Unlike Nick Fury at the end of "Iron Man" or Thanos at the end of "The Avengers," when a voice emerged from the shadows of Dr. Connors' cell at the end of "The Amazing Spider-Man," I was unable to bellow a full-voiced "wooooooah!"
That's because I, a reasonably well-versed comics reader, couldn't be quite sure who the heck it was.
I'm guessing – I'm hoping – this was intentional. Maybe they haven't cast the part yet, or even know in what direction they want to bring the sequel, but a movie like this HAS to have a mid-credits stinger, right?
Anyway, I'm fairly certain I know who it was supposed to be.
Despite there being no concrete evidence in the text, that's just the vibe I got. This was quickly confirmed by about five of my colleagues. Even with the line he delivered — "Does he know about his father?" — might lead you to believe it is actually his not-dead father, I still got the Norman Osborn vibe. (And if it was Osborn, he'd have some knowledge about the old man, being the big cheese at Oscorp with all of its weird science.)
Norman Osborn, of course, was the bad guy in the 2002 "Spider-Man," played by Willem Dafoe, and it is fair to call him Spidey's principal foe. He's mentioned a few times in "The Amazing Spider-Man" as being near-death, but never seen.
I wasn't able to recognize the voice. Some folks on the Internet have been suggesting that it was Christoph Waltz, which I only wish I'd heard prior to seeing the scene so I could specifically listen for that. It's not a bad guess. Waltz has a previous existing relationship with Sony/Columbia Pictures for comic book movies ("The Green Hornet") and the two films have a shared producer in Michael Grillo. Sometimes that's all it takes.
Since I can't give you a conclusive answer, allow me to editorialize on the new trend of "mid-credits" stingers. Bluntly: WTF? Isn't the whole point waiting until the very end to get the prize? Have we become so stricken with ADD that we can't wait five more minutes to see if a tasty thin mint is waiting for us on our cinematic pillow?
I have a theory. You are going to think me crazy but I've got to get it off my chest. I've heard rumors that at one of the studio/exhibitor summits (like CinemaCon) theater owners whispered in the ears of producers, suggesting that having people wait until the very end of the credits was messing with the flow of busy movie nights. That the ushers couldn't get in to sweep up. A deal was brokered to have the little teases for the sequel to appear a little earlier in the credits.
Nah, I'm just messing with you. That's the dumbest thing I ever wrote in my life. I'm just checking to see if you're still reading.
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