INTERVIEW WITH PRODUCER AVI ARAD:
With the bar set so high from the first "Spider-Man" film, how do you go about surpassing it with "Spider-Man 2?"
Well, the bar was set high but the team stayed together. Sam [Raimi] is on top of the game, Tobey [Maguire] and Kirsten [Dunst] and James [Franco] had the voices of the characters better. Once we got over the origin story, we could really delve deeper into their lives and characters and angst. So this movie actually has more heart, more humor. I think it feels like real life. We deal with issues that are not unique to superheroes actually, that are common to all of us. Aunt May in this movie has a much bigger role, a great role, and so has Kirsten. The tough thing was two years its very tough. We said at the end of movie one, What in movie one did we love that we need to top? And we spent time on that.
And its the humanity that connects the audience to these characters.
Humanity, humor and tragedy. This movie will break your heart and give you aspirations and makes you think thank goodness that Peter Parker is everywhere.
There have already been a lot of good reviews for "Spider-Man 2."
On the first movie we got good reviews, but we were still dealing with genre stuff. Its going away. Judge the movie - is it a good one or a bad one? We know we made a great movie and its being judged for just being a good film. I love the reviews and I love the fact that this movie is so full of heart and emotion big action, of course but its all about the heart.
What can fans expect?
At the end of movie one, you had so many open doors: Aunt May is a widow, Harry is an orphan, MJ wants to be an actor. All these aspirations and desperations. In movie one, Peter couldnt help himself. He got bitten. Movie two is really about what does it mean to be a hero. That makes it a very interesting journey. What we are doing is pushing our hero to the point of break. If he wasnt human, he wouldnt have broken. But he is human and he breaks. And then he realizes that hes been given a gift. The other thing is we have an incredible villain. And we worked very hard to have villains that are connected to the hero. They have an effect, an emotional effect. They never become out-of-this-world, crazy villains.
Does this one set up the Green Goblin II for the third movie?
You know we like to play with these things, and especially people who know the material, you look at Dr. Connors and thats a famous villain, you look at John Jameson and hes a villain. So we have all of them there and its fun to kind of paste and see where its going. And then we want to keep the element of surprise.
Is that tough to do with the Internet and all the rumors?
(Laughing) Oh yeah.
And speaking of rumors, we had heard that Michael Chiklis was in the running for a role in "Fantastic Four?"
(Avi Arad makes a zipping his lips shut motion with his hand)
Ahh, no comment. Okay. And what about X-Men 3? Weve also heard theres somebody not coming back. Thats out there too.
Well, the rumor was Halle Berry for a while. Then it was mentioned Famke Janssen wouldn't return.
Until you have a script, this will be a thing released in May 2006, there will be a lot of speculation, which is great. It shows the passion of the fans, the audiences. We love this. This is the best publicity you can have, this speculation.
I just talked to James Marsden yesterday and he said he was in trouble for talking about it too much. But he thinks his character will be back in "X-Men 3."
We love Cyclops and as you know, we love James. Its a great team and well continue the team, obviously.
You have too many irons in the fire. Which project is up next?
Electra is filming now with Jennifer [Garner]. And Fantastic Four is starting in August. And Iron Man and Ghost Rider and X-Men 3 and Spider-Man 3 Its busy.
"Fantastic Four" is going to start filming in August?
And theres a cast confirmed?
Next week youll hear about the cast.
Next week? Will it surprise everyone or are some of the casting rumors on the mark?
I try. Okay, one more casting rumor: Ray Park in Iron Man?
We need the script first (laughing).
[Edited to Add - Ray Park is rumored to be attached to star in "Iron Fist," not "Iron Man."]
ADDITIONAL "SPIDER-MAN 2" RESOURCES:
Interviews from the "Spider-Man 2" World Premiere - Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst & Sam Raimi JK Simmons / Cliff Robertson / Writers Miles Millar & Al Gough / Musician Christopher Carrabba from Dashboard Confessional
"Spider-Man 2" Photos, Trailer, News and Credits