THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2™
We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important conflict has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2™, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin.
It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp.
Columbia Pictures presents a Marvel Entertainment / Avi Arad / Matt Tolmach production, The Amazing Spider-Man 2™. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Colm Feore, with Paul Giamatti and Sally Field. Directed by Marc Webb. Produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. Screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner. Screen Story by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner and James Vanderbilt. Based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The Executive Producers are E. Bennett Walsh, Stan Lee, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. The Director of Photography is Dan Mindel, ASC BSC. The Production Designer is Mark Friedberg. The Editor is Pietro Scalia, A.C.E. The Special Visual Effects are by Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. The Visual Effects Supervisor is Jerome Chen. The Costume Designer is Deborah L. Scott. Music is by Hans Zimmer and The Magnificent Six featuring Pharrell Williams and Johnny Marr.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is not yet rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. For future ratings information, please visit www.filmratings.com. The film will be released in theaters internationally beginning April 16, 2014, and in the U.S. on May 2, 2014.
ABOUT THE FILM
“It’s hard to be Peter Parker, but it’s great to be Spider-Man,” says Andrew Garfield, who returns to the role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2™, after launching a new chapter in the hero’s story in 2012 with The Amazing Spider-Man™, a worldwide hit that went on to take in over $750 million at the worldwide box office. “As Peter Parker, he has all of the same problems that we all have – girl problems, money problems. But when he puts on the suit, it’s a massive release. He can breathe. Spider-Man always knows the right thing to do – he’s a vessel for good, heroic energy and saving people. He takes joy and pleasure in it, and a playfulness comes out of him.”
“We wanted this film to be more playful, more fun,” says director Marc Webb, who returns to the helm. Capturing Peter Parker’s natural wit – especially as Spider-Man – was one of the keys to the film that Webb wanted to make. “You look at the comic books and you see it – his quips, his funniness, his lighthearted qualities. That’s part of what so many people love about Spider-Man – and certainly what I love about him.”
But it’s not all fun and games for Peter. His vow to keep his fellow New Yorkers safe will lead him right into the heart of the most powerful and important company in New York: Oscorp. The company that once employed Peter’s father and played a role in his parents’ disappearance now seems to be behind new enemies that are emerging, all of whom have advanced technology and powers. “The stakes have never been higher for both Spider-Man and Peter than they are in this movie,” says producer Matt Tolmach. “Spider-Man, because he is facing enemies that have joined forces against him – all with some connection to Oscorp – and Peter, because the choices he makes and the promises he tries to keep have real consequences.”
“In this Spider-Man film, it’s clear that Spider-Man loves being Spider-Man,” says producer Avi Arad. “As in all Spider-Man movies, being a hero clashes with Peter Parker’s everyday life and wishes. A major villain emerges and it is Oscorp. His life, his father’s life, Harry’s life and all the villains emanate from this tower of evil. The stakes are higher as Peter finds himself up against an institution that is all-powerful.”
“Oscorp was built for a single purpose – to preserve Norman Osborn’s life,” says Webb. “He has a terrible disease, and the wealth of the company has been used to create the company’s Special Projects division – crazy solutions to a very simple problem. But Norman Osborn is not an ethical man, and in Special Projects there exist a lot of hidden, dark, nasty things that the rest of us do not want to see unleashed on the world.”
When it comes to Electro and the Green Goblin – two of the enemies that Spider-Man will take on – not only do the villains have different motivations for taking on the wall-crawler, but in some ways, they consider themselves fighting a different enemy. “You’ve got two guys, one who hates Spider-Man, and one who hates Peter Parker,” says one of the screenwriters, Alex Kurtzman. “They want to kill the same person, but for different reasons. That’s why the two of them team up – they are driven by their emotions.”
Jamie Foxx, who plays Electro, says that joining the Spider-Man franchise isn’t quite like taking on any other role. “It’s a great feeling to come to work on a Spider-Man movie,” he says. “I remember the moment I first stepped on to the set and I saw Andrew in the suit. For me, it was like a moment in history. We’re doing something that people really love. It’s a part of our fabric, part of our culture. That was very meaningful to me and it was a responsibility I took seriously – in crafting Electro, I wanted to be a formidable opponent.”
For Webb and his fellow filmmakers, it was important to keep in mind that even as Spider-Man takes on these villains, it is the boy behind the mask that makes Spider-Man who he is. “As Spider-Man, Peter thrives on fighting crime, trouncing bullies and swinging from the high rises of New York – but as Peter Parker his challenges are more familiar,” Webb continues. “Peter is just a kid who loves a girl. And when Gwen gets an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream, Peter has to confront a difficult truth that we all understand: that sometimes the most difficult part of loving someone means letting them go.”
“As always, Peter Parker is trying to balance being a young man, a boyfriend, and a superhero – he’s trying to make it all work. He thinks he can have it all. But life is about having to make choices and compromises,” says Tolmach. “This is fundamental to any Spider-Man story. This is always going to be his dilemma. And in this movie, events are going to conspire to force Peter to make some big choices that are not necessarily in his control.”
Though Peter promised Gwen’s dying father that he would protect Gwen by staying away from her, it’s clear that the two share a romantic bond deeper than any promise. Simply put, she’s his match, in intellect and in emotion. “This is what should be a wonderful moment in Gwen’s life – she’s valedictorian, she’s about to go to Columbia, she has an offer to go to Oxford – but in the midst of that, she’s dealing with the loss of her father and trying to find her way with this boy who clearly has a lot going on,” says Emma Stone, who returns as Gwen Stacy. “I’m so glad that the audience is getting the Gwen story – it’s so rich and exciting to play.”
Part of the reason the Gwen Stacy story was so interesting to the filmmakers was that it marked a turning point in comic book history. The chance to go back to the comic books, to present that story on the big screen in an emotionally honest way, was very appealing. “The Spider-Man movies have paid cinematic reference to this story before, but we wanted to pay homage to it in a different way,” says Webb. “We’re taking some cinematic liberties, but we’re going back to the comic books for our inspiration. Amazing Spider-Man #121 is one of the most profound issues in the canon – profound in the way it affects Peter Parker. Gwen’s fate directly derives from the choices of the hero. It’s the story that allowed comic books to take a more complex turn, and from that, we were able to give the movie a tone that is Shakespearean or operatic.”
* * *
Marc Webb returns to the director’s chair after helming The Amazing Spider-Man and the indie romance (500) Days of Summer. Arad says that Webb has proven that he is a master of all of the aspects of directing that a Spider-Man film demands. “One of the many aspects of Marc’s genius is his love of character and storytelling, but he also has a genuine understanding of how to make an action movie, a big popcorn story,” says Arad. “He also has the skills and the ability to make a very large, action-filled Super Hero movie. He never loses sight of what’s happening for the characters, even in the most crushingly enormous action sequence. And that gives these movies a whole other layer. Recognizing that at the heart of a Spider-Man movie is the character’s story has to be in every frame, even the big action ones. Marc’s keen sense of humor gives us the true Spider-Man story in which we enjoy one of the most famous characteristics of Spidey. Fun and a funny sense of humor.”
“The superhero genre is built on creating extremes – physical extremes, but also emotional extremes,” says Webb. “The thing about Spider-Man that I most identify with is that he’s not stoic – he’s a kid. I think it’s important for heroes to express their emotions, to let that flow in a way that is true, and authentic, and honest. In my films, I like to see people crack open, when life is at its most brutal but also at its most joyful.”
“At the heart of this film is Peter Parker’s relationship with Gwen,” Webb continues. “Spider-Man’s destiny is crucial, but it comes at the expense of Peter Parker’s identity, and that’s a really tricky thing for Peter to deal with. As Peter fights the growing specter of Oscorp, the power of which he doesn’t even fully comprehend, the real difficulty he’s going to have to face is how to handle his love for Gwen. That’s the most relatable and important part of the film.”
For Webb, that is what separates out the Spider-Man films. “Our film has as much or more spectacle and action as any film out there. It is extraordinary in its scope. But none of that dynamic visual conflict, action, means anything if you don’t care about the characters. The conflicts that surround Peter Parker create an incredibly tender, human story about a kid trying to grow up in the world. We expand that into an epic, operatic form, but the heart is alive and well, protected, beautiful, funny, and entertaining in its own right.”
Put another way, Webb says, “Peter’s powers are only part of his heroism – and not even the most important part. It’s his character, his integrity, that makes him who he is.”
For this film, the filmmakers have turned to the screenwriting team of Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner – writers who have been responsible for such franchises and groundbreaking television programs as Star Trek, Transformers, “Alias,” “Fringe,” and many others. (The screen story is by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner and James Vanderbilt.)
Arad says that the screenwriter trio brought a new vitality to the franchise. “This movie is very different from any other Spider-Man movie – different in scope, different in intensity, but most important, different in humanity,” says Arad. “It’s in the way people really behave, in the humor – think of the scene in which Peter and Gwen are making the rules for their relationship. It’s not about what is said; people fall in love with a gesture. This team of writers created a story of hope, a story that will relate to all of us and make us wanting more.”
“When we started developing the story, we talked about where Peter Parker is in his life,” Webb says. “The writers are brilliant at delving deeply into parts of the character we haven’t seen before.”
Still, as Kurtzman, Orci, and Pinkner joined the franchise team, they took care to ensure that their screenplay felt like part of the same world that was established in the first Amazing Spider-Man film. “We loved that movie for its tone,” Kurtzman says. “It feels grounded in the real world, entirely fresh, and yet it didn’t betray at all what Spider-Man is; in fact, it only enhanced it in a new way. So our challenge was to live up to that and build it to new and exciting places. There were so many unanswered questions from the first movie – that was a real drive for us.”
Pinkner adds, “This movie is very much a maturing process for Peter – not only in his relationship with Gwen, but also what it means to go from being a young man to a young adult. One of the things that Peter is going to have to face is that life is short, and always transient; relationships are coming and going, and the best we can do is try to enjoy the journey and make the most of the time we have.”
Kurtzman notes that though the screenwriters took some liberties in telling the story, some basic elements from the canon are immutable, and they paid homage to those. “It was an interesting challenge – how do you stay totally truthful to the spirit and origin of the characters, while also updating it? We’re standing on the shoulders of giants – we have to honor what came before. For us, Marvel’s ‘Ultimate’ series helped us a lot – they laid the path.”
ABOUT THE CHARACTERS
Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Returning to the role of Peter Parker is Andrew Garfield, the BAFTA-winning actor who created a new vision for the role in The Amazing Spider-Man.
Producer Avi Arad says that the role is quite complicated. Spider-Man is capable of so much that Peter Parker couldn’t do, but the heart of the character is always Peter. “Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created an incredibly complex character – the actor basically has to play two roles, Peter Parker and Spider-Man,” says Arad. “But Andrew can do it all – he’s the best actor I’ve seen in years. He has all of the humanity, he can create the conflict and the drama, he can even do all of the stunts that we’ll let him do. He’s such an amazing young man. To top it all off, Andrew has both a mental and a physical sense of humor, which is the true embodiment of Spider-Man.”
Garfield was eager to return to the role for many reasons – not least of which is the fact that he’s a huge fan of the character. “I know how important it is to be a fan. I know what Spider-Man can do for kids – and for people who aren’t kids anymore,” he says. “For anyone who encounters the character, who has an affinity for him, it’s so reassuring when it’s done right. No matter what problems you have in your life, Spider-Man is there as evidence that you can get through it – because Peter Parker has all the problems of a kid, and he’s getting through it, too. He’s reaching out his hand to tell you it’ll be okay.”
Garfield sees Spider-Man as the ultimate protector of the underdog. “He has an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and heroic impulse, but he has this deeply felt sense of justice,” Garfield explains. “That’s not something you can learn – you’re born that way.”
Garfield says that the filmmakers opened up the character much more in this film – harking back to the original characterization in the comic books. “Peter Parker trips over his own two feet, but Spider-Man can trip anybody up. He’s a trickster,” says Garfield. “One of the defining characteristics of the trickster is they turn their enemies’ weaknesses against themselves – rather than throwing punches and kicks, they are making their opponents beat themselves.”
To pull it off, Garfield trained and practiced and studied the masters. “Cal McCrystal was our ‘Clown Deviser’ – our name for a physical comedy consultant. There were certain scenes, certain ideas, that came directly out of conversations that I’d had with Cal. And I love Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton – I admire that skill. We had an opportunity to explore that as Spider-Man has the same kind of physical foolishness.”
Still, even as Spider-Man has to face the prospect of multiple villains uniting against him, Peter is sorting out what he’s going to do about the most important part of his life – Gwen Stacy. Peter hasn’t forgotten the promise he made to Captain Stacy, but that’s a promise he just can’t keep. “Peter and Gwen are giving it a go,” says Garfield. “For better or worse, Peter has an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. It’s hard for him to live with himself by breaking that promise, but impossible for him to live without her. He’s dealing with the guilt of a broken promise, but there’s also a destiny between them that they can’t deny. He’s a torn, confused young man trying to figure out the best thing to do.”
