There are a lot of superheroes. But there are only two that have proven their overwhelming popularity at the box office time and again. One is Batman, and the other is Spider-Man. Playing either character guarantees an actor a hallowed place in pop culture. But the experience does not always turn out positive. Andrew Garfield, who played the webbed wall-crawler in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and its sequel, admitted in an interview with The Guardian that he found the process of making the movies “heartbreaking.”
“I went from being a naive boy to growing up. How could I ever imagine that it was going to be a pure experience? There are millions of dollars at stake and that’s what guides the ship. It was a big awakening and it hurt. Comic-Con in San Diego is full of grown men and women still in touch with that pure thing the character meant to them. [But] you add in market forces and test groups and suddenly the focus is less on the soul of it and more on ensuring we make as much money as possible. And I found that – find that – heartbreaking in all matters of the culture.”
When it was first announced that Sony would be rebooting their live-action Spider-Man franchise with a new cast and director, many fans felt it was too soon. Sam Raimi’s iconic Spider-Man trilogy was still fresh in people’s minds, and it was inevitable that The Amazing Spider-Man films would be unfavorably compared to Raimi’s work.
To avoid comparisons, director Marc Webb tried hard to distinguish The Amazing Spider-Man movies from their predecessors. Andrew Garfield was an up-and-coming actor at the time, who was chosen to portray a darker, edgier take on Peter Parker aka Spider-Man.
The actor has often stated in interviews that he was fan of Spider-Man since childhood, and relished the opportunity to put a fresh spin on such an iconic character. Unfortunately, The Amazing Spider-Man was met with mixed reviews upon release, although the chemistry between Garfield and the movie’s female lead, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, was praised.
The sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man released in 2014 doubled down on the mistakes of the first film, with an overstuffed plotline that was too focused on setting up a franchise to let the main story breathe. Due to the negative reception, plans for future films with Garfield’s Spider-Man were scrapped, and the character found a new life within the MCU with Tom Holland.
Over the years, public opinion has grown kinder towards Garfield’s take on Spider-Man, so much so that fans are anxiously waiting for the actor to make an appearance in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home alongside Holland and Tobey Maguire. For his part, Garfield has been playing coy about any potential role in the soon-to-be-released film.
Only time will tell if the actor was allowed to step back into the red-and-blue spandex one more time in a Spider-Man film that finally does well with fans and critics. Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man: No Way Home releases in theaters on December 17. This news originated at The Guardian.