Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone went to great efforts to capture the heartbreak of Gwen Stacy’s sad death while filming The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s finale. Despite mixed critical reviews for Garfield’s time in the iconic suit in The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel, there is still a lot of love for the projects among Marvel fans. Much of this affection can be attributed to Garfield, who is still as popular as Tom Holland and Tobey Maguire in the role.
Garfield’s fantastic chemistry with Emma Stone, who played Peter Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy, capped off the warm reception Garfield received after his first appearance as Spidey. Fans loved the two colleagues who were romantically involved during the filming of The Amazing Spider-Man for their natural, heartfelt relation on-screen. Gwen’s death (on the arms of Peter’s corrupted best friend Harry Osborn, no less) was utterly devastating for most viewers due to how wonderfully they managed to bring two iconic Marvel characters to life on the big screen.
In Sean O’Connell’s latest book, With Great Power: How Spider-Man Conquered Hollywood During the Golden Age of Comic Book Blockbusters, VFX supervisor Jerome ChenIn outlines the methods applied by both Garfield and Stone to correctly represent the heartbreaking scenario (via CBR). To fully express Garfield’s Peter’s pain over the tragic loss, he and Stone agreed not to see each other for one week before filming the sequence. Check out the following section from the book:
“I remember when they were filming that scene, Andrew and [Gwen Stacy actor] Emma [Stone] deliberately didn’t see each other for a week. Andrew said, ‘I don’t want to see you! When you come into that scene, you have to pretend like you are dead to me.’ It was very quiet. The sets were almost always very quiet. [Director] Marc [Webb] likes to work very focused. So it was very quiet, a totally closed set. And I just remember Andrew coming in and just crying uncontrollably. It was hours of that. That was grueling but powerful.”
How Gwen’s Tragedy Would Have Affected Amazing Spider-Man 3
Despite Garfield’s outstanding performance as the titular Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was never followed by a sequel to complete a potential trilogy. The more real impact of Gwen’s death on Garfield’s Spidey were left somewhat ambiguous, with the film’s final scene emphasizing his return to crime fighting without fully revealing the mental trauma that may remain from his loss. It’s possible that a far more broken Spider-Man could have appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 3 based on not only the scene of Gwen’s fatal fall, but also the explanations of Garfield’s intense emotion during its creation.
Returning to the role for the MCU’s smash hit Spider-Man: No Way Home last year, Garfield’s Spidey worked alongside both Holland’s and Maguire’s versions of the web-swinging hero, hinting at where his character might have gone in The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Garfield’s Peter conceded to falling into bitterness and violent behaviour against his foes following Gwen’s death, almost to his younger self as a vengeful Holland stared to hunt down Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin for the death of Aunt May. Although it was darkly intriguing to see a version of Spider-Man who didn’t throw any punches, it may have felt slightly conflicting to what makes the hero so special to fans. Spidey has always been and continues to be a symbol of choosing the righteous path, despite the setbacks in his life; Garfield saving MJ in redemption for Gwen’s loss was a much more fitting conclusion to his character’s story than a descent into despair. However, given how popular Garfield’s Spider-Man is, and his ability to deliver powerful moments like in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, fans might still see a continuation of his arc.
Source: With Great Power: How Spider-Man Conquered Hollywood During the Golden Age of Comic Book Blockbusters (via CBR)