Garfield was excited by the chance to re-team with Emma Stone, who reprises her role as Gwen Stacy. “She keeps you on your toes and makes sure you’ve done your homework so that you can keep up,” says Garfield. “You can throw anything at her and she will move with it. She’s the most talented actress I know.”
Stone returns the compliment: “Before we shot the first movie, I hadn’t seen much of his work. Now I know: he’s capable of so much,” she says. “It’s an honor to work with an actor like that. I learn so much by working with him – he’s incredibly prepared, meticulous, and really brave, all at the same time. He’s able to bring so much depth to the character.”
“Emma Stone is Gwen,” says Arad. “The most amazing actress, who brings the movie charm, love, light, and a spirit of independence. She is the epitome of what we want our women to be: smart, ambitious, and loyal.”
“Gwen is such a powerful woman, a powerful character in her own right,” says Tolmach. “She is not waiting around for Peter Parker to decide whether he can or cannot be with her. Her dreams are every bit as significant as Peter’s.”
The film opens on graduation day, with Gwen taking her rightful place as the class valedictorian. “At the end of the first film, Gwen and Peter broke up – but it obviously didn’t stick,” says Stone. “She has a lot to figure out. She’s set to go to Columbia, she’s got this great opportunity to maybe go to Oxford, and she’s trying to find her way with this boy who has a lot going on in his life.”
Stone says that she was excited to be returning to her role – one of the mythic, most powerful characters in the canon. “Gwen Stacy is such an important character in the Spider-Man world,” she says. “The fate of her character is something everyone loves to talk about and Marc is really embracing the storyline and telling his version over the course of these movies. Before my audition for the first film, I read about her story, and the more I read, the more I wanted to play her.”
Stone says that Gwen has a much different outlook on their relationship than Peter does – an empowered outlook. Gwen is a woman determined to make her own choices and does not feel the need to be protected by any man, even Spider-Man. “Peter had sworn to stay away from Gwen – which she knows – but she’s more open to being with Peter anyway,” Stone explains. “It’s not just because they’re in love. Her father died, but that’s given her a huge awareness of time – that everything is fleeting. Peter is more conflicted about it, and there’s a lot of tension between them throughout this movie.”
At the same time, Webb says, there’s a sense of trouble ahead in their relationship. “Gwen has her own life to lead,” says the director. “She gets an opportunity to go study in England. She’s going to be a doctor, she’s going to save lives. There’s such great possibility to her life. Peter wants to let her go – he’s happy for her – but he can’t, because he loves her and that’s who he is – he’s bound up in her soul, in only the way that teenage love can bind people.”
Max Dillon / Electro
Set against this love story, of course, is Spider-Man’s vow to protect New York. As the hero’s greatest battle begins in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it was important to the filmmakers to put in his way the toughest obstacle the hero has yet faced. At the same time, they wanted a villain deeply rooted in Spider-Man lore: a tragic figure, even sympathetic in some ways, but one who makes the wrong choices that lead him into evil and opposition against Spider-Man.
“Marvel villains are also victims of circumstance. They deal with their issues and pain by doing the wrong things, hence, becoming villains,” says Arad. “Although they have their everyday problems like everybody else, unlike Spider-Man, they cannot tell right from wrong. Electro is a prime example. Max Dillon is an underdog, not a villain – you want to feel badly for him. He’s a man who has been ignored his whole life. But when he becomes Electro, he wants recognition, at all costs. Electro, the villain, is taking out his frustration and anger on humanity, specifically targeting Spider-Man. No good deed goes unpunished.”
“Spider-Man is the most visible person in New York – you pit that against Max Dillon, who is quite literally almost invisible,” Kurtzman explains. “He says, ‘I wish everybody could see me the way they see Spider-Man.’ He fantasizes about Spider-Man – even thinking that they’re best friends, based on one interaction. All he wants is to be recognized for what he does well – which is what we all want.”
Max was once Spider-Man’s greatest fan, but, as Electro, becomes his greatest foe. “No one remembers his name, no one cares if he comes to work, he has no family, no one to care about or to care about him,” Arad continues. “He has one role model, one friend in his mind, and it’s Spider-Man. But when he misinterprets one of Spider-Man’s actions, he feels betrayed. It hardens him. Things fall apart. And he becomes Electro. Max was living in the dark, unnoticed; as Electro, he’ll take away everyone’s power, and they will know what it was like to live that way. That’s a great villain.”
“Max is a very, very smart guy, a guy who should be celebrated for building big things for Oscorp,” explains Jamie Foxx, who takes on the role. “Max should be getting a company car and an expense account – and instead, he gets nothing. He resents it, but he doesn’t know how to react. He’s ready to lash out, but he doesn’t know how.”
Max finds a way to lash out – against the very person who was once his idol. “Spider-Man was the one person who did seem to notice Max, who said his name,” Foxx points out. “As Max, he feels that Spider-Man was his friend. Actually, because of that, he becomes obsessed – pictures on his wall, that kind of thing. He takes it very seriously. But later, after Max gets his powers and comes to Times Square, Spider-Man tries to stop Max from hurting himself and innocent New Yorkers. Max feels betrayed by his hero. He tragically misinterprets what Spider-Man is trying to do. He sees Spider-Man getting all the glory, at his expense – even though it’s not what Spider-Man intended. But it doesn’t matter – to Max, that’s a betrayal.”
Tolmach explains why Jamie Foxx was the actor that was ideal for the role. “The character called for someone who could break your heart – a guy who could be genuinely sympathetic and quiet, a guy you’d bump into on the street and pay no attention to – the guy who has so much inside but is overlooked by everybody,” Tolmach explains. “But the character also called for someone who could embody this powerful force when everything goes terribly wrong – the alter ego of that quiet, sympathetic man – an extrovert, loud and bombastic. Jamie Foxx was perfect for that.”
Continuing, Tolmach recalls Foxx’s performance in the 2001 film Ali as part of the reason he was so sure that Foxx was the man for the job. “He played Bundini Brown, a beautifully soft-spoken, sympathetic, and vulnerable man,” he says. “I always remembered that magical performance. We’ve all seen Jamie filled with bravado and his voice is so powerful, and he’s unbelievably charismatic and funny, but that performance showed the other side. It’s an incredibly rare combination of qualities.”
Still, before taking the role, Foxx was counseled by one of his closest advisors about what would be in store for him as Electro. “When I told my daughter that I was going to be in a Spider-Man movie, she said, ‘Who are you gonna play?’ I said, ‘Electro.’ She said, ‘Oh, Dad, you know you’re gonna get beat up. You know that, right?’”
Harry Osborn / Green Goblin
Joining the cast in the pivotal role of Harry Osborn is Dane DeHaan, who has turned heads through his performances in such films as Chronicle, Lawless, Kill Your Darlings, and The Place Beyond the Pines.
In this vision for the character, Harry is Peter’s long-lost friend. “Their fathers had been partners – but when everything went down between Norman Osborn and Richard Parker, and Richard disappeared, Peter and Harry were split. They haven’t talked to each other in a very long time – until now,” DeHaan explains.
After years at boarding school, Harry is called back to New York – to his father’s deathbed. “He thinks his father is going to say ‘I love you, goodbye,’ but instead, it’s very different. Harry finds out he has the same disease that is killing his father, and his father says, basically, ‘Deal with it,’” DeHaan continues.
“That’s when Peter comes back into Harry’s life,” says DeHaan. “At the heart of it, they remember the loving friendship they had as children.”
Harry has grown to be a very different person than Peter has. “My take going in was that Harry was a trust fund baby – a hipster New York kid,” says DeHaan. “That’s a very specific place, a very specific type of person – right down to the way he looks. Harry latches on to his material possessions, because they are the only things that he’s not afraid of showing – he can use this materialistic quality to hide what’s on the inside. Marc was very responsive to that, and then, hearing my ideas, Marc guided me on a specific path to help create Harry.”
That path takes Harry from privileged trust fund kid to the most menacing villain in New York. In taking the reins at Oscorp, Harry – like his father before him – marshals the vast resources of the company in an effort to save his own life. Through his discovery of Oscorp’s secret lair of Special Projects, he comes to believe that Spider-Man’s blood is the answer to all his prayers – and that belief becomes an obsession that eventually leads Harry on a transformation to becoming the Green Goblin.
“Harry Osborn represents a unique Peter Parker/Spider-Man classic conflict,” says Arad. “Harry was his best friend, and again, due to circumstances, Harry becomes an enemy who sets out to destroy Spider-Man. What makes it most difficult is Spider-Man is feeling the need to help his friend and stop him from becoming this self-destructive villain.”
“There have been many iterations of the Goblin within the Spider-Man canon,” says DeHaan. “We did the research about how these characters have become the Goblin, what the Goblin was. We had a responsibility to honor the material and to make it our own. Even though we took some liberties, it was of utmost importance to honor the classic elements of the Green Goblin that everyone knows and loves.”
Marc Webb says that in many ways, Peter and Harry face the same choices – only to have very different responses to those choices. “Harry is a foil for Peter,” says Webb. “He’s intelligent like Peter is. Peter and Harry were both abandoned by their fathers, though in different ways – one physically, and the other emotionally. But Harry didn’t have a May and Ben in his life to comfort him and guide him, as Peter did. And because of that, he’s developed a rasher, more abrasive quality. That’s how he endures his life; he’s become a little hardened. They start off as best friends, and end up as mortal enemies, driven apart by jealousy and rage.”
The sense of betrayal that Harry feels becomes very personal after Harry comes to think that Spider-Man’s blood could provide the cure he’s anxious to receive. “But Peter knows that Spider-Man’s blood turned Dr. Curt Connors into the Lizard,” says one of the screenwriters, Jeff Pinkner. “If he were to give Harry the same blood, it might do the same or worse to Harry. Peter desperately wants to do anything he can to help his best friend, but his blood might do something far worse than kill him. Of course, Peter can’t explain all of that to Harry – and even if he could, it’s not clear that Harry would accept that. It’s a real problem for Peter, and ultimately, it leads Harry to unite with Electro.”
“Harry and Electro form a deal over their mutual hatred of Spider-Man,” says Kurtzman. “That’s a great moment – two villains who hate the hero, but for different reasons. And it results in Harry turning the full resources of Oscorp against Spider-Man.”
Tolmach says that when casting the role, DeHaan wasn’t necessarily the first name that Webb and the producers dreamt up. “We’d seen Dane in a couple of movies, but we just didn’t know the breadth of his work,” says Tolmach. “But something magical happened. He was wholly original and unique and different. He forced us to see the character in a way we didn’t before – an extraordinary way. We were mesmerized. There’s something about his eyes; he has a searing intensity and there’s enormous heart, but there’s also a lot of pain and room for darkness. That’s Harry Osborn.”
“Dane is a fantastic actor. He looks like no one else,” says Arad. “Those eyes are his. He’s vulnerable; he can show you his journey, or awkwardness, or insanity, or whatever the scene calls for. And he’s a perfect match for Marc Webb, who often directs his actors to let go and show him whatever comes to mind – Dane can go haywire and give you scenes that are very different.”
“It was exciting to be cast as Harry, because it’s such a full, dynamic, crazy arc of a character,” DeHaan concludes. “I knew it was something I could really sink my teeth into.”
DeHaan would spend four hours in makeup and wardrobe to transform into the villain. “The makeup designer, Sarah Rubano, and I developed together a whole evolution of the makeup,” says DeHaan. “It starts from a pimple on my neck and starts to spread to his face – something Harry tries to hide but can’t. And then, once he takes the spider venom in this desperate attempt to save himself, it accelerates the disease to an almost fatal stage – the same stage that Norman Osborn is at when he dies. I wore a few prosthetics – ears and a nose tip – but it was mostly individual sores and wounds that we fairly specifically chose. I also wore teeth and contacts – he has the Goblin’s menacing smile and those big eyes. The shape of my hair pays homage to the purple hood that the Green Goblin wears in the comics.”
Aleksei Sytsevich / The Rhino
As the enemies begin to unite in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, one enemy to join the sinister cause is the Russian gangster Aleksei Sytsevich. Stopped and sent packing by Spider-Man early in the film, he returns as a highly mechanized Oscorp invention – the Rhino.
The Rhino was in fact Paul Giamatti’s favorite Marvel character when he was growing up. “He’s just brute force, and a little kid loves that sort of thing,” the actor says, describing the Rhino’s appeal. “You can just destroy everything, go through a brick wall. The Rhino had that great mean face all the time and was cool-looking.”
An appearance on Conan O’Brien’s late night talk show in 2011 led to Giamatti being cast as the Rhino in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. “As a joke, Conan asked me if I could be in one of the Spider-Man movies, what would I want to play, and I said the Rhino,” says Giamatti. “I guess Marc Webb saw it, and when they were coming around to do this one, I met him and he asked, ‘Would you seriously want to play the Rhino?’ It’s such a weird fantasy thing – I feel like I’m seven!”
