‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ will be New York’s biggest film production ever

Holly Bailey

NEW YORK—As one of the world's most iconic comic book superheroes, Spider-Man has apprehended would-be robbers and rescued damsels in distress. But is he also saving New York’s economy?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that the sequel to “The Amazing Spider-Man,” currently filming in Manhattan and Brooklyn, will be the largest movie production ever to film in the state.

According to the governor’s office, the film, directed by Marc Webb, is expected to result in 3,500 new jobs in New York and the casting of 11,000 extras. In addition to filming on the street, the production is building “massive sets” at three different studios in Long Island and Brooklyn before it moves to upstate New York to shoot additional scenes. There, an additional 250 crew members and a “few hundred” extras are expected to be hired.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, is the second installment of the franchise’s reboot under Webb. According to Columbia TriStar Pictures, which is backing the movie, this is the first installment to be filmed completely in New York.

Cuomo touted in a statement the lure of the state’s film tax incentives and production credits. His office estimated the 134 projects that applied for the credit in 2012 had generated an estimated $2.2 billion in spending in New York last year alone.

New York has fought to keep television and movie production in the state, as other states like Louisiana, Michigan and Georgia—along with Canada—have stepped up efforts to attract filmmakers.

But it also comes amid debate in New York and other states about whether their cash-strapped economies can really afford to be giving away money to Hollywood productions.

Cuomo’s office has insisted the tax incentives are worth the return—and have pointed to data showing cities have benefited not just from how much productions spend to actually film in the state but also increasingly how much they spent in postproduction efforts.