The Amazing Spider-Man movies get a pretty bad rap considering they made a lot of money and were nowhere near the disasters that Spider-Man 3 ended up being.
Thanks to the Marvel/Sony rights-share-deal, they'll probably now be remembered in perpetuity as the films that made Sony go cap in hand to Marvel for help. That's a gross dilution of facts, of course, but you try standing in the way of a fanboy and his theories.
In reality, the films did a lot of things well - particularly the central relationship of Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker and Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy - along with the many things they did wrong. Like over-stuffing the villains, again. And setting up sequels and spin-offs without concentrating on the core story enough. But again, the criticism levelled at them is vastly over-blown.
Marc Webb, unsurprisingly, agrees that they didn't deserve the critical lambasting. He sat down with Collider to offer a look back at the films as the world creeps closer to the unveiling of the MCU's first Spidey solo flick. Even less surprisingly, the director who was to be central to the planned Spidey-verse of movies, says he is proud of what he made:
"It’s hard for me to think about it, in terms of regrets. There are so many things that I’m proud of. There was an ambition with the second movie, in particular. The idea that it’s a superhero that can’t save everybody is something that I’m really proud of. I’m really proud of the ambition of that because it’s an important message, and I believe in that. I believe in what we were after. They’re really, really difficult movies to make. They’re complex in ways that people don’t fully understand. They weren’t disasters..."
He's correct - the decision to have Spidey fail to save Gwen Stacy was a big deal in mainstream superhero movies, and it left quite the mark. He reiterates that he has no regrets...
"But in terms of regrets, I don’t think of it in those terms. I felt really, really fortunate to have that opportunity. That’s a whole other long, in-depth conversation that I probably shouldn’t have publicly. I loved everybody involved. I really did. I didn’t have an adversarial relationship with the studio, at all. There were a lot of very smart people. These are just incredibly complicated movies to make. I am proud of them, in many ways, and I stand by them. I’m certainly not a victim, in that situation."
What do you really expect from the director? He poured himself into those movies - it's not like he's going to concede that they're garbage even if they actually were.
It's no revelation that Sony had longer term plans for this universe, and Webb reveals that the intention was to launch straight into Sinister Six. He also says the third Spidey flick didn't even have a villain at the point the series was canned:
"We finished the second one and they were working on Sinister Six, so we all took a break. And then, the Sony hack happened and everything went away. But, that’s the way Hollywood works sometimes."
Imagine having to watch Paul Giamatti's Rhino again in a film without a charismatic Spider-Man to balance him out... Ouch.
Webb also talks in his interview with Collider about Gifted - his new film with Captain America, Chris Evans - and it's well worth checking out.