ABOUT THE SINISTER SIX
Of course, even as Spider-Man takes on Electro, the Green Goblin, and the Rhino, a sinister new era is just beginning. In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, moviegoers will receive their first clues to what Spider-Man’s enemies are plotting against him.
“This movie seal the fate as Oscorp as the tower of evil, as science at its worst,” says Arad. “The Sinister Six are the creation of this sinister organization. These villains are there to attack humanity. There is only one hero out there that can stop them, and it’s Spider-Man. One can only imagine what they will do to stop him so they can have free rein over the city. They are united over their deep hatred for Spider-Man.”
Tolmach added, “Until now, we have approached each film as a separate, self-contained entity, but now, we have the opportunity to grow the franchise by looking to the future as we develop a continuous arc for the story.”
Two-time Oscar® winner Sally Field reprises her role as Peter’s Aunt May. “She’s Peter’s moral compass,” says the actress. “She is the one who keeps things in perspective, but also understands what he’s going through. She’s his biggest supporter. But she also knows things he doesn’t – secrets that she’ll share when the time is right.”
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION AND SHOOTING IN NEW YORK
“New York City always was and always will be Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s domain – through birth, through growing up, through high school and the famous Empire State University,” says Arad. “Shooting the entire movie in New York was a unique opportunity to capture the sights and sounds of Peter’s world. The idea was to use authenticity and make audiences the world over feel as they themselves are joining in his journey in the city.”
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the first film in the Spider-Man franchise to shoot entirely in New York State. “Spider-Man is from New York City and his story is a story of New York City,” says Webb. “So to be able to shoot in our actual locations, instead of doubling it on a backlot, was really appealing.”
In addition to filming on location in New York City and Rochester, New York, the production shot on stages on Long Island and Brooklyn – comprising the largest stage footprint ever seen in the Empire State. In fact, according to the Governor of the State of New York, Andrew Cuomo, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was the largest film to ever shoot in New York State.
The film’s production designer, Mark Friedberg – a New Yorker himself – was especially excited by the prospect of shooting on his home turf. “I believe in the crews. I believe it brings a lot of energy to our creative process. And I believe it help us tell this story – it’s a New York story and we were able to make New York part of the storytelling. Spider-Man is a particular kind of superhero for the kinds of people that we are,” he says.
While shooting all over New York, the production drew thousands of spectators who were eager to spot their local hero in action. “New Yorkers respond to Spider-Man with such love and joy,” says Andrew Garfield. “It just gets everyone out. Out of their apartments, out of their houses, out of their shops, and it gets everyone screaming and dancing. Spider-Man their character. He belongs to them. He belongs to the city. So it felt right to be there.”
“People come from far and wide to see a Spider-Man movie being shot, because it’s such a New York story, and such a big production,” adds Emma Stone. “He’s such a beloved character and you really feel that in the city.”
Garfield also took the opportunity, when he could, to get out among the New Yorkers. “There was a great moment in between takes. I went and played some basketball with some kids in my Spider-Man costume,” Garfield remembers. “That was fun for me. I had half an hour to kill and I saw them playing a pick-up game on the blacktop, so I thought I’d join them. That was really, really fun – one of my favorite moments…”
Of course, like all self-respecting New Yorkers, those kids took it in stride. “They were just like, ‘Yeah, we’re playing basketball with Spider-Man, whatever,’” Garfield laughs.
Friedberg says that because Peter Parker’s home is outside Manhattan, moviegoers will experience a rarely seen side of New York. “New York is not just Midtown – it’s Queens, it’s Brooklyn, it’s DUMBO, it’s the bridges and tunnels – in fact, Spider-Man leaves a message for Gwen on the side of the bridge from under the FDR. There are neighborhoods that don’t get a lot of exploration on film – places you’d never think to go if you were only shooting in New York for two weeks.”
And indeed, the film shot all over New York City, including outside the Hearst Building, which fills in for Oscorp Industries, on 57th Street at Eighth Avenue; at Lincoln Center on the West Side; in the Bensonhurst neighborhood in Brooklyn; Manhattan’s Flatiron District; Union Square; Park Avenue; Chelsea; the Upper East Side; DUMBO in Brooklyn; the Financial District; Throgs Neck in the Bronx; East River Park on the Lower East Side; Windsor Terrace in Brooklyn; and Chinatown in Manhattan.
Still, some of the city’s most famous sections get starring roles. In one of the larger action sequences of the film, Max Dillon, played by Jamie Foxx, newly transformed into glowing, blue-skinned Electro, wanders through the streets of Manhattan, amazed by his newfound power to control electricity. Finding that his strength increases as he drinks in more voltage, Electro naturally gravitates to Times Square – a location that runs neck-and-neck with the Las Vegas Strip for using the most electrical power in the U.S.
The production filmed with Jamie Foxx on location in busy Times Square for one night, while the majority of the sequence was filmed on the production’s back lot at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage, New York. “Out in Long Island we built a huge section of the northern part of Times Square to have as much control over it as possible,” says Webb. The replica included perfect copies of the storefronts along Broadway and Seventh Avenue from 46th to 47th Streets, including Father Duffy Square, with its red bleachers and TKTS booth surrounded by the bright billboards of Times Square.
“We all know what Times Square looks like – it’s an iconic venue. So even though we were recreating it, it had to look and feel exactly like Times Square,” says Tolmach. “We built a set that was literally the size of Times Square, with green screens literally as large as the screens that you see in Times Square – and we lit it up like Times Square. The scope was simply enormous.”
The reason for re-creating Times Square – rather than filming in the real location, one of the most highly trafficked on the planet – will be clear to anyone who has seen the film. The action involves exploding Jumbotrons, flying police cars, gunfire and panicked mobs. “I think New York City is glad we built it and didn’t try and do that to the real one,” laughs Friedberg.
Other huge sets that Friedberg and his team built were the various interiors of Oscorp Industries, the story’s mega-corporation that is in forefront of military and genetic research. At Grumman stages on Long Island, the production built Norman Osborn’s penthouse office, as well as Oscorp’s Special Projects Division, while Oscorp’s power plant was built on the Gold Coast back lot.
In Brooklyn’s cavernous Marcy Armory, which the production used as a stage, Friedberg and his team built the sleek, three-story tall Oscorp lobby, filled with authentic artwork on loan from some of New York’s most prestigious galleries. “The challenge for us was to built the lobby of what should be a half-billion dollar building, not using a half billion dollars, and try to make good or interesting architecture,” the designer says.
ABOUT THE SPIDER-MAN SUIT
“It’s an interesting idea that you have this continuing character, and in each and every movie the Spider-Man costume has been different,” says Academy Award®-winning costume designer Deborah L. Scott, who designs her first Spider-Man suit for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
For this film, Marc Webb chose to move in a more traditional direction for Spider-Man’s look. “In the first film, I wanted to treat the suit very realistically – as if we were asking, ‘How would a kid make this costume?’” Webb says. “We used fabrics and designs that a kid in Queens would have access to. For example, the eyes – they were literally made out of sunglasses, because that’s what he would find. This time around, I wanted to embrace what they did in the comics – the familiar, warm, iconic elements that we know from Spider-Man. And again, the eyes are an important part of that – this time, you can see how big and friendly those eyes are. When people interact with that costume, there’s a warmth, a feeling of safety, a connection that people have – and I think it has to do with those eyes.”
At Webb’s direction, Scott’s research for the design of the new suit called for going back to specific comic books. “We were very true to the source material, the original comics,” Scott continues. “And then we really wanted to take that and then move into the techniques and things that we have available to us now to make it a sleeker, cooler version.”
“The eyes in this particular suit were a huge focus for Marc and the filmmakers,” says Scott. Now white, and larger than in the last film, the eyes are made of a high tech plastic with real lenses through which to see. “The shape of them is very iconic,” she says.
“The other thing that was really important to me was to get the particular colors of red and blue,” Scott describes. Spider-Man’s new suit sports a darker blue than in the last film, featuring intricate webbing on the front and back.
“There are layers and layers of different kinds of print effects that were done in the computer first, outlined on the pattern, screen printed in multiple layers, and everything had to be incredibly precise,” Scott explains.
For the look of Electro, Marc Webb chose to go in a different direction from portrayed in the comics. KNB EFX Group was brought on to develop the special effects make-up for the character and Sony Pictures Imageworks added the visual effects layers that brought Electro to life. KNB EFX Group’s Greg Nicotero spearheaded the design and Academy Award® winning special effects make-up artist Howard Berger finalized the look in tests prior to production, and then served as on-set make-up artists for both Foxx and the Electro stunt double.
To create the make-up, KNB did a series of life casts and body scans of Jamie Foxx, from which they created positives to then build three-dimensional sculptures. From there, the artists explored several possible designs and took direction from Webb. “It ended up being 21 individual silicone pieces that we glued to Jamie and his double Clay Fontenot every day,” Berger says. “It was pretty involved, but I wanted to keep this quality of the skin.”
Electro has visible veins on luminescent blue skin, through which electricity, rather than blood, appears to course, while his eyes are glowing white irises.
A key element in the design of Electro for Berger was to ensure that the make-up did not hinder the performance of Jamie Foxx, with whom KNB had worked on Django Unchained and Ray. “I wanted to make sure that Jamie was able to do what he needed to do, that it didn’t inhibit his performance in any way,” says Berger. “We sculpted everything thin enough so that if Jamie furrowed, you really saw the furrow. Even though it’s this blue guy with these crazy lenses, you look at him and you know it’s Jamie.”
At Webb’s direction, Berger also worked closely with Sony Pictures Imageworks Visual Effects Supervisor Jerome Chen, whose work would add the electricity effect to Electro’s final look. “We studied clouds on the horizon and lightning storms that occur within clouds,” says Webb. “You see baffled light, that magical, ethereal quality. I think it’s really provocative.”
“I knew that by working with Jerome, the combination of the two of us could really make this something different, not your normal blue guy,” adds Berger. “On top of our design and Imageworks’ visual effects, Jamie Foxx created a pretty amazing character that’s never been seen before.”
“Marc always said, ‘He needs to glow,’” says Chen. “At Marc’s direction, we started to look at research imagery of electrical phenomena. Almost by accident, we found an image of a skull with a flashlight attached to it – there was a glow coming from inside of it. And that’s what we started to explore – the electricity isn’t just on the surface of his skin, but actually inside of him – it’s become his blood. He’s an electrical entity, encased in flesh. The electricity is inside his skin, filtering its light onto the surface of the skin.”
As inspiration, the visual effects team at Sony Pictures Imageworks looked to the skies. “At Marc’s direction, we’re referencing nighttime thunderstorms,” says digital effects supervisor David Alexander Smith. “You can look up during one of those storms and see it’s mostly clouds, but sometimes the whole sky will light up, or a bolt or an arc will come through. That was our inspiration. We combined that with the neurological network inside the human body – that became our internal illumination network that carries the electrical charges. So, it starts in Electro’s forehead – there’s an electric storm going on in there – and we spread that throughout his body. It’s a really impressive look, and combined with Jamie Foxx’s performance, it really makes the character something special.”
“That blue just blew everybody’s mind, the way they captured it,” agrees Jamie Foxx. “So once I got into the blue, even my voice changed – I figured Electro’s vocal cords had been burned.”
In the end, it took a year for approximately 150 artists to bring this element of the character to the screen.
The filmmakers wanted the first reveal of Electro – in Times Square – to feel real. “He stumbles into Times Square in a hoodie and baggy pants – and it had to look like the light was coming off of his body,” says Tolmach. “We did it largely practically – we built lights into the hoodie, but the way they cast the light onto his face, it looked light the light was coming from him. It was an amazing thing to do.”
Later, Electro steals one of the skintight black uniforms from his guards at the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane. It was a choice that came about through a long process of investigation. “Deb’s costumes have a mythology to them,” says Tolmach. “You have to understand why a character would wear that costume; it has to have authenticity and believability and credibility. We all love the look of Electro in the comic books, but there’s no real-world applicability to that costume. So the question that Deb asked was, what would he do? What are the storytelling options? Well, what are the people wearing at Ravencroft? What would you wear if you were working around someone who was electrically charged? How would you protect yourself?” The costume came from these questions and others.
ABOUT THE TRAINING, STUNTS, AND ACTION
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 kicks off in high gear, with Peter Parker having mastered his skills as Spider-Man. “He’s a virtuoso at being Spider-Man,” says Webb. “He’s whipping through the air, flying toward us. There’s a really vibrant wish fulfillment going on there – we want to give the audience, and especially kids, that feeling of what it’s like to fly through the air. We spent a lot of time trying to perfect that sense of flight with the stuntmen and the animators – there’s something thrilling about this kid, jumping off the tops of buildings and flying through the air with an enormous amount of velocity… and having a blast doing it.”
To help bring innovative and memorable action sequences to the screen, the filmmakers returned to the Armstrong Action Team, the renowned family of stunt coordinators who had also designed and created the stunts for The Amazing Spider-Man.
“We tried to make the stunts very big and very real, resorting to CG only where we really thought we couldn’t do it better real,” says stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong.
