At 2 hours 16 minutes, The Amazing Spider-Man is not a short film – but even with its generous running time, director Marc Webb and the rest of the Amazing production team needed to cut some material out. Fortunately for us, 11 snippets of Spider goodness that once circled the editing plughole have been rescued and popped onto the DVD/Blu-ray editions, and here below are the fascinating details that can be gleaned from them. Revealing more on the elusive Norman Osborn, the backstory behind Peter’s parents’ mysterious disappearance and possibilities for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, here are stills, quotes and analysis from said might-have-been scenes as well as that intriguing prison-set credit sting…
P.S. Just in case it’s not obvious at first glance, the following pages contain buckets and buckets of spoilers.
The Amazing Spider-Man’s first deleted scene starts in the same way its movie equivalent does, with a post-barney Peter Parker storming off into the night to, erm, buy some chocolate milk in a bad part of town.
Here he bickers with the shop clerk T-Bone (Michael Barra) over two cents as the ‘Milk Chug’ Peter’s after costs $2.07 and he’s only got $2.05. Mr. Bone refuses to let him off the excess, and despite looking like a cross between two well-known on-screen nice guys – Hurley from Lost and Seth Rogen – tells him to “Just step aside, kid!”
It’ll get more exciting than this, promise.
Here Cash Register Thief (Leif Gantvoort) makes his best impression of Jason-Statham crossed with Drive Angry-era Nic Cage as he intimidatingly knocks over something on the counter and nicks some money from the till. Again, same as officially released feature, but still – free chocolate milk! Get in!
This is now new material. Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) is wandering around looking for Peter when he spots an extravagantly bequiffed silhouette walking towards him. The quiff stops, seems to recognise him, then turns into a dark alley.
What’s important here is that everyone’s favourite cinematic stepfather actually found Peter, but Peter turned away from him, making the inevitable tears before bedtime all the sadder.
More guilt is ladled onto Peter now that you see Uncle Ben has called him five whole times since he’s gone a-wandering, and what’s more, Jed Bartlet our man Ben looks adorable on his phone profile photo.
Guilt-a-geddon arrives in the final shot of the deleted scene, which shows Peter walking down the same alleyway his shadow was seen skulking into earlier to find his stepfather dead on the tarmac. It’s interesting to note that the audience don’t actually see Cash Register Thief shooting Uncle Ben, leaving Peter to discover the killer was Drive Angry-era Nic Cage-cum-Jason Statham-man only when the cop who comes round his house with a facial composite later.
Also, remember the speech Ben delivered to Peter that set off this almighty sulk: “Your aunt, my wife, had to walk 12 blocks alone in the middle of the night and then wait in a deserted subway station because you got distracted.” Ironic ain’t the half of it.
To compare and contrast two deaths of Uncle Ben – a grim sentence, apologies – here’s how it look in the final, official product. What’s key is the location, with the scene unfolding on the street that Peter happens to be walking on, in a public area.
Where you could perhaps forgive Spidey for not saving the day when the incident took place in a secluded alleyway, the fact that it happened practically in front of him makes it worse, especially when you consider the rest of Ben’s monologue earlier: “Your father lived by a philosophy – a principle, really. He believed that if you could do good things for other people, you had a moral obligation to do those things.” With great power…
A recurring theme of The Amazing Spider-Man’s deleted scenes are the many lost efforts to humanise of Rhys Ifans’ Curt Connors. Here, the good doctor turns up at Peter’s house to offer his sympathies after the death of Uncle Ben, a scene deleted in its entirety in the finished product.
During his conversation with Peter, Connor asks after Uncle Ben’s profession: “Gwen was telling me he was a… draftsman?” “Bridges. He built bridges,” says Peter. “Bridges are America’s cathedrals. Wonderful creations.” This is an intriguing for a couple of reasons: firstly, it may remind West Wing fans of Martin Sheen’s glorious “Two Cathedrals” speech, and secondly (and more importantly), The Lizard is going to tear apart the Brooklyn Bridge in about 20 minutes.
As well as acting as a doorstep father figure for his protégé, Dr. Connors takes the time to bring along his three-legged lab mouse, Fred – except now he’s got four legs, and all thanks to Connors’ serum. “You did it!” says Peter. “We did it,” says Curt. “We must be greater than what we suffer,” he adds, a line that ties in nicely with Connors’ own issues with his missing forearm.
With this scene canned, the fact that Fred now has four legs is instead revealed later on in a tense conversation between Connors and Oscorp stooge Rajit Ratha, who commands him to start human trials. Connors refuses, only to carry out the trials on himself anyway.
What’s such a shame about this scene’s removal is that it could have added so much depth to Connors’ character and his connection with the mysterious disappearance of Peter’s parents 15 years previously. This is still to be explained in The Amazing Spider Sequel, so it’s a safe bet that a similar scene will have to occur between the now-imprisoned Lizard to explain just what happened and just how close Connors and the Parkers were.
If you ever wondered how Peter found Connors in his sewer science lab, wonder no more: he followed him, watching his movements from the New York rooftops in his non-Spidey duds.
