — that time with Andrew Garfield in the lead — before Tom Holland revived the role for last year’s Captain America: Civil War.
Widely regarded as the weakest is Amazing. Its reception was mixed, with many praising its principle cast and splashy blockbuster effects while criticizing its trite and underdeveloped story line. It made solid money at the box office with a $754 million worldwide total, but was still considered a disappointment for the studio and its 2014 sequel fared worse (its failure is often cited as the reason for Spider-Man coming over the MCU). But now, several years removed from the project, Webb still stands by his efforts.
In an interview with Collider for his new movie Gifted, the director reflected on The Amazing Spider-Man, saying that they were ambitious and complicated films, and he’s proud of the work they did despite the negative response. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“It’s hard for me to think about it, in terms of regrets. There are so many things that I’m proud of. There was an ambition with the second movie, in particular. The idea that it’s a superhero that can’t save everybody is something that I’m really proud of. I’m really proud of the ambition of that because it’s an important message, and I believe in that. I believe in what we were after. They’re really, really difficult movies to make. They’re complex in ways that people don’t fully understand. They weren’t disasters.”
Webb went on to say that he doesn’t have any regrets and was grateful for the team that made it happen:
“In terms of regrets, I don’t think of it in those terms. I felt really, really fortunate to have that opportunity. That’s a whole other long, in-depth conversation that I probably shouldn’t have publicly. I loved everybody involved. I really did. I didn’t have an adversarial relationship with the studio, at all. There were a lot of very smart people. These are just incredibly complicated movies to make. I am proud of them, in many ways, and I stand by them. I’m certainly not a victim, in that situation.”
It’s certainly true that tackling such an iconic character comes with a lot of pressure, especially when it’s one that’s already been given the cinematic treatment several times. Viewers want something that stays faithful to the original comics while also adding a fresh, inventive spin, and that can be a hard balance to strike.
To Webb’s credit, many of the major criticisms of his films – such as the obsessive setting up of a Spider-Man shared universe – were more the fault of studio Sony than they are his direction. Had he been given the freedom Raimi had on his early films he could have delivered an interesting take on the material. There is a right way to do Spidey, but unfortunately, he simply missed the mark. Hopefully, Spider-Man Homecoming won’t suffer the same fate.