The idea that that as much of the film’s action as was possible would be performed practically was a decision that came at the direction of Marc Webb, according to Matt Tolmach. “Audiences intuitively know when they are seeing something real,” he says. “We have tons of visual effects shots – Spider-Man does some things that no human being can do – but we wanted the world to have weight, believability, and gravitas. So wherever we could, doing it for real was a very big part of Marc’s vision for Spider-Man.”
A good example is one of the film’s opening sequences, as Spider-Man chases down a stolen truck full of plutonium driven by a Russian madman, Aleksei Sytsevich. “We had cameras in the street, getting run over,” says Arad. “We had a massive truck, colliding with the camera. We wanted it to feel visceral, like you were really there, like there was real danger. We had the amazing Armstrong stunt team on the backs of cars and on wires. And when you see it, you just know we did it practically, not in the computer. It feels real because it was shot real.”
“None of the action scenes is just for the sake of action,” says Arad continues. “Action drives the story, but the story is about character and conflict. For example, the opening scene isn’t only about how it’s hard to stop this crazy Russian who has hijacked a truck – though it’s that, too – it’s also about how much fun it is to be Spider-Man. As he’s flying through the canyons, we wanted to make the experience magnificent, elegant – to bring up your spirits. We found ways to make it different and interesting. And then, when he catches his man, he taunts the villain, he laughs at him, and we can laugh. You can crack up, because Spider-Man is going to pull it off.”
“We went through the city with a speeding convoy of twenty-five police cars, a SWAT truck, a huge tow truck towing an armored car, all at speed, and crashed cars out of the way,” says Armstrong. While much of the sequence was shot in Manhattan and in DUMBO, Brooklyn, the shots at highest speeds were filmed in Rochester, New York, where the historic downtown’s architecture proved an excellent match for Manhattan.
“Rochester was absolutely sensational to us,” according to Armstrong. “They let us do a huge vehicle action sequence in a big movie in a way that you can’t do in most American cities.”
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 kicks off with an action sequence in a G-5 jet, which was shot on the production’s Gold Coast stage using an innovative combination of technology to simulate flight in a way never before achieved.
“We built the whole interior of the G-5 airplane, and then we did something that hasn’t been done before,” says Academy Award® winner John Frazier, the film’s special effects supervisor. For the first time, the aircraft was combined with a motion base, the same technology that is used in flight simulators, and also attached to two huge rings, which could rotate the plane, as if on a rotisserie. “This is the first time where we’ve combined a motion base, which will give you the pitch and the yaw, with a roll,” explains Frazier. “As the plane is getting into turbulence, we could also roll the whole plane and turn it 360 degrees, or any degree we want.”
“Just about every shot of the fight on the plane is of actors, not stunt people,” says Armstrong. “And we did it very much with gravity on their side, so they could tip and fall, and be fighting real forces.”
The same technology was also used later in the production for a scene in which Peter Parker rolls up the wall and onto the ceiling battling to quickly remove his suit before his Aunt May enters his bedroom. For this scene, the entire bedroom set was held by the two massive rings, around which the room would rotate.
During filming, Andrew Garfield remained mainly upright as the room and camera turned 360 degrees, using the same technique as the famous Fred Astaire sequence from the film Royal Wedding, in which Astaire danced on the walls and ceiling.
“We’re doing a very different take on that, where Spider-Man can, using his Spidey powers, kind of stumble around the ceiling, so he can go all the way, three-sixty, around the room,” says Armstrong, who also worked closely with his co-stunt coordinator and son James Armstrong.
Early discussions with director Marc Webb led Andy Armstrong to study stunts from the early days of cinema for inspiration. “Marc and I, and Andrew Garfield too, are all fans of vintage physical action that was done all in camera,” says Armstrong. “We copied a move – size and frame, and footstep for footstep – from Buster Keaton, where he grabs a moving car.”
Moviegoers will recognize the famous move from a 1920s comedy short when, in an escape, Keaton grabs the back of a moving car and is whisked out of view, flying almost horizontal out of frame. “I studied it frame by frame, and realized how he did it, and emulated that exactly as he did it,” says Armstrong.
“Andy Armstrong has a such a huge affinity for Keaton,” adds Andrew Garfield. “We wanted to hark back to Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin with the physicality and the physical comedy of Spider-Man in this film – we wanted to capture his playfulness and pleasure.”
“There are a couple of slapstick things where Andrew himself does a Spider-Man swing but slams into a wall and sort of slides down it, which sounds like nothing but is very tough to do,” adds Armstrong. “You need a very physical actor that can do that, and in that one he’s as Peter Parker, so there’s no trick. It’s really Andrew doing it.”
To pull it off required Garfield to begin a strict training and nutritional regimen that began weeks before the cameras rolled and continued throughout the production.
“My trainer, Armando Alarcon, is one of my favorite people in the world,” says Garfield. “He’s a very gentle, powerful taskmaster, and a passionate person about health and fitness. The regimen was pretty intense – it has to be, I’m practically naked in a Spandex suit – so I’m very thankful for Armando. I couldn’t do it with anyone else. It’s a really intimate relationship with your personal trainer.”
“I wanted to know how this film was going to differ from the first Amazing Spider-Man film,” says Alarcon, who reprises his role from the first film. “I learned that Peter is a little bit older –he’s not the small teen that he was in the first film. Well, to make him older, you have to mature the muscles – you have to make them thicker and denser. You can always tell the difference between a teen boy and a man – the muscle just looks different. And since he’s a superhero, we wanted to do it in a heightened way: nice wide shoulders, big thick back, but a really skinny waist.”
Alarcon says that Garfield was a willing, able, and dedicated pupil – even if he says otherwise. “Andrew will say he’s not a guy who likes to work out, or not a weights guy, but his physicality and his ability say otherwise.” And Alarcon also had a hand in making sure Garfield got the nutrition he needed to build that muscle: “We had to give him 4,000 to 5,000 calories a day – immediate sources of energy, like vegetables and simple lean meats. He sits at four to five percent body fat, so without immediate energy, his body would burn muscle. Every once in a while he would have pasta – and then he’d tease me my eating the occasional piece of cake.”
Of course, certain scenes required highly trained stuntmen. For these, the filmmakers turned to Ilram Choi and William Ray Spencer. “They’re two of my favorite people, they make me look so good,” laughs Garfield.
“Andrew feels a real ownership of Spider-Man, and he likes to push boundaries as hard as he can,” says Tolmach. “If it’s possible for him to be in the suit for a stunt, he will do it. But he has such great respect for William and Ilram, who also wore the suit; there are things they are capable of doing that Andrew can’t.”
“Between the three of us it feels like a true collaboration, because it’s never about ego, it’s always about who can do the stunt best, whether that’s me, William or Ilram,” Garfield continues. “It’s all about making sure the character is served.”
ABOUT THE VISUAL EFFECTS
For the film’s visual effects, the filmmakers turned to the Academy Award®-winning team at Sony Pictures Imageworks, which has handled the visual effects work on all of the Spider-Man films, and to Visual Effects Supervisor Jerome Chen, who reprises his role from The Amazing Spider-Man. Chen says that he was gratified by the chance to re-team with Marc Webb. “Marc is a great collaborator,” says Chen. “He has a very instinctive understanding of visual effects. It’s like a second language to him. He creates a basic design, a loose framework, and then allows you to go off, do your research and come back with your own ideas. Even the craziest idea – he’ll accept it, riff on it, and find a way to work it into the story.”
Any Spider-Man film will face a heavy visual effects challenge, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was no exception. One of the greatest challenges, Chen says, were creating the visual effects elements of Electro. The challenge expressed itself in two ways – first, to add an electrical element to the character himself, and second, to discover the ways that the electricity the character generates would manifest itself.
(For more information about the visual effects elements in the character, please see the section “Designing Electro.”)
It was important to Chen to make the electricity that Electro is able to fire off as visually exciting as possible. “We wanted to do something unexpected,” he says. So, they went to nature. “We looked at colors and textures of photos from space and underwater animals,” he says. “We looked at nebulae, we looked at the hues and ranges of tropical animals. We introduced those colors into Max’s transformation in the tank, and later, when Electro starts firing his lightning bolts, it’s not a simple blue arc of electricity – there are oranges and purples. We keep the range much more colorful.”
“The direction we were given early on was that Electro’s electricity should be ‘beautiful but deadly,’” says one of the film’s CG supervisors, Christopher Waegner. “We studied high speed video footage of lightning bolts, to see the cracks and fingers of electricity. We studied Tesla coils, plasma balls, all of these representations of energy, and we put them all together. The lightning bolts are composed of about a dozen different layers of elements, depending on what type of lightning bolt he’s shooting and how it’s reacting with the environment.”
The visual effects team was also responsible for digitally creating much of Times Square. Though the production design team built an enormous and impressive set, certain elements could only be achieved in the computer. This included buildings and building interiors, storefronts, signage, billboards, lighting, and even small details like planters and lampposts.
To re-create Times Square, the VFX team started with the real thing. “Well before main production began, we shot an acquisition of Times Square – we covered every inch with a motion picture camera, still camera, and a team of surveyors,” says digital effects supervisor David Alexander Smith. “We captured every detail, brought it back to the shop, and detail by detail, we built it. We gave it a complex but efficient geometry that gets us where we need to be and makes it look authentic.”
“Times Square, obviously, is an enormous place. For example, there are 140 Jumbotrons – all of which are playing different material,” says Chen. “We had to create our own material for each Jumbotron. So not only were we creating a digital environment, we were creating hundreds of clips of video. And later in the sequence, it becomes an important story point: all of these screens show either Spider-Man or Electro. For Marc, this is a scene about how Electro wants to be seen, so when the screens switch to Spider-Man, it’s a big turning point for Electro, as he realizes that Spider-Man has taken the attention from him.”
As if building one of the most iconic landscapes in the world were not enough to complicate the sequence, Webb and Chen added another element – Spider Sense. “Electro has destroyed one of Spider-Man’s shooters, and Spider-Man has to figure out how to save the people on the stands,” Chen explains. “Marc had the idea that it was a frozen moment in time, with Spider-Man working out all the complexities of saving these people in a single moment. We called it the Spider Sense shot – everyone is standing in a frozen moment, and Spider-Man is moving through it.”
Though there were a number of solutions in how to pull off the sequence, the filmmakers chose a surprisingly practical one. “Andy Armstrong found dancers, athletes – people with very good muscle control – and we had them hold still, as best as they could, for the five or six minutes it took to get the camera through,” Chen says. “Everyone practiced for weeks, holding a pose – whether they were standing still or running or about to fall over. We built some stands to help them hold their weight, if they were in a dynamic pose. Then, in post-production, we could paint or freeze them the best we could – that was months of effort, to get the illusion to work.”
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also represents a step forward in the way the film represents Spider-Man swinging through the city. “He has become a kind of a daredevil,” says Chen. “He swings as high as he can go, and then falls as close to the ground as possible before he shoots his next web. So we had some moments when we allowed him to fall; we even have a shot that’s as if he had a camera strapped to his chest – what would that look like? We had a lot of fun coming up with ways for him to interact with the city – and still had the gravity and physics that would make it believable.”
Still, some things about Spider-Man will never change, and with the experience of the animators at Sony Pictures Imageworks, Chen couldn’t have asked for a better team. “Our animators are expert witnesses,” he says. “They study movements, whether it’s going to be cartoony or realistic. They have an ability to mimic, and then they give it their own nuances. They’ll watch Andrew move, and then do their own tests before animating key frames by hand and giving it their own touches. It’s quite beautiful to watch the results.”
The final visual effects element was the film’s third villain – the Rhino. “We had some creative license in creating a wonderful villain in the Rhino – one that would make people laugh and fear at the same time,” says Smith. “We looked at old Russian tanks and military equipment. We wanted it to feel substantial and not rickety, but at the same time it’s kind of a hodgepodge. We ended up with something very strong and fun at the same time, playing off of the character that Paul Giamatti established.”
Even though the Rhino costume would be entirely CG (2,295 pieces of CG geometry, including 263 nuts and bolts), Giamatti performed on set in a 12-foot-tall, mobile unit. “It was important for a few reasons to have Paul Giamatti in some sort of physical contraption on the set,” says Chen. “Marc wanted Andrew and Paul to have the correct eyelines to each other – they had to see and act with each other. Also, because this scene is in daylight on Park Avenue, we could have the correct lighting on Paul when we put the CG suit around him. I’m sure that onlookers had no idea what they were looking at, but it looks great in the final film.”
ABOUT THE MUSIC
For the film’s music, the filmmakers are experimenting with a very unusual arrangement. Marc Webb has turned to Oscar® winning composer Hans Zimmer to form a supergroup, including Pharrell Williams (possibly the hottest talent in music today, who had a hand in the two biggest hits of 2013), The Smiths’ Johnny Marr, Incubus’ Michael Einziger and JunkieXL – among others – to work together on the music for the film.
The result is a score by a band: Hans Zimmer and The Magnificent Six featuring Pharrell Williams and Johnny Marr.
