Columbia Pictures has released the official plot synopsis to the sequel to last summer's mildly enjoyable but instantly forgettable "The Amazing Spider-Man," and not surprisingly it actually takes a few steps back from the information we already know.
The most exciting news to come out of the wall-crawler camp to date is the casting of Shailene Woodley as Peter Parker's other love interest, Mary Jane Watson, and Paul Giamatti as the villainous Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich, aka the Rhino, described by writer Mike Conroy as "famously one of Spider-Man's dimmest villains" (and certainly one of his strongest). You wouldn't know they're in the movie, though, at least not if all you were going by is the synopsis.
In fact, the synopsis could easily pass for the summary of the first movie, albeit with Electro (Jamie Foxx) replacing the Lizard and the new addition of Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), who is said to "return" (from where? Maybe the same non-location Batman "returned" from in "Batman Returns"). Indeed, the sequel takes place with Peter still in high school (how long can the pushing-30 Andrew Garfield pull that off?), romancing Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone, who will probably look 20 for the rest of her life) and "uncovering new clues" about the cloak-and-dagger stuff involving his parents that was added by the producers in an attempt to make this new series at least a little different from Sam Raimi's trilogy.
Perhaps most generic of all is that the title, at least for now, is indeed simply "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." True, Raimi's first sequel was simply called "Spider-Man 2," but in this age of comic book titles not even mentioning the hero's traditional name ("The Dark Knight," "Man of Steel"), we thought we'd get something like "The Wall-Crawler" or "The Web-Slinger" (okay, that's horrible) or even "Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" (which would be kind of awesome).
Anyway, the full press release with the official synopsis can be found below. Excelsior?
New York, February 5, 2013 – Columbia Pictures announced today that filming has begun on The Amazing Spider-Man™ 2 in New York. The film is the first in the history of the franchise that will be filmed entirely in New York City and New York State.
The sequel to last year’s critical and box office hit "The Amazing Spider-Man," the film stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Shailene Woodley, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Paul Giamatti and Sally Field.
In "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), life is busy -- between taking out the bad guys as Spider-Man and spending time with the person he loves, Gwen (Emma Stone), high school graduation can't come quickly enough. Peter hasn't forgotten about the promise he made to Gwen's father to protect her by staying away -- but that's a promise he just can’t keep. Things will change for Peter when a new villain, Electro (Jamie Foxx), emerges, an old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, and Peter uncovers new clues about his past.
The film is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner, with a previous draft by James Vanderbilt, and based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are the producers.
The film's key behind-the-scenes team includes director of photography Dan Mindel, production designer Mark Friedberg, editors Pietro Scalia and Elliot Graham and costume designer Deborah L. Scott.
The latest chapter in the Spider-Man story is set for release in 3D on May 2, 2014.
Watch an extended clip from 'The Amazing Spider-Man':