HOLLYWOOD — If the cast members of the highly anticipated (and fantastically expensive) "Spider-Man 2" are feeling any pressure as they prepare to deliver the film to critics and audiences, they kept their poker faces tightly screwed on at Tuesday night's premiere.
"I can't wait for people to see it," Tobey Maguire gushed as he made his way down the Mann's Chinese Theatre red carpet to watch himself as the web-slinging hero one more time. "I am proud of this movie and I really like the film. I am excited to see it again myself."
It could have been typical red carpet premiere puffery or sincere pride, but the talk still has to have execs breathing a bit easier considering all that went into getting Spidey swinging one more time. With a budget reportedly over $200 million and well-publicized personnel issues (including a brief holdout on Maguire's part), the usual big-money sequel pressure is even higher as "Spider-Man 2" preps for its June 30 opening.
It's no surprise, then, that the Spidey crew was joined by celebrity onlookers like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Tim Allen at Tuesday night's premiere, each hoping to see if the film delivers. Fortunately for all involved, the early buzz is that director Sam Raimi and his cast — including Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco and new Spidey villain Alfred Molina — outdistanced the original.
"I think it's much better than the first one, to be honest with you, and I really loved the first one," Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba testified as he arrived at the premiere. Carrabba and Dashboard contributed to the "Spider-Man 2" soundtrack (see "Hoobastank, Jet, Yellowcard Spin Songs For 'Spider-Man 2' Soundtrack") and were able to score an advance look at a rough version of the film. "I haven't seen the final version, but what I did see blew my mind."
"It's a good movie, and the money part of the deal isn't my problem," Dunst said, brushing off any concerns about matching the original's worldwide gross of more than $800 million. "I just want to do my best in the film and have people enjoy it. If it makes tons of money, then great."
J.K. Simmons, known to fans of the franchise as Peter Parker's barking editor, J. Jonah Jameson, takes an even more laid-back approach. "I just show up and goof around," he said. "I don't have any pressure."
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