Zimmer says, “Marc and I were talking about Spider-Man, and as the word got out many of our musicians-friends started calling us up, wanting to be a part of it simply because they love Spider-Man. That was the thing that united all of us – the great love for Spider-Man. With all of these hugely talented people wanting to join us, it was Marc who said, ‘Why not start a band?’”
“Sound and image are inextricably linked,” says Webb. “I can’t think of one without the other. So when I was putting this film together, I wanted a musical collaborator who could bring in a lot of different voices to create a big sonic landscape. I also wanted rock music – the film takes place in New York, where punk rock started, where hip-hop started, where there’s a huge electronic music scene, so through the music, we could make the film feel real and contemporary.”
“I felt that, for me, superhero movies needed a new approach,” Zimmer continues. “The ideas really came from a conversation Pharrell and I had over a year ago on the nature of what makes music resonate in our lives. Spider-Man is a young man, just graduating college. He has big things going on in his life, but he deals with them in a different way than someone older, and deals with things with a sense of youthful humor and a New York young man’s fearless attitude. I don’t think he hears Wagnerian horns and Mahlerian strings in his head describing his emotions. He expresses himself through rock ‘n roll.”
With that in mind, Zimmer and his fellow musicians started from scratch. “Spider-Man didn’t have as much of a musical identity as we wanted him to have – he deserves an iconic quality. I wanted to play America but a new America. Marc wanted a fanfare and it took me a while to figure out how to reconcile that idea in my head with my ‘band’ approach, which ultimately meant a great soloist – a great ‘front man,’ not an orchestral section of trumpets. I thought of my favorite trumpet player, Arturo Sandoval. We took Johnny Marr’s kinetic playing and juxtaposed it against Arturo’s heroic tone to give wings to the tune. We did it in a very New York way; two cultures colliding, two strong musical personalities coming together to give you something fresh.”
So, Zimmer and his band began a reinvention of film music – an approach 180 degrees from the way it’s usually done. “We really embraced a rock and roll ethos,” says Zimmer. “We said, ‘Let’s start by writing an album’s worth of songs, and then derive the score from the melodies that are in those songs.”
To achieve that, Zimmer pulled together some of the reigning legends in their fields. “I wanted to create the chaos where everybody has to get to know each other through playing together. It’s the easiest thing in the world for musicians to re-capture the feeling and energy of who you where, as twenty-year-olds and in your first band (well, Andrew K and Steve Mazzaro are twenty-year olds...). We had Johnny Marr, Pharrell Williams, and Mike Einziger; Ann Marie Simpson, who’s a fabulous violinist; Steve Lipson, who was engineering and producing; Junkie XL, who can do so many things, but quickly realized he should be playing bass, so he grabbed a bass and now he’s the bass player; Andy Page, a brilliant electronic musician. We just started jamming with Marc in the room, coming up with ideas like a garage-band, coming up with the sound of the movie. It was never about famous names. It was about them all being great musicians and bringing together that generous, playful spirit that has made them into famous names.” The Magnificent Six are Pharrell Williams, Johnny Marr, Michael Einziger, Junkie XL, Andrew Kawczynski, and Steve Mazzaro.
Pharrell Williams notes that Zimmer is his mentor and the undisputed leader of the band. “Hans was the nucleus, the impetus,” says Williams. “He led us on the path, like a general. We all had to look at our own propensities, and figure out what we would contribute to the direction that Hans brought. Hans doesn’t even realize how these ideas he has are gigantic gestures for the rest of us.”
“Working on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been a good time and very interesting,” says Johnny Marr. “Hans always keeps me on my toes and makes everyone think about the music in unusual ways. There are some themes that will surprise people.”
As an example of the way the band worked together, Zimmer cites the development of one of the themes. “It started off with a motive Mikey Einziger came up with. Then Ann Marie Simpson pushed it a little bit further, in that naughty way that it became a real challenge for Mikey to play, which he of course embraced, because he likes a bit of a challenge. He went off to practice that, and I took that and added some of my notes, more complications, partly to push his limits and to turn the motive into more of a theme. This seedthen turned into a much larger theme once everybody else had added their ideas to it.”
Or another: “For the love theme, Johnny came in one morning with a pretty complete set of chords. Johnny and I were working on those and, as we did that, Pharrell was sitting there quietly, typing away on his cell phone. When Johnny and I finished arguing about the chords, Pharrell said, ‘OK, can I get a microphone?’ Of course, Pharrell wasn’t texting – he was writing the lyrics and the tune to the song that Johnny and I were working on. And there it was, our love theme.”
For the Electro theme, the musicians again went in a different direction. “Pharrell, Marc and I were looking at the character, and we said, ‘You know what we should do – we should write him an opera.’ It’s not an opera in the way your father thinks of an opera. The instrumentation is far more adventurous than you normally get in a film score – 12 woodwinds with distorted voices (did I mention that our director is a lapsed bassoonist?) combined with a serious Johnny Marr guitar riff and JunkieXL electronica. It’s not overtly a song, it’s not overtly a score cue; it’s something else, and that’s always what you reach for.”
Zimmer says he has another reason for collaborating with Williams time and again: “One of the reasons I love working with Pharrell is that I come up with some moody chords, and he comes up with a beautiful tune.”
Zimmer also points out that the band had one more full and acknowledged member: director Marc Webb. “He’s a full-on musician at heart,” says Zimmer. “He pretends that he knows nothing about classical music, and then he uses words like ostinato and diminuendo in conversation. He has the enthusiasm and passion of a musician, and then he can turn around and describe with great articulation what the subtext of a scene is about for him.”
“There’s never been a score like this,” says Webb. “It doesn’t sound like any other Hans Zimmer score. It draws inspiration from Purcell operas and dubstep in the same piece. The extremes of the musical spectrum that we got to explore is just extraordinary.”
The music even hints at the threats to come. The song “It’s On Again,” performed by Alicia Keys featuring Kendrick Lamar, featured in the film, contains a score theme that was created by Hans and Pharrell and woven into the song. The filmmakers and composers plan that this theme will, in future films, become the villainous theme of the Sinister Six.
“Ultimately, what brought everybody together was that everybody loves this character,” Zimmer concludes. “Everybody grew up with the idea of Spider-Man, and it felt really great that we all could be a part of it.”
ABOUT THE CAST
ANDREW GARFIELD (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) reprises the title role following his critically acclaimed performance in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man™. Garfield is a BAFTA-winner, a 2011 Golden Globe nominee for his work in The Social Network, and was a 2012 Tony Award nominee for his role in the revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, in 2012.
In 2010, Garfield starred opposite Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan in Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go. Other screen projects include Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus; Spike Jonze’s robot love story I’m Here; Robert Redford’s Lions For Lambs; Revolution Films’ Red Riding Trilogy - 1974, directed by Julian Jarrold; and John Crowley’s Boy A, for which he earned the Best Actor BAFTA in 2008.
Garfield’s career began in theatre and in 2006 his performances in “Beautiful Thing” (Sound Space/Kit Productions), “The Overwhelming” and “Burn, Chatroom, and Citizenship” (Royal National Theatre) won him the award for Outstanding Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards, and the Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer at the Critics Circle Awards. Other notable theatre credits include “Romeo and Juliet” (Manchester Royal Exchange) and “Kes” (Manchester Royal Exchange), for which he received the Most Promising Newcomer Award at the Manchester Evening News Awards 2004.
In late 2013, Garfield started work on 99 Homes, opposite Michael Shannon, directed by Ramin Bahrani.
With her striking beauty and sincere talent, Golden Globe nominated actress EMMA STONE (Gwen Stacy) has claimed her role as one of Hollywood’s most sought out actresses.
Stone recently wrapped filming the Untitled Cameron Crowe project for Columbia Pictures opposite Bradley Cooper and Alec Baldwin; that film will be released on December 25, 2014. She also recently wrapped production on the Woody Allen film Magic in the Moonlight in which she stars opposite Collin Firth, also set for release this year.
In addition to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Stone will also soon be seen in the Fox Searchlight dark comedy Birdman, starring opposite Zack Galifinakis, Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.
Stone recently lent her voice to the hit animated Dreamworks/20th Century Fox Film, The Croods. To date, The Croods has grossed over $500M. Stone will soon reprise her role as the voice of Eep for the sequel, which will hit theaters July 2019.
Stone’s additional film credits include the period drama Gangster Squad; Easy A, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination and an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance; the award winning drama, The Help; the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love; Screen Gems’ Friends with Benefits; the independent drama Paperman; the Twentieth Century Fox animated comedy, Marmaduke; Columbia Pictures’ hit comedy Zombieland; the Warner Bros. romantic comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; the Columbia Pictures/Happy Madison hit comedy, The House Bunny; Twentieth Century Fox’s The Rocker; and the Judd Apatow comedy Superbad.
When she’s not filming, Stone, is an advocate for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a groundbreaking initiative created to accelerate innovative cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. Laura Ziskin, the late producer of The Amazing Spider-Man, started the organization and got Stone involved. In addition to SU2C, Stone is also an ambassador for Gilda’s Club New York City. Named for Gilda Radner, the late comedian and original cast member of SNL, Gilda’s Club offers a place where people dealing with cancer can join together to build social and emotional support. Stone has become an active member in the Gilda’s Club community and continues to do so by engaging with their younger departments for children and teens.
A native of Arizona, Stone currently splits her time between New York and LA.
An Academy Award® winning actor, talented Grammy Award® winning musical artist and comedian, JAMIE FOXX (Max Dillon/Electro) is one of Hollywood’s rare elite multi-faceted performers.
Foxx recently starred in Quentin Tarantino’s critically acclaimed Django Unchained as the title character, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson, and in Roland Emmerich’s White House Down opposite Channing Tatum.
He recently wrapped production on Columbia Pictures’ Annie, opposite Oscar® nominee Quvenzhané Wallis and Cameron Diaz, for director Will Gluck. The film will be released on December 19, 2014.
In 2011, Foxx appeared in New Line Cinema’s successful comedy, Horrible Bosses, opposite Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, and Jason Bateman. Foxx also lent his vocal talents to 20th Century Fox’s popular animated comedy-adventure Rio as a canary named Nico. Rio grossed over $450 million worldwide. Rio 2 hits cinemas April 11, 2014 and promises to be another box office hit.
Foxx delivered a hilarious cameo appearance opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in Due Date, Todd Phillips’ directorial follow up to The Hangover. Foxx also appeared in Garry Marshall’s box office hit romantic comedy Valentine’s Day in February 2010.
In addition to his outstanding work in film, Foxx has also achieved a thriving career in music. In December 2010, he released his fourth album, “Best Night of My Life,” featuring Drake, Justin Timberlake, Rick Ross, T.I., and other artists. In January 2010, Foxx and T-Pain’s record breaking #1 song “Blame It” off of his previous album, “Intuition,” won Best R&B Performance by a Duo/Group with Vocals at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards®.
In 2009, Foxx starred opposite Gerard Butler in Overture Films’ dramatic thriller Law Abiding Citizen. Foxx continued to show his powerful affinity and respect for fictional portrayals with Joe Wright’s inspirational film, The Soloist, in which he played Nathaniel Anthony Ayers- a real-life musical prodigy who developed schizophrenia and dropped out of Julliard, becoming a homeless musician who wonders the streets of Los Angeles. The film is based on a 12-part series of articles by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, played by Robert Downey Jr.
In September 2007, Foxx appeared in The Kingdom, in which he portrayed the leader of a counter-terrorist team on the hunt for those responsible for a deadly bombing attack on Americans working in the Middle East. Foxx also closed the 2007 Sundance Film Festival with the showing of his executively produced film Life Support starring Queen Latifah. The film is an inspirational true-life story of a mother who overcame a cocaine addiction and became a positive role model and AIDS activist in the black community.
In December 2006, Foxx was seen in the critically acclaimed screen adaptation of the Broadway musical, Dreamgirls, opposite Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, and Eddie Murphy. The film won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Musical Comedy, and received a SAG nomination for Best Ensemble Cast. The NAACP Image Awards nominated Foxx in the Best Actor category for his performance as Curtis Taylor Jr., and Dreamgirls received a nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture.
In January 2006, Foxx announced his partnership with SIRIUS Satellite Radio to start his own 24/7 radio station called Foxxhole. The station is a combination of celebrity interviews, comedy, and music.
Foxx’s album “Unpredictable” topped the charts in late December 2005 and early 2006, as it held the number one spot for five weeks and sold over one million units in 20 days. Foxx was nominated for eight Billboard Music Awards, three Grammy Awards®, one Soul Train Music Award, and two American Music Awards, where Foxx won Favorite Male Artist. The album was nominated for three Grammy Awards® in 2006—including Best R&B Album; the track “Love Changes,” featuring Mary J. Blige, for Best R&B Performance By a Duo or Group; and the track “Unpredictable,” featuring Ludacris, for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
In 2005, Foxx’s portrayal of the legendary Ray Charles in the Taylor Hackford-directed biopic Ray garnered him an Academy Award® for Best Actor and proved to be one of his career’s defining performances. In addition to winning the Oscar®, Foxx shared in a SAG Award nomination received by the film’s ensemble cast, and single-handedly swept the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, BAFTA, and NAACP Image Awards, as well as numerous critical awards for his performance in Ray, captivating audiences worldwide as the most accomplished actor of 2005.
