As you might expect a star in a big budget film to do in an interview before his movie hits theaters, Andrew Garfield spoke highly about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in a recent interview with the L.A. Times’ Hero Complex blog. But while that part of the discussion is par for the course, the most interesting thing about it is actually what Garfield thought about the first film in which he donned Spider-Man’s iconic suit – and his statements were surprisingly honest.
The fresh stuff in that film [The Amazing Spider-Man] was invented on the day. We were given a structure, but there had to be a lot of invention going on to give it life. I felt like there were lots of missed opportunities. It was heartbreaking in a lot of ways. I didn’t sleep.
It’s rare that you hear an actor say anything even remotely negative about a past project, especially one that’s part of the franchise that he’s still involved with and promoting. But why didn’t Garfield know about those “missed opportunities” when he initially read the script? Are you sitting down? Good, because this next bit might blow your mind. Check out the conditions Garfield had to agree to before he could even audition for the lead role. From Hero Complex:
Soon after [The Social Network], he was approached with an opportunity to audition for the studio’s Spider-Man reboot — a project that initially generated controversy following so closely after 2007′s “Spider-Man 3,” the film that brought director Sam Raimi’s earlier blockbuster trilogy about the character to a close. To book the audition, Garfield said he was required to sign a contract stating that he would accept the part if it were offered to him without first being allowed to read the script.
“I was like, ‘This is ridiculous,’” he recalled. “I don’t even know that I’m going to get on with the people. They were like, ‘This is the way it is with these movies. The studio has the power. So either you sign up now or they don’t audition you.’ The 3-year-old inside me is going, ‘You’re hesitating?’”
Marvel Studios famously made headlines with signing some of their actors for nine-picture deals, but agreeing to appear in a film without even reading the script just in order to audition for the lead role is next-level crazy. Obviously there’s zero creative freedom in an arrangement like that, but I’m sitting here trying to justify it from a business standpoint, and I still can’t figure out why the brass would make such a ridiculous demand. What happens if the script sucks and the studio executives get the actor they like, but the actor hates the script and loses the passion he had for the material in the first place? Doesn’t that seem like a headache the studio wouldn’t want to deal with? Why not just have the actors sign a non-disclosure agreement?
I’ve never heard of this kind of thing before, and now I’m starting to wonder how common it actually is in today’s franchise-dominated Hollywood. One of the ways I personally choose my favorite actors and actresses is judging them on how they choose their projects. Even if I don’t like a film that someone is in, if I can walk away from the experience saying, “OK, I can see how this actor would think this project has value and would be a good idea,” then I can understand where they’re coming from. This whole “signing on before you read the script” thing throws a giant wrench into that concept.
Word on the street is that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is much better than the first film, though most of the reactions I’ve seen so far have still been pretty mixed. We should have our own review up on the site next week, so be sure to stay tuned for that.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits U.S. theaters on May 2nd. Are you looking forward to the sequel? Have you ever heard of auditioning conditions like this before?
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