Beyond his spectacular powers and superior foes, there’s one aspect of the amazing Spider-Man that we have yet to explore on “MTV’s Secrets Revealed: The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” And it’s a key part of the Spider-Man mythology that without which he wouldn’t be the hero we know and love.
That’s his promise.
Or, promises, rather. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) has seen more than his share of pain, from the disappearance of his parents, to the death of his beloved Uncle Ben to the death of Captain Stacy (Denis Leary) in “The Amazing Spider-Man.” And through it all, he’s made oaths, he’s sworn to protect people and it’s propelled him to become a true hero.
No promise has been more important than the one he’s made about his sometimes girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone):
“In the first film, Peter promised Gwen’s father, who was dying, that he would stay away from Gwen to keep her out of trouble,” Stone told MTV News. “And that is not something that Gwen wanted.”
That’s the essential conflict at the heart of Spider-Man, of course. He wants to be the hero, and save everyone… But sometimes in the process of saving people, you hurt them too.
“He didn’t show up at her father’s funeral,” Stone continued. “Gwen obviously wants to be with Peter very much. So Peter is struggling with that. It’s a pretty big promise.”
Spider-Man has a certain kind of precognition with his Spider-Sense, but that doesn’t mean he’s the only character with knowledge of the near future.
“Captain Stacy has this premonition, this wisdom, like ’Peter, you’re going to make enemies,’ ” Andrew Garfield said. “They’re going to want to get to the people you most care about, so you gotta promise to leave my daughter out of it.”
Unfortunately for Captain Stacy’s memory, promises don’t hold a candle to true love.
“When two people are drawn to each other,” Garfield continued, “there’s a necessity to it, there’s not choice in it. And there is this impossibility to what feels like their fate together.”
Normally in superhero movies, the girl is in love with the hero, ignoring the nerdy alter ego. “Amazing Spider-Man 2” reverses that dynamic, and with it brings an entirely new and fresh perspective for its heroine.
“For Gwen it’s a little simpler,” Stone said. “She grew up in a home where she didn’t know if her father was going to come home at the end of the day. She understands the need to save, and to be heroic.”
Because of this, Gwen knows that Peter needs to be Spider-Man and accepts his “job.” For Peter, though, it isn’t as easy.
“Peter is being struck by flashback images of her father all the time,” Stone continued, “so it’s not anywhere near as simple for him.”
Though Spider-Man has never had a sidekick in the comics, in Gwen he’s found a partner. Not just someone he can love, but an intellectual equal who understands and helps him out.
“Gwen was always in love with Peter, she wasn’t in love with Spider-Man,” Garfield added. “Spider-Man is just a hindrance in a way. And that’s a beautiful thing, to be loved by a woman for the flaws, for the cracks in the bell.”
Stone agreed, saying, “Just the way she was raised, it makes her such great partner for Peter because she’s not asking to give up that journey or that call to be something bigger than himself.”
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” hits theaters on May 2.