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Inside 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' -- And Sony's strategy to supersize its franchise

This appeared in the April 4 issue of Entertainment Weekly.

WITH GREAT MARKETING comes great responsibility. In December, Sony released its first trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — the idea, as always, being to spill exactly the right number of secrets and not half a secret more. “I was nervous about it,” says director Marc Webb. “But we wanted to raise the stakes. We want people to appreciate the scope of what’s to come both in this movie and in subsequent films.” So fans saw their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) swinging exuberantly between the gleaming skyscrapers of midtown Manhattan. They saw him verbally sparring with his love, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and facing down evil in the sparkling blue form of Electro (Jamie Foxx). Spi-hards also got the briefest glimpse of two other famous foes, Rhino and the Green Goblin. And, in a tease that elevated the trailer from a pretty good ad for a movie to a document that fans studied with Zapruder-like intensity, they saw Vulture’s signature wings encased in glass at Oscorp, and wait, were those the long, telltale mechanical arms of Doc Ock?

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'Amazing Spider-Man 2' behind the scenes: Can Spidey save the day and get the girl? -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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It’s pretty much a given that the hero saves the day and gets the girl in any big-budget blockbuster. But, no such luck if the man of the hour is Spider-Man.

In this exclusive behind-the-scenes look at The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the cast and crew reflect on Peter Parker’s biggest dilemma — balancing the relationships of those he loves with Spidey’s sworn duty to protect his city. READ FULL STORY

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2': But what's going to happen to Gwen Stacy?

One of the best parts of The Amazing Spider-Man movies has nothing to do with big-budget effects or web swinging. The scenes between Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) bring a kind of giddy magic that effortlessly charms all who watch them. “That relationship is the engine of the movie,” says director Marc Webb. “It’s what holds it together.”

But then what happens if — as has been widely speculated for close to a year — Gwen Stacy doesn’t live on to see The Amazing Spider-Man 3? Last June, Spi-hards’ heads collectively exploded when photos surfaced of Stone wearing a costume similar to the one her character wears in the pivotal comic from 1973 better known as “The Night Gwen Stacy Died.”

No one involved in the film will confirm or deny what will happen, but Stone was bothered by the chatter. “I was really upset,” she says. “I feel hyper protective over the secrecy of what happens to Gwen. I was like, ‘Why did we shoot out on the street?’ I was upset for a day and then I realized there’s nothing else we can do. There’s stuff out there.”

But, the actress cautions, “There are things that I know about that haven’t been seen yet. There are also things that people are speculating on that I know aren’t true.” She laughs. “There will be surprises.”

in_this_issue(1)For more on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands now. And be sure to join our Twitter chat with Andrew Garfield on Friday at 2 p.m. ET. Tweet @EW and tag #AskAndrew to submit your questions now, and then tune in Friday for answers!

'Amazing Spider Man 2' Super Bowl teaser: Times Square needs a hero -- VIDEO

Here’s the pre-Super Bowl Amazing Spider-Man 2 teaser in three stage-setting quotes:

“You wanted to be the hero. Now you got to pay the price.” — Electro

“Nothing is what I thought it was.” — Peter Parker

“This is bigger than you, Peter.” — Gwen Stacy

Throw in some missiles, crashes, and Times Square theatrics and you have the general gist. Watch the teaser below: READ FULL STORY

Sandra Bullock, Emma Stone, Zoe Saldana to present at Golden Globes

Three more boldfaced names have been added to Sunday’s Golden Globes lineup: Sandra Bullock, Emma Stone, and Zoe Saldana, People reports.

Bullock, a current nominee for her work in Gravity, has one Globe under her belt already (for The Blind Side) and four additional nominations total. The other two also have connections to the awards show: Stone was nominated for a Best Actress in a Comedy Globe in 2010 for Easy A, while Saldana was one of three actors who announced this year’s nominees last month.

Bullock, Stone, and Saldana join a star-studded lineup of previously announced presenters including Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Downey Jr., Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Julie Bowen, Laura Dern, Colin Farrell, Mila Kunis, Uma Thurman, Reese Witherspoon, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick — whose daughter, Sosie Bacon, is this year’s Miss Golden Globe — and, of course, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who are more than ready to helm Hollywood’s party of the year.

The Globes air 8 p.m. ET Sunday, Jan. 12, on NBC.

Casting Net: Nicole Kidman, Guy Pearce to star in 'Strangerland'; Plus, Damian Lewis, more

• Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours), Guy Pearce (Prometheus) and Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit) will all star in the Australian thriller Strangerland, about a couple whose two teenage children go missing in the Australian desert. Kim Farrant will direct the film from a script by Fiona Seres and Michael Kinirons. [THR]

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'Amazing Spider-Man': Third and fourth films get release dates

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn’t come out until May 2, 2014, but Sony has already set dates for the third and fourth films. The third is set to be released June 10, 2016, and the fourth on May 4, 2018.