Also in 2005, Foxx earned Oscar®, Golden Globe, SAG Award, BAFTA Award, and Image Award nominations in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his work in Michael Mann’s dramatic thriller Collateral, opposite Tom Cruise. But Foxx’s unwavering momentum in 2005 did not stop there, as Foxx also received Golden Globe nominations, SAG Award nominations and won an Image Award for Best Actor in a Television Movie for his portrayal of condemned gang member-turned-Nobel Peace Prize nominee Stan “Tookie” Williams in the FX Network’s movie Redemption.
Additional film credits include: Michael Mann’s Ali, opposite Will Smith, Michael Mann’s Miami Vice opposite Colin Farrell, Sam Mendes’ Gulf War drama Jarhead, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Stealth, Bait, Booty Call, The Truth About Cats and Dogs, and The Great White Hype.
Foxx’s big-screen break came in 1999 when Oliver Stone cast him as star quarterback Willie Beamen in Any Given Sunday, with Al Pacino.
Jamie Foxx first rose to fame as a comedian, from which he initiated a potent career trajectory of ambitious projects. After spending time in the comedy circuit, he joined Keenan Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and Tommy Davidson in the landmark Fox sketch comedy series, “In Living Color,” creating some of the show’s funniest and most memorable moments. In 1996, he launched his own series, “The Jamie Foxx Show,” which was one of the top-rated shows on the WB Network during its five-year run. Foxx not only starred on the series, but was the co-creator and executive producer of the series, directing several episodes himself.
Dane DeHaan (Harry Osborn / Green Goblin) has made a formidable impression on film audiences and is currently one of the industry’s most sought after actors of his generation. DeHaan starred in 20th Century Fox’s box office hit, Chronicle.
DeHaan was recently seen in Kill Your Darlings opposite Daniel Radcliffe. Directed by John Krokidas, Kill Your Darlings is loosely based on the life of poet Allen Ginsberg.
DeHaan was also seen in Metallica: Through the Never directed by Nimrod Antal and stars Metallica. The film follows a young roadie for Metallica who is sent on an urgent mission during the band’s show. He also recently starred in the critically lauded film The Place Beyond the Pines, directed by Derek Cianfrance. DeHaan starred opposite Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper as Gosling’s young son, Jason. DeHaan also starred in The Weinstein Company’s film Lawless, directed by John Hillcoat, starring opposite Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clark, Gary Oldman and Guy Pearce.
DeHaan will also soon be seen in the independent film Devil’s Knot opposite Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth, which premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is based on the 2002 crime book by Mara Leveritt, Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three, about the 1993 savage murders of three young children and the controversial trial of three teenagers accused of the killings.
DeHaan will also be seen in independent dark comedy Life After Beth opposite Aubrey Plaza. Directed by Jeff Baena, Life After Beth follows Zach (DeHaan), a young man who tries to continue dating his girlfriend Beth (Plaza), after her death.
He will soon begin production on Life, where he will portray James Dean. Directed by Anton Corbijn, the film also stars Robert Pattinson.
DeHaan, most known for his portrayal of Jesse on HBO’s critically acclaimed drama series “In Treatment,” starred in the third season of the series alongside Gabriel Byrne.
In 2010, DeHaan received an Obie Award for his performance in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production of “The Aliens,” directed by Annie Baker. A Rattlestick Theatre production, The Aliens was given the prestigious honor of “Play of the Year” by The New York Times. DeHaan made his Broadway debut in 2008 with “American Buffalo.”
DeHaan began his film career under the direction of two-time Oscar® nominee John Sayles and opposite Chris Cooper in Amig, released by Variance films in 2011.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Dane currently resides in Los Angeles.
CAMPBELL SCOTT (Richard Parker) studied with Stella Adler and Geraldine Page and got his first break playing Benvolio in “Romeo and Juliet” in summer stock in New England. Following that, Scott understudied in the Broadway production of Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing,” starring Jeremy Irons and later, Nicol Williamson.
He has also appeared on Broadway in an acclaimed production of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” with Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhust, “Ah! Wilderness,” “Hay Fever,” and “The Queen and the Rebels.”
Off-Broadway, Scott has appeared in “The Last Outpost,” “Copperhead,” “A Man for All Seasons,” and “On the Bum.”
He played the title role of “Hamlet” at the Old Globe in San Diego, receiving excellent reviews. He played “Hamlet” again at the Huntington Theatre in Boston. Scott’s other Shakespearean roles include Angelo in “Measure for Measure” at Lincoln Center, the title role of “Pericles” at the New York Shakespeare Festival, and Iago in “Othello” at the Philadelphia Drama Guild.
Regionally, Campbell has been seen in “Our Town,” “Gilette,” “School for Wives,” and, for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, “Miss Julie, ““Dead End,” and “The Atheist.”
His first film role was in From Hollywood to Deadwood followed by the highly praised Longtime Companion, The Feud, and Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky. Scott appeared in Dead Again directed by Kenneth Branagh and starred in Dying Young, opposite Julia Roberts, directed by Joel Schumacher; Singles, directed by Cameron Crowe; The Innocent, directed by John Schlesinger; Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, directed by Alan Rudolph; Only With You; and Let It Be Me. He co-starred with Steve Martin in David Mamet’s film The Spanish Prisoner. His more recent film appearances include Big Night, The Daytrippers, Ship of Fools, Hi-Life, Top of the Food Chain, Spring Forward, Other Voices, Lush, Delivering Milo, Roger Dodger, Secret Lives of Dentists, Loverboy, Marie and Bruce, Duma, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and The Dying Gaul, which he starred in and produced. Most recently Scott appeared in Still Mine, and portrayed Richard Parker, father of Peter, in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man.
For television Scott starred in, co-directed and produced “Hamlet” for the Odyssey Network. He also starred as Joseph Kennedy, Jr. in “The Kennedys of Massachusetts,” co-starred with Ben Kingsley and Joanna Lumley in “Sweeney Todd” for Showtime, co-starred with Jennifer Jason Leigh in “The Love Letter” for Hallmark Hall of Fame, “Shot in the Heart” for HBO and “Follow the Stars Home” for Hallmark Hall of Fame, again co-starring with Jennifer Jason Leigh. Scott recently had a recurring role in the FX series “Damages” alongside Glenn Close.
Scott co-directed the film Big Night with Stanley Tucci. He has also directed the feature films Off the Map and Company Retreat, the latter of which was also written by Scott. For the stage, he has directed “Miss Julie,” “Snake Pit,” and “Recruiting Officer.”
Currently, Scott can be seen in the USA original series “Royal Pains.”
Constantly delivering poignant and critically applauded performances, EMBETH DAVIDTZ (Mary Parker) caught the attention of the world for her genuine and confident portrayal as the Jewish maid who survives both the abuse and attraction of Ralph Fiennes’ sadistic commander Goeth in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. People who saw her work recognized the future was promising for an actress whose talent seemed unstoppable. Embeth Davidtz has delivered on that promise.
Davidtz recently played Dr. Samantha Unger, part of an elite group of scientists journeying to Jupiter’s fourth moon in Sebastian Cordero’s The Europa Report, with Christian Camargo and Michael Nyqvist. She also played Annika Blomkvist in David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opposite Daniel Craig. Embeth played the recurring role of Rebecca Pryce, wife of actor Jared Harris, in the hit AMC television series “Mad Men.” She also played the recurring role of Felicia Koons, on the hit Showtime series “Californication,” where she portrays a memorable object of David Duchovny’s affection.
She previously co-starred in the television drama “In Treatment” opposite Gabriel Byrne and Dianne Wiest. Directed by Rodrigo Garcia, the critically-acclaimed series focuses on a psychologist who seeks refuge from his patients by getting his own therapist.
Prior to this, Davidtz appeared in Eric Mendelsohn’s 3 Backyards, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2010. She also appeared in the thriller Fracture for director Gregory Hoblit, co-starring Anthony Hopkins, David Strathairn and Ryan Gosling. Davidtz also starred in the critically acclaimed feature film Junebug opposite Amy Adams and Alessandro Nivola. Released by Sony Classics, Junebug premiered to rave reviews at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The drama tells the tale of a dealer in “outsider” art who travels from Chicago to North Carolina to meet her new in-laws, and upon arrival, challenges the equilibrium of the middle class Southern home.
Previous film credits include the highly successful Bridget Jones’s Diary opposite Hugh Grant and Renee Zellweger, The Palace Thief, with Kevin Kline and Patrick Dempsey, Nick Hamm’s independent film, The Hole, the thriller 13 Ghosts, Miramax’s Mansfield Park, Disney’s Bicentennial Man, Robert Altman’s critically acclaimed thriller The Gingerbread Man, Murder in the First opposite Kevin Bacon, Feast of July, Matilda and the supernatural thriller Fallen opposite Denzel Washington.
In addition to her film work, Davidtz made her debut as a season regular on CBS’s “Citizen Baines,” created by John Wells. The drama focused on a prominent three-term US senator (James Cromwell) returning to his Seattle home to join his family following a shocking loss in his bid for re-election. Davidtz portrayed his daughter who aspired to follow in her father’s footsteps as a future congresswoman.
COLM FEORE (Donald Menken) is a veteran talent with a distinguished catalogue of work. Feore’s talent crosses many borders: an international success story, he acts in both English and French and has conquered many mediums, with starring roles in film, television, and on stage.
Feore was most recently seen in Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit for Paramount Pictures, and he will next appear in Matthew Santoro’s Higher Power with Ron Eldard. Previously, he appeared in CBS’ “Revolution” and Showtime’s “The Borgias” with Jeremy Irons. Other recent film work includes Paramount Pictures’ Thor with Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, and Rene Russo, as well as The Trotsky.
Celebrated as a fine stage actor, he recently had a triumphant return to Canada’s renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival where he played two lead roles, “Cyrano de Bergerac,” directed by his wife, Donna Feore, and “MacBeth.”
On the Canadian big screen, he can be seen in the Kevin Tierney-produced project entitled Serveuses Demandees, and in Le Piege Americain (The American Trap), a feature film about Lucien Rivard who became a leader of the Canadian drug trade in the 1940s, directed by Charles Binamé. Feore also co-starred in the hit film Bon Cop Bad Cop, one of the highest-grossing Canadian films of all time. On the small screen, he can be seen in the CTV mini-series “Guns.”
In 2005, Feore starred with Denzel Washington and received widespread critical acclaim for his portrayal of Cassius in the Broadway performance of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” The power of his performance has earned him the St. Clair Bayfield Award, denoting the best performance by an actor in a Shakespearean play in the New York metropolitan area.
Feore’s credits on the big screen include Universal’s Academy Award nominated Changeling, for director Clint Eastwood, the Academy Award winner for Best Picture Chicago, which also won the 2003 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture, The Chronicles of Riddick, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Paycheck, The Sum of All Fears, Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, which won the Genie Award for Best Picture and earned him a nomination for his performance, The Insider and Titus.
His list of small screen movie credentials is as long as it is varied, ranging from historical roles in “Nuremburg,” “The Day Reagan was Shot,” “And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself,” “Empire,” and “Trudeau,” for which he won the 2002 Monte Carlo Television Festival Award for Best Actor and the 2002 Gemini Award for Best Actor in a Mini Series, to classic dramas including “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Taming of the Shrew.” Feore has also had many roles in such successful contemporary shows as “24,” “Flashpoint,” “The West Wing,” “Boston Public,” “Law and Order SVU,” “The Good Wife,” and the Canadian mini-series “Slings & Arrows II,” a look behind the scenes at the chaotic world of theatre.
Feore was featured in the 2006 Stratford Festival to star in “Don Juan,” in which he played the title role in both the English and the French performances of the play. Feore also acted in the title role in “Coriolanus,” and performed the role of Fagin in “Oliver,” to rave reviews.
He first gained prominence as one of Canada’s premiere stage actors through thirteen seasons with the prestigious Stratford Festival, playing virtually all of Shakespeare’s leading men, from Richard III and Iago to Romeo and Hamlet. Feore was also on stage at The Public Theatre as “Claudius” in Hamlet in New York and returned to Stratford for its 50th Anniversary season playing Professors Higgins in “My Fair Lady.”
Feore was the 2007 recipient of the NBC Universal Canada Award of Distinction. Most recently, he received the Playback Canadian Film and TV Hall of Fame Award 2013. He makes his home in Ontario with his wife, director/choreographer Donna Feore and their three children.
With a diverse roster of finely etched, award-winning and critically acclaimed performances, PAUL GIAMATTI (Aleksei Sytsevich/The Rhino) has established himself as one of the most versatile actors of his generation.
Giamatti has wrapped production on his next project in which he stars and executive produces. The FX pilot “Hoke” is a darkly comedic drama that tells the story of a mid-life crisis and murder that features the hardboiled and possible insane homicide detective Hoke Moseley (Giamatti) in pre-chic Miami circa 1985.