Connors goes through a secret metal gate, but that’s no problem for Peter, who pulls a wonderful creepy (and crawly) face as he wriggles around a corner of the building higher up to see…
…the entrance to The Lizard’s lair. So how did the one-armed geneticist get all that tech down there? More generous plot-hole-forgivers might explain that Dr. Connors made several trips just like this one to set up his base of operations, but even then, that’s not the biggest opening in the world, and Connors’ scientific kit isn’t exactly pocket-sized. Still, it’s good to know Webb and co. thought the idea through, even if it ended up on the cutting room floor.
This placeholder CGI-ed scene-let serves solely as exposition for another scene that also didn’t make it in the film – which will be discussed in more detail later – where Rajit Ratha visits The Lizard’s den.
But if Ratha is going to make it there, he’ll need to know where to go, and that’s where the tablet thingummy comes in. By making some nimble finger gestures (and using the admin password), Ratha ‘hacks’ his way into the super scientist’s network, locating him on sewer GPS – not quite sure how that would work – and even accessing his videoblogs.
If you could climb any building in New York and happened to have a hot new girlfriend, chances are you’d take them to the top of a clock tower, set up some candles and smooch them on the mouth too. And at quarter past 12, to boot – well after any high schooler’s bedtime.
You even get a close-up of the scientific pair’s ongoing chemistry experiment – ahthankyow – with this perfectly-lit peck.
A swift cut to what Connors is getting up to, and the contrast between the two genetic blunders is as clear as day: Peter’s got the girl; Curt’s got serious issues, a torn lab coat and a nasty case of hypothermia (possibly).
Another heartfelt Connors moment left in the Amazing recycle b in, this scene sees Connors explaining to his son that he’s going away for a while – but not before an extra (see above) take a good long look at the camera on four separate occasions. Nice work, that kid!
Yes, that extra is still looking, but just pretend he isn’t there and he’ll go away.
At first Connors comes across sympathetically: “I just wanted to tell you I was going away for a while. Research trip, you know.”; “When will you be back?” “I’m not sure…”
Then, spinning on a dime, Connors goes all Lizard: “You know when someone says something or does something that hurts you, you know at school or whatever, your mother and I would say, ‘Don’t strike back’ – we were wrong!”
Curt’s little one gets seriously creeped out at this, prompting him to run for school bus and leave his now slightly psychopathic father looking like he’s worried he’s left the gas on.
Without the balancing point of his sinister goodbye to his son, the final cut of The Amazing Spider-Man was obliged to assemble a montage showing different snippets of Connors losing his shit. Some of his voiceover during that montage comes from this particular deleted scene, another example of The Lizard showing his humanity even as he scales up the evil inside.
Starting the scene with a gut-wrenching wail, Connors is shown to be Golluming out (yes, that’s a verb) at the idea of Peter Parker / Spider-Man stopping his grand master plan. “I’m afraid… I’m so afraid,” he whimpers. This is not the evil villain set to squash the bug boy beneath his feet; this is a man having a nervous breakdown.
A few seconds later and Dr. Jekyll has started to get in touch with his Hyde side, gazing at his Freddy Krueger-like right hand – here shown in pre-CGI form – and wondering aloud, “But why should I be afraid? I’m strong than he is. I’m faster than he is. I can climb as high as he can…”
Spitting at the camera and screaming at the walls, Ifans obviously relishes the chance to act The Lizard without the CGI paintjob. “I have teeth, I have claws… and a doctorate from Empire State university,” he snarls.
Then, as all madmen do, he starts talking to his pet mouse. “And Freddy, I’m beautiful, aren’t I? Beautiful…” he says. “What a feeling! What a feeling!” Alas, at this point he doesn’t start singing or, indeed, dancing on the ceiling.
In the finished film, The Lizard makes his way to the Midtown Science High School via a rather unfortunate toilet cubicle. In this deleted scene, he takes a similar mode of transport, but this time around there are two girls in there, compiling their burn book. As you can see from the looks on their faces, they are, like, totally scared and stuff and junk.
This is the same shot used in the film, only in the final cut The Lizard’s just staring at the camera, not at two petrified teens.
Obviously removed late on the process, the special effects in this scene are very nearly finished, with the only remaining blooper being Rhys Ifans' tongue lolling out near the girls’ faces.
Then, as The Lizard abruptly leaves, the girls scream in a cartoony fashion that doesn’t quite fit with the tone of the rest of the film. It’s not the only cartoony thing going on in this frame either, as you can see from that surprisingly unimpressive tail.
The school-bound battle with The Lizard won, Peter Parker searches the campus for Connors. Scratches on the wall and an empty emergency blanket dispenser seem to indicate that the now far more naked doctor has made his way back to the girls’ loos, and is probably a bit cold by now.
Venturing into the ladies’ restroom, Peter inspects the rubble before noticing…
...a naked Rhys Ifans wearing a green sock over his right arm and a blanket over his unmentionables. Just your average Tuesday, then. “Help me!” he begs. “Help me, help me Peter… please! They’re coming to kill me!”
In the finished version (see above), there is no Dr. Connors (or blanket, or green sock) – just a hole in the floor and, rather incongruously, an Oscorp lab coat.