Sony Pictures’ Chairman of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Jeff Blake, said in a press release, “Spider-Man is our most important, most successful, and most beloved franchise, so we’re thrilled that we are in a position to lock in these prime release dates over the next five years.”

The first movie made more than $750 million worldwide.

Read more:
‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′: Gwen Stacy’s outfit looks like a major SPOILER
‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ photos: Jamie Foxx is Electro, Dane DeHaan is Harry Osborn
Jamie Foxx reveals Electro’s voice on ‘Tonight Show’ — VIDEO

Casting Net: Emma Stone in talks to team up with Woody Allen; Plus Jennifer Garner, more

• Has Woody Allen found a new muse? Emma Stone is in talks to appear in his next film that will reportedly shoot in the south of France. The Amazing Spider-Man actress has a number of enviable projects coming up, including a film for Cameron Crowe, Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, of course the Spider-Man sequel. With her quick delivery and deft comedic timing, Stone seems a natural fit for an Allen film. Thankfully, Allen has been taking himself out of the leading romantic man equation in his more recent projects. Now we’d just like to know who her co-stars might be, the plot, the title of the film, and how we can score a set visit. [Deadline]

• Armie Hammer can’t get enough of classic television remakes. The Lone Ranger star is set to join Tom Cruise in the Guy Ritchie-directed update to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Social Network actor will play the role originated by fellow blondie David McCallum. In addition to his role in The Lone Ranger (in theaters July 3), Hammer is also about to start work on the thriller By Virtue Fall with Kerry Washington and Connie Britton. [Deadline]

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Casting Net: Emma Stone, Michael Keaton, and Zach Galifianakis to star in comedy; Plus Christina Hendricks, Vin Diesel

21 Grams director Alejandro González Iñárritu is trying his hand at comedy, and he’s enlisted the help of a stellar cast, including Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Keaton, and Naomi Watts (don’t forget I Heart Huckabees!) to star in his upcoming feature Birdman. The film will follow a once-great actor best known for portraying a superhero (a little close to home for Keaton), who is trying to relaunch his career with a Broadway play. It will apparently take place over three days in one location. Stone will play Keaton’s troubled daughter, Galifianakis will be the play’s producer, and Watts will portray an actress. [THR]

Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks is set to star as Charlotte Douglas in the film adaptation of Joan Didion’s A Book of Common Prayer, directed by Campbell Scott (Off the Map). We’re excited to see Hendricks taking on a complex, serious leading film role, and hope the adaptation does justice to Didion’s book. In addition to Mad Men, returning April 7 on AMC, Hendricks can also be seen in Sally Potter’s Ginger & Rosa (in limited release March 15). [Variety]

Vin Diesel is in talks to star in The Last Witch Hunter – a 2010 Black List script about a witch hunter who partners with a witch to help save New York from evil. Breck Eisner (The Crazies, and also, Michael Eisner’s son) will direct. It sounds silly, but it was a Black List script, and Hansel and Gretel aren’t mentioned, so maybe there’s potential. Diesel’s next movie is Fast & Furious 6, out May 24. [Deadline]

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Casting Net: Harrison Ford reported to join ‘Anchorman’ sequel
Casting Net: Emma Watson in talks for ‘Cinderella’
Casting Net: Johnny Depp, Bradley Cooper, Tom Hardy

Casting Net: Charlie Hunnam aiming to join Emma Stone in 'Crimson Peak.' Plus: Michael Gambon and Alfred Molina to play a couple

Charlie Hunnam is in talks to topline Crimson Peak, director Guillermo del Toro‘s follow-up to his upcoming film with the Sons of Anarchy star, this summer’s Pacific RimEmma Stone is also in talks to star in what’s being described as a haunted house film, though plot details are being kept hush hush. Del Toro and Lucinda Coxon (Wild Target) are re-writing the script Del Toro wrote with Matthew Robbins (MimicDon’t Be Afraid of the Dark). [Variety / Variety]

• Michael Gambon and Alfred Molina will star in Love is Strange, about a longstanding couple who suddenly have to live apart after they get married in New York City. Ira Sachs (Keeps the Lights On) will direct from a script he penned with Mauricio Zacharias (Keep the Lights On). [Deadline]

• Jeremy PivenRay Liotta, and Juno Temple have joined the expanding cast of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which includes returning actors Mickey RourkeJessica Alba, Rosario DawsonJamie King, and Michael Madsen, and newbies Joseph Gordon-LevittJosh Brolin, Dennis Haysbert, and Jamie Chung. As was the case with 2005′s Sin CityRobert Rodriguez and Frank Miller are sharing directing and screenplay duties. [Deadline]

Read more:
Casting Net: James Franco to direct and star in biopic ‘Beautiful People.’ Plus: Liam Neeson lands action pic, Paul Dano to play Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson
Casting Net: Al Pacino and Brian De Palma to tell Penn State coach Joe Paterno’s story. Plus: Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino, Dylan McDermott
Casting Net: Bradley Cooper attached to WWI thriller ‘Dark Invasion.’ Plus: Anne Hathaway, Jerry Lewis, Billy Campbell

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