'Amazing Spider-Man 2' panel: Electro, Norman Osborn, and praise for Tobey Maguire

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The Panel: Star Andrew Garfield (who initially appeared, in costume and in-character, as Spidey), co-star Dane DeHaan, director Marc Webb, producer Avid Arad, and producer Matt Tolmach.

Footage Screened: An action scene where Spider-Man gets involved in a car chase between a fleet of police cars and Paul Giamatti, who’s playing comic book baddie the Rhino (and appears to be dispatched very quickly.) During the scene, Spidey rescues a dweeby Oscorp employee named Max Dillon, played by Jamie Foxx with a bad combover. A brief scene between Dane DeHaan and Chris Cooper, playing Harry and Norman Osborn; Norman appears very ill. Peter Parker in a graveyard, looking sad. A brief shot of Gwen Stacy, looking at a very familiar bridge. Finally, Electro, flying and firing electric bolts and blacking out Times Square.

Snap Judgment: It was interesting to see how the film is establishing Electro’s story as a parallel to Spider-Man’s: Another dweeby guy transformed by science into a superbeing. Still, although the footage was received by an exultant Hall H crowd, it felt a bit repetitive: Yet another villain transformed by OsCorp science into a city-attacking bad guy. (Oscorp is to Spider-Man as the ACME Corporation is to the Roadrunner.) This is the fifth Spider-Man movie in 12 years. (Garfield’s narration in the footage — “You know what it is I love about being Spider-Man? Everything.” — sounded almost identical to Tobey Maguire’s narration at the start of Spider-Man 3.)

The Big Revelations: Although the film adds in a whole lot of characters from Spidey mythology, Webb insisted that the movie wouldn’t be overstuffed, and that Electro was the main bad guy — possibly in an attempt to scotch internet rumors that Cooper (or DeHaan) would put on a Goblin suit in the film.

Most Incisive Audience Question: One attendee actually provoked boos during a long question that, in the end, was essentially a roundabout form of praise. ” Peter Parker is a nerd. Tobey Maguire really nailed that,” he said, leading to loud boos — although it was unclear if the people were booing Maguire, the concept of comparing the franchises, or just the bad taste of bringing up the last guy to wear the Spidey-Suit. “But you, Andrew Garfield,” he continued, “You just emit this swagger. All the girls can attest to that, they love you. How do you tone that down?”

A genial Garfield praised Maguire as a “sex machine,” and said, “No matter who fills those shoes, it’s always going to be Tobey’s role.” He also insisted that he wasn’t handsome. So everything he says is a lie.

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