Andrew Garfield has been looking back at his time as Spider-Man, and his heartbreak over The Amazing Spider-Man films.
Spider-Man is an enduringly popular character that audiences don’t seem to mind turning up for, whichever incarnation he might appear in. The current incumbent of the suit, Tom Holland, is about to make his trilogy bow as the webslinger but his predecessor, Andrew Garfield, never got that far, with only two movies to his name. Neither of which, it’s fair to say, are critically beloved, although they do have their fans.
Whatever you may think of the films, Garfield himself made an excellent Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and it’s clear that the project was more than just a paycheque to him. Reflecting on the experience, he doesn’t seem particularly enamoured with the culture that the studio, Sony, developed around the two films.
“I went from being a naive boy to growing up. How could I ever imagine that it was going to be a pure experience?”, he’s said in a new interview.
“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.”
Whilst what Garfield is saying won’t come as a revelation to anybody, it does explain lots of his film choices since. To retain the enormously valuable rights to the Spider-Man character, Sony has to put films into production every few years, which means as a studio, it’s always thinking about profitability to ensure the character remains under its stewardship. Since his turn as Spidey, Garfield has largely stayed away from blockbuster filmmaking, showing that it’s an experience that he’d rather not repeat.
Tom Holland will next be seen as Spidey in the incoming Spider-Man: No Way Home, with the trailer indicating that a few villains from the earlier Spider-Man films might appear too. Although to know for sure, we’ll just have to wait and see.
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