He recently guest starred in the Season 4 finale of “Downton Abbey” alongside Shirley MacLaine and the regular cast members as Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) maverick, playboy brother Harold.
This past fall, he was seen in several films: John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks, Peter Landesman’s Parkland with Zac Efron and Jacki Weaver; Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave opposite Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, and Chiwetel Ejiofor; Carlo Carlei’s Romeo and Juliet, as Friar Laurence, opposite Hailee Steinfeld and Damian Lewis; Phil Morrison’s All is Bright, which he also produced and stars in alongside Paul Rudd; and Ari Folman’s The Congress, co-starring Robin Wright and Harvey Keitel.
Other credits for him include Turbo, Rock of Ages, David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, The Ides of March, Curtis Hanson’s HBO movie “Too Big To Fail,” in which his performance earned him his third SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries as well as an Emmy® and Golden Globe® nomination. Giamatti also starred in the critically praised Win Win, a film written and directed by Oscar® nominee Tom McCarthy.
His performance in 2010’s Barney’s Version earned him his second Golden Globe® Award. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Mordechai Richler, the film was directed by Richard J. Lewis and co-starred Dustin Hoffman, Rosamund Pike and Minnie Driver.
In 2008, Giamatti won an Emmy®, SAG and Golden Globe® Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries for his portrayal of the title character in the HBO seven-part Emmy® Award Winning Mini-Series “John Adams.” Directed by Emmy® Award Winning director Tom Hooper, Giamatti played President John Adams in a cast that also included award-winning actors Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, David Morse and Stephen Dillane.
In 2006, Giamatti’s performance in Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man earned him his first SAG Award and a Broadcast Film Critics’ Award for Best Supporting Actor, as well as Academy Award and Golden Globe® nominations in the same category.
For his role in Alexander Payne’s critically-lauded Sideways, Giamatti earned several accolades for his performance including Best Actor from the Independent Spirit Awards, New York Film Critics Circle as well as a Golden Globe® and SAG Award nomination.
In 2004, Giamatti garnered outstanding reviews and commendations (Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actor, National Board of Review Breakthrough performance of the Year) for his portrayal of Harvey Pekar in Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s American Splendor.
Giamatti first captured the eyes of America in Betty Thomas’ hit comedy Private Parts. His extensive list of film credits also includes Jonathan English’s Ironclad, Todd Phillips’ The Hangover 2, The Last Station opposite Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren, Tony Gilroy’s Duplicity, Cold Souls, which Giamatti also executive produced, David Dobkin’s Fred Claus, Shoot ‘Em Up opposite Clive Owen, Shari Springer Berman and Roger Pulcini’s The Nanny Diaries, M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water, The Illusionist, directed by Neil Burger, Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon, Julian Goldberger’s The Hawk is Dying, Tim Robbins’ Cradle Will Rock, F. Gary Gray’s The Negotiator, Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, Peter Weir’s The Truman Show, Mike Newell’s Donnie Brasco, Todd Solondz’ Storytelling, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, Duets, opposite Gwyneth Paltrow, the animated film Robots and Big Momma’s House, co-starring Martin Lawrence. Giamatti also appeared in James Foley’s Confidence and John Woo’s Paycheck.
As an accomplished stage actor, Giamatti received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Supporting Actor as Jimmy Tomorrow in Kevin Spacey’s Broadway revival of “The Iceman Cometh.” His other Broadway credits include “The Three Sisters” directed by Scott Elliot; “Racing Demon” directed by Richard Eyre; and “Arcadia” directed by Trevor Nunn. He was also seen Off-Broadway in the ensemble cast of “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” with Al Pacino.
For television, Giamatti appeared in “The Pentagon Papers” with James Spader, HBO’s “Winchell” opposite Stanley Tucci, and Jane Anderson’s “If These Walls Could Talk 2.”
He resides in Brooklyn, NY.
SALLY FIELD (Aunt May) is a two-time Academy Award® winner for performances in Robert Benton’s Places in the Heart, for which she also received a Golden Globe, and Martin Ritt’s Norma Rae, for which she received a Golden Globe, along with the New York Film Critics prize, the National Board of Review Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Award, the National Society of Film Critics honor and Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival. Field has also received Golden Globe nominations for her work in Smokey and the Bandit, Absence of Malice, Kiss Me Goodbye, Steel Magnolias and Forrest Gump.
Her many film credits include An Eye for An Eye, Mrs. Doubtfire, Soapdish, Not Without My Daughter, The End, Hooper, Stay Hungry (her first major film role), as well as Punchline and Murphy’s Romance, both of which were produced by her production company, Fogwood Films. Field played Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man released in the summer of 2012. Most recently, Field was nominated for a Golden Globe, SAG, and an Oscar® for her supporting role as Mary Todd in Spielberg’s Lincoln alongside Daniel Day-Lewis and won a New York Critics Film Award.
Born in Pasadena, California and raised in a show business family, Field began her career in 1964 in the television series Gidget. She went on to star in the The Flying Nun in 1967. She starred in three television series by the age of twenty-five. She received Emmy Awards for her title role in the landmark miniseries Sybil and for her performance on ER. She also received Emmy nominations for her role in Showtime’s A Cooler Climate and the NBC miniseries A Woman of Independent Means which she co-produced and for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. Ms. Field co-starred in the ABC series drama Brothers & Sisters from 2006 to 2011 and for her role as “Nora Walker,” Ms. Field received a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy Award as well as two Golden Globe nominations.
Field made her directorial debut in 1996 with the ABC telefilm The Christmas Tree which she co-wrote and which starred Julie Harris. She directed an episode of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon and in 2000 made her feature film directorial debut with Beautiful starring Minnie Driver.
In 2002, Field made her Broadway debut in Edward Albee’s The Goat and in 2004, received rave reviews for her role as “Amanda” in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie at The Kennedy Center.
Field has served on the Board of Directors of Vital Voices since 2002. She has served as Mistress of Ceremony at Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards gala held at The Kennedy Center from 2002 through 20011. She also served on the Board of Directors of The Sundance Institute from 1995 to 2010.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
MARC WEBB (Director) directed the latest chapter in the Spider-Man legacy, the critically acclaimed blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen and Sally Field, The Amazing Spider-Man has taken in more than $751 million worldwide.
Webb made his feature film debut with the acclaimed (500) Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. The film was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture - Musical or Comedy. (500) Days of Summer also earned an Independent Spirit Award for Best Original Screenplay. For his work on the film, The National Board of Review presented Webb with The Spotlight Award, which honors outstanding directorial debuts.
Webb began his career as a director for commercials and for music videos for recording artists such as Green Day, Fergie and My Chemical Romance. He was honored with several MTV Video Music Awards, including the 2009 Best Director Award for Green Day’s “21 Guns,” Best Rock Video in 2006 for AFI’s “Miss Murder” and Best Group Video for The All-American Rejects’ “Move Along.” Also in 2006, The Music Video Production Association honored him as Director of the Year for his work with Weezer, AAR and My Chemical Romance.
Webb attended Colorado College, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and New York University.
AVI ARAD (Producer) was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Marvel Studios, the film and television division of Marvel Entertainment, and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment. In June of 2006, Arad branched off to form his own production company – Arad Productions, Inc. Arad has been a driving force behind bringing many of Marvel’s most famous comic book characters to the screen, with a track record that has been nothing short of spectacular, including a string of No. 1 box office openings.
As a producer or executive producer, his credits include Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man (Columbia Pictures); X-Men, X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand(Twentieth Century Fox); The Hulk (Universal Pictures); Daredevil (New Regency); The Punisher (Lions Gate Entertainment); Blade, Blade II and Blade: Trinity (New Line Cinema); Elektra (Twentieth Century Fox); Fantastic Four and its sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Twentieth Century Fox); Ghost Rider and Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance (Columbia Pictures); Iron Man (Paramount Pictures); and The Incredible Hulk (Universal). Mr. Arad’s current feature film slate includes Ghost In The Shell (DreamWorks), Savage Planet (Columbia Pictures),Venom (Columbia Pictures),Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (Columbia Pictures), Popeye (Sony Pictures Animation), Infamous (Columbia Pictures), Maximum Ride (Universal), Mass Effect (Legendary Pictures / Warner Bros.), and many more.
Arad has also been producing animation for over 20 years on such series such as “X-Men,” “Fantastic Four,” “Silver Surfer,” “Iron Man,” “Spider-Man,” “Conan the Adventurer,” “King Arthur & the Knights of Justice,” “Bots Master,” and on direct-to-video animated features such as “Avengers,” “Iron Man” and many others.
Additionally, Arad created “Mutant X” and produced sixty-six hours of the live-action TV series for Tribune Entertainment. He also produced thirteen hours of “Blade”, the live-action TV series for Spike TV. Currently Arad is producing the Pac-Man 3D CG animated show for Disney XD.
Born in Cyprus and raised in Israel, Arad came to the United States during his college years and enrolled at Hofstra University to study industrial management. He earned a bachelor of business administration from the University in 1972. A long-established expert in youth entertainment, Arad is one of the world’s top toy designers. He has been involved in the creation and development of over two hundred successful products, including action figures, play sets, dolls, toy vehicles, electronic products, educational software and video games. In fact, virtually every major toy and youth entertainment manufacturer, including Toy Biz, Hasbro, Mattel, MGA, Nintendo, Tiger, Ideal, Galoob, Tyco, Sega and THQ, has been selling his products for more than 30 years.
In addition to his toy, animation, and film projects, today, Arad served as the Executive Advisor of NAMCO BANDAI Holdings and as a Chairperson of Production I.G’s American affiliate - Production I.G., LLC.
MATT TOLMACH (Producer), president of Matt Tolmach Productions, has been responsible for many critically and commercially successful films as a longtime president of Columbia Pictures and most recently as producer on such films as The Amazing Spider-Man™.
The Amazing Spider-Man™, which Tolmach produced along with Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad was directed by Marc Webb and starred Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. The film has grossed over $750m worldwide.
In addition to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Tolmach recently served as producer on The Armstrong Lie, which will be released by Sony Pictures Classics this November. The documentary, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, follows cyclist Lance Armstrong as he trains for his eighth Tour de France victory. Tolmach is currently in post-production on Kitchen Sink, a comedy directed by Robbie Pickering and written by Oren Uziel about a teenager who teams up with a vampire and zombie. The film stars Nicholas Braun, Denis Leary, Bob Odenkirk, Keegan-Michael Key, Joan Cusack, Ian Roberts, Patton Oswalt and Vanessa Hudgens, among others.
Tolmach launched his company in late 2010 and is currently developing several high-profile projects for Columbia Pictures, including Royal Wedding by Nancy Meyers, Dodge and Twist by Simon Beaufoy and a remake of Jumanji.
Tolmach joined Columbia Pictures in 1997 as Senior VP of Production. He was named Executive Vice President of Production in November 1999. From 2003 through 2010, Tolmach oversaw all production activity at Columbia Pictures, a post shared with Doug Belgrad. In 2008, Tolmach was named President of the historic label. Prior to his appointment as president of Columbia Pictures, Tolmach previously served as president of production for the studio. During his tenure as President of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Tolmach oversaw some of the most successful blockbusters in Columbia Pictures history, including the Spider-Man franchise; the worldwide hits The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons; Salt, The Other Guys, Zombieland; 2012; Step Brothers; Pineapple Express; Panic Room; Superbad; and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, among many others.
Tolmach graduated from Beloit College with a B.A. in English Literature. He began his career as an agent trainee at the William Morris Agency and later ran Michael J. Fox’s production company before joining Amy Pascal as Vice President of Production and eventually Senior Vice President of Production at Turner Pictures.
For over eighteen years, ALEX KURTZMAN & ROBERTO ORCI (Executive Producers / Screenplay by / Screen Story by) have established themselves as one of the leading writing/producing teams working in film and television.
Last year, Paramount released the blockbuster Star Trek: Into Darkness, which Kurtzman and Orci co-wrote and produced, and Summit released Ender’s Game produced through their company K/O Paper Products, as well as the surprise summer hit Now You See Me, also produced through K/O Paper Products.
Kurtzman and Orci have recently signed on to work with Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon and Drew Goddard to expand the Spider-Man universe, including a third and fourth installment of The Amazing Spider-Man as well as the films Venom and The Sinister Six, based on some of Spider-Man’s villains. The duo are also set to produce Universal’s The Mummy and Van Helsing reboots through their overall deal with Universal Pictures. In TV, Kurtzman and Orci recently wrapped the first season of Sleepy Hollow, the hit adaptation on Fox. They are currently preparing for the second season of the show which will return to Fox this fall.
Kurtzman and Orci are the writers behind some of the decade’s biggest films, including Star Trek; Transformers; Eagle Eye; and Mission: Impossible III. They also executive-produced the romantic comedy hit The Proposal. The duo’s writing and producing credits have earned over $4 billion worldwide.
The duo co-wrote and produced People Like Us for Dreamworks, starring Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pine, which marked Kurtzman’s directorial debut. They created and executive produced the hit TV show Fringe, which ended its 5-season run in 2013. Their current television slate includes CBS’ Hawaii Five-O.
Kurtzman and Orci began their careers writing for the popular TV series Hercules. They went on to write for Xena: Warrior Princess, where they moved up the ranks to become head writers for the show at the age of 23. Next, they wrote for J.J. Abrams’s hit series Alias, beginning what has turned out to be a fruitful collaborative relationship with Abrams. They eventually served as executive producers on the show.
Kurtzman and Orci first met during high school. They both live with their families in Los Angeles.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, JEFF PINKNER (Screenplay by / Screen Story by) graduated from Northwestern University and Harvard Law School. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue a writing career in 1991 and soon thereafter a spec film script he wrote brought him to the attention of David E. Kelley, who hired Pinkner to write a freelance episode of Kelley’s TV show, “The Practice.” (The episode was soon thereafter produced as an episode of “Ally McBeal.”)
From this, Pinkner moved on to a television career, where among notable early jobs he wrote “Early Edition” starring Kyle Chandler, and “The Beast” with Frank Langella.
In 2001, J.J. Abrams hired Pinkner to join the initial writing staff of “Alias,” along with future colleagues Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. ”Alias,” starring Jennifer Garner, ushered in a new era of television drama with its cinematic storytelling, pacing and production values. Pinkner worked on the show for all of its five seasons, ultimately serving as Executive Producer and Showrunner.
During this time, Pinkner, along with Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Jesse Alexander and Bryan Burke, helped create “Lost,” which Pinkner served on as consultant in the show’s initial year and then, when “Alias” ended, Executive Producer in the show’s third season. That year, the “Lost” writing staff, including Pinkner, were nominated for the Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award for Best Dramatic Series.
Following “Lost,” Pinkner was hired to be Executive Producer and Showrunner of the TV series “Fringe,” created by Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci. Starring John Noble, Anna Torv and Josh Jackson, “Fringe” became known as one of the most compelling and best-acted science fiction shows on television. In the show’s third season, “Fringe” won a Golden Globe Award for Best Dramatic Television Series.
Pinkner is currently co-writing The Amazing Spider-Man 3 with Kurtzman and Orci. He is also co-writing The Dark Tower with Akiva Goldsman, based on the series of novels by Stephen King, for Ron Howard to direct. He also is developing television shows, among them two series for Amblin Entertainment and TNT.
Pinkner lives in LA with his wife and three children, and is still basking in the glow of the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl victory, and Baltimore Orioles return to relevance.
JAMES VANDERBILT (Screen Story by) is a talented multi-hyphenate whose diverse catalogue of films range from heavy-hitting blockbusters, to edge of your seat thrillers, with a comedy or two in between. He sold his first screenplay 48 hours before graduating from the University of Southern California’s film writing program. Since then he has found steady employment pushing words around on the page, which is really lucky as that is the only thing he ever wanted to do.
He wrote the critically acclaimed, true story Zodiac, directed by David Fincher, earning Vanderbilt numerous accolades including a USC Scripter Award nomination and a Writers Guild of America nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. His other writing credits include The Rundown, The Losers, The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, and White House Down, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. Among his producing credits are Basic, Zodiac, the Showtime documentary, Suge Knight, and White House Down.
Vanderbilt’s upcoming credits include the screenplays for Solace, starring Anthony Hopkins; and Murder Mystery with Charlize Theron.
Esquire Magazine profiled him in their Genius Issue and called him a “Fearless Screenwriter.” Vanderbilt is afraid of the following things, in no particular order – bugs, flying, enclosed spaces, in-laws, roller coasters, being buried alive, and The Dark.
He is a founding member and partner in Mythology Entertainment, a company dedicated to story-driven entertainment and content. He lives in Los Angeles like the rest of these fools.
E. BENNETT WALSH (Executive Producer) was most recently executive producer of After Earth, starring Jaden Smith and Will Smith (directed by M. Night Shyamalan); Ghost Rider™ Spirit of Vengeance, starring Nicolas Cage (directed by Neveldine/Taylor); Knight and Day, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz (directed by James Mangold); and the crime thrillers Edge of Darkness, starring Mel Gibson (directed by Martin Campbell) and State of Play (based on the highly praised BBC miniseries of the same name), starring Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck, Robin Wright Penn, Helen Mirren and Jeff Daniels (directed by Kevin Macdonald).
Walsh produced the critically acclaimed The Kite Runner, based on the international best-selling novel; directed by Marc Forster, it garnered Golden Globe® and BAFTA nominations for Best Foreign Language Film. He served as producer on the thriller Disturbia, starring Shia LaBeouf, which became one of DreamWorks’ biggest grossing films of the year: its international box office surpassed $100 million—more than five times the film’s budget. He also executive produced Ghost Rider, starring Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes (directed by Mark Steven Johnson).
With Volumes 1 and 2 of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Walsh enjoyed one of his greatest successes as executive producer. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 earned a Golden Globe® nomination for star Uma Thurman as well as five BAFTA nominations. The two films earned a combined international gross of over $300 million.
DAN MINDEL, ASC, BSC (Director of Photography) most recently lensed Star Trek Into Darkness, marking his third collaboration with director J.J. Abrams after previously working on Star Trek and Mission Impossible III. He will re-team with Abrams as the director of photography on Star Wars: Episode VII.
Mindel’s prior credits include Oliver Stone’s Savages, John Carter for director Andrew Stanton, Iain Softley’s The Skeleton Key, and the Jackie Chan starrer Shanghai Noon.
Born in South Africa, Dan Mindel studied in Australia and the UK before exploding onto the commercial world under the tutelage of Tony and Ridley Scott. He worked as a loader and shot 2nd unit on such films as Thelma and Louise and Crimson Tide, before earning his first sole credit on the action thriller Enemy of the State starring Will Smith.
Mindel’s partnership with Tony continued on Spy Game and Domino, which allowed him the creativity to service the director and story while further expanding his filmmaking palette in photographic experimentation. Their inclusion of period hand crank cameras, cross process reversal stock and HD cameras—all in nearly impossible places to light—helped create a unique, kinetic look by incorporating equipment from both the past and present. Mindel currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Lisa and their four children Lily, Molly, Eden and Sam.
Originally a student of fine art, New York City native MARK FRIEDBERG (Production Designer) married his passions for both film and painting by cutting his teeth as a production designer on a series of influential low-budget movies that came about during the indie film movement of the early ‘90s.
Friedberg’s previous work on small but noteworthy endeavors such as Alexandre Rockwell’s In the Soup and Maggie Greenwald’s The Ballad of Little Joe earned great attention, leading to Friedberg’s collaboration with a variety of filmmakers, ranging from industry stalwarts Mel Brooks (The Producers, 2005), and Garry Marshall (Runaway Bride, New Year’s Eve), to independent mavericks like Mira Nair (The Perez Family, Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love), Ang Lee (The Ice Storm, Ride with the Devil), Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven), Jim Jarmusch (Coffee and Cigarettes, Broken Flowers), Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited), Julie Taymor (Across the Universe), and Charlie Kaufman (Synecdoche, New York).
Other films designed by Friedberg include Julie Taymor’s imagining of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, shot on location in Hawaii and on stage in Brooklyn; Jodie Foster’s The Beaver, co-starring Foster and Mel Gibson; and the romantic comedy Morning Glory, starring Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Rachel McAdams, and directed by Roger Michell. His work was most recently seen in Darren Aronofsky’s epic Noah, starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins. He is currently collaborating on director Ang Lee’s next project.
Recently Friedberg won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Art Direction for his work on the critically acclaimed HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce, starring Kate Winslet and directed by Todd Haynes.
During his twenty-five-year editing career, PIETRO SCALIA, A.C.E. (Editor) has been an integral collaborator on films from acclaimed directors such as Oliver Stone, Ridley Scott, Bernardo Bertolucci, Gus Van Sant and Sam Raimi. The Italian-born Scalia was raised and educated in Switzerland before moving to the United States to pursue filmmaking, receiving his MFA in Film and Theatre Arts from UCLA in 1985.
Scalia began his career as an Assistant Editor for Oliver Stone on Wall Street and Talk Radio, then went on to contribute as an Associate Editor on Born on the Fourth of July and as an Additional Editor on The Doors. In 1992, the 31year old Scalia won his first A.C.E. Eddie Award, the BAFTA Film Award for Best Editing and the Academy Award® on Stone’s JFK.
In 1998, Scalia received a second Academy Award® nomination for Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting. He went on to edit G.I. Jane, Hannibal, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down and American Gangster for director Ridley Scott, garnering another Academy Award® nomination on Gladiator and winning his second Academy Award® for his work on Black Hawk Down.
After Body of Lies and Robin Hood, Scalia completed Prometheus with R. Scott in 2012 and The Amazing Spider-Man for Marc Webb. Scalia’s other editing credits include Little Buddha and Stealing Beauty for Bernardo Bertolucci, The Quick and the Dead for Sam Raimi, Playing by Heart for Willard Carroll, Memoirs of a Geisha for Rob Marshall, and Kickass for Matthew Vaughn. He most recently re-teamed with Ridley Scott, serving as editor of The Counselor.
He has also co-edited documentaries such as 40 Years of Silence: An Indonesian Tragedy, The Eleventh Hour and Ashes and Snow. In addition, Scalia’s efforts include stints as music producer with composer Hans Zimmer on three of Scott’s films, and served as a Jury member at the Venice Film Festival in 2004 and at the Zurich Film festival in 2012.
JEROME CHEN (Visual Effects Supervisor) is an Academy Award®-nominated senior visual effects supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Chen served as visual effects supervisor on Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man. He was also senior visual effects supervisor on Beowulf and The Polar Express and applied his outstanding talents on the two Stuart Little films, creating the first all-digital character to star in a live action film. He earned his first Academy Award® nomination for the groundbreaking visual effects in Stuart Little, recognizing his advances in the development of digital imagery techniques including innovations in digital lighting, compositing, fur and cloth.
His work on Stuart Little also was awarded with a Monitor Award for Best Electronic Effects in a Theatrical Release. For Stuart Little 2, Chen invented the complex feather systems and perfected the photo-real integration for the film, which won the Prix du Long Metrage (Best Feature Film) at the Imagina Awards in 2003.
Chen’s earlier film credits include Godzilla (Annie Award nomination for Best Special Effects Animation in a Feature Film), Contact (Monitor Award for Best Electronic Effects in a Theatrical Release), James and the Giant Peach, The Ghost and the Darkness, and In the Line of Fire.
Chen joined Sony Pictures Imageworks in its founding year, 1992, and worked his way up through the production ranks as a digital artist, senior animator, computer graphics supervisor, digital effects supervisor to his current position of senior visual effects supervisor. He is an acknowledged expert in the technique of integrating digital imagery with live action, especially in the area of photorealistic effects, and is known internationally for his presentations on the topics of digital character creation and imagery techniques.
Academy Award® winner DEBORAH L. SCOTT (Costume Designer)’s first project as a feature film costume designer went on to become one of the highest grossing films of all time, Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
Scott went on to design such notable films as Robert Zemeckis’ Oscar®-winning film Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox; Ed Zwick’s Oscar®-winning film Legends of the Fall, starring Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins; Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise; Roland Emmerich’s The Patriot; and Hoffa, starring Jack Nicholson.
Scott achieved the highest honor bestowed to a costume designer when she won the Oscar® for her work on James Cameron’s Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Some of Scott’s recent credits include James Cameron’s blockbuster hit Avatar, all three installments of the Transformers franchise, Ed Zwick’s Love & Other Drugs and Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo. Scott’s most recent credit is Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson; her work will next be seen in Cameron Crowe’s upcoming film, in theaters this Christmas.
Hans Zimmer has scored more than 100 films, which have, combined, grossed over 22 billion dollars at the worldwide box office. He has been honored with an Academy Award®, two Golden Globes®, three Grammys®, an American Music Award, and a Tony® Award. In 2003, ASCAP presented him with the prestigious Henry Mancini award for Lifetime Achievement for his impressive and influential body of work. He also received his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in December 2010. Some of his most recent works include Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Ron Howard’s Rush, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, History Channel’s miniseries The Bible; the Christopher Nolan-directed films Inception, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises; and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Upcoming titles include Son of God and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.
Pharrell Williams, a three-time Grammy winner, is one of the world’s most in-demand and influential music producers and recording artists. This summer, Williams became the 12th artist to hold the #1 and #2 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously as he was featured on two songs – Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” also featuring T.I., which Williams also produced, and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” which Williams co-wrote – both of which have been called the “Song of Summer.” He has previously composed songs and the score for the hit animated films Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2.
Johnny Marr rose to fame as co-songwriter and founder member of The Smiths. Since then, Marr has continued to push boundaries and work with some of the world’s most exciting musical artists, including Modest Mouse, The The, Pet Shop Boys, Talking Heads, and Beck. This year NME awarded Marr the Godlike Genius award. He recently released the critically acclaimed solo album, “The Messenger.”
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