In this deleted scene, however, the now fully-human-again Connors pleads with Peter, who helps him escape, presumably down the hole he made leaping out of the toilet earlier. This is yet another example of The Lizard / Connors not actually being all bad, even after attempting to thrash the legs off him in a school library minutes earlier.
Perhaps the most important deleted scene of the lot, this is the moment when Rajit Ratha, Curt Connors and Peter Parker meet in The Lizard’s lair. This was so close to actually making it into the finished film that snaps from it ended up in the official stills press release – see here for just one example – as well as certain trailers. Note that normally his green-socked forearm has been CGI-ed away too.
Connors takes the time to quote Michelangelo’s Silkworm to Peter, saying, “That, changing like the snake, I might be free / To cast the flesh wherein I dwell confined!” Needless to say, Peter recognises the quotation immediately because he’s a boy genius and loves all this stuff.
“Would you go back? After all you know you can do, all the power you feel? Would you give it all up?” asks Connors. Peter has no answer. Connors pauses, then brings up Peter’s dead father and his scientific work: “Richard never let me read his notes, he didn’t trust me. He knew how I felt. Incomplete. An aberration. I dream of a world where everyone is equal... and thanks to you, Peter, I’m going to make that happen.”
So the implication here is that Peter is somehow responsible for Connors’ mad plan to turn everyone into lizard monsters, purely by being a successful genetic mutation himself. No pressure then, Spider-Man.
Connors injects another dose of the Lizard juice before growling, hissing and turning his now-yellow eyes towards a frightened Peter.
Earlier in the scene, Connors explains that he “had to get a place off the grid.” Not off the grid enough, it seems, as Ratha’s imminent arrival with loaded gun proves.
The sock returneth! Also, if you ever wondered how good Rhys Ifans was at being-shot-repeatedly-acting, know this: he’s good. So good, in fact, that he timbers Del Boy-style towards the floor at the end.
Blasting bullets into former employees with one hand, spraying sedative into high schoolers’ faces with the other – Rajit Ratha: the multitasking mega-henchman.
“Peter, listen! We need the research,” says Ratha to a barely conscious Peter. “The science is flawed…” whispers Peter. “It’s working quite well on you. Did you ever stop and wonder why? Do you have any idea what you really are? The possibilities are magnificent – beyond your father’s wildest dreams…”
Did Richard Parker crack the code to genetically enhancing humans 15 years ago and not tell anyone? Did he try out his research on his own son? Did Peter’s spider bite earlier on in the film awake the work his father had done on him? What were Richard’s plans, exactly? Why was there a big spider in a jar in this office? Who experiments on a baby? What does Norman Osborn suffer from to make him go this far to steal obviously flawed research?
For anyone interested in the story behind the disappearance of Peter’s parents, this stuff is gold dust – gold dust that for some reason ended up on the cutting room floor.
On the sewer floor, however, is Peter Parker, who gets swatted across the room by a now revived Lizard.
Meanwhile, Rahta gets choked – just like the still we saw before – and then The Lizard opens wide and looks set to swallow his head whole. It’s unclear what was meant to happen Spidey after this, or The Lizard, or Rahta himself. Will Rahta appear in the sequel if this scene as been cut? We can presume he’s dead even though this was deleted, right?
A very slight deleted scene in comparison to the previous effort, this one isn’t exactly a must-watch. That said, if you were a fan of the running joke about Peter buying eggs, this one is for you: it’s got Aunt May breaking eggs into a bowl, bantering with Peter (about eggs) and opening a fridge (full of eggs).
Peter is very smug about this fridge-full-of-eggs thing. Just look at his face... that’s a happy man, that is.
Just in case you missed it in the cinema, here’s a brief overview of the credit sting at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man – a credit sting with starts off with the now incarcerated Curt Connors being led into his prison cell.
Lightning flashes, thunder rolls. Could this be an allusion to Spider-Man’s electricity-loving enemy, Electro, a character rumoured to be played by Jamie Foxx in the sequel? Sure, why not.
A shadowy figure emerges: Norman Osborn, one presumes. From the looks of this screenshot, he looks a little like Tom Waits, though of course he’s not – that would be silly.
It’s interesting to note that Oscorp’s power reaches so far that its seriously sick leader can wangle his way into a locked prison cell with a recently jailed half-man, half-lizard who used to work for him.
As the two talk, the camera rests on Osborn’s gnarled fingers.
Osborn: “Hello doctor. Did you tell the boy?”
Connors: “Tell him what?”
Osborn: “Did you tell the boy the truth about his father?”
Osborn: “Well that’s very good. We’ll let him be for now.”
Connors (pausing, then shouting): “You should leave him alone!”
As Osborn turns to leave, a lightning flash illuminates his back, giving us our best look at him. Of course, there’s no guarantee whoever played him in this credits sting will do so in the sequel, but it’s worth noting how they're trying to craft this all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful character physically... by making him look a bit like Tom Waits (from the back, anyway).
Incidentally, The Amazing Spider-Man is out now on Blu-ray & DVD from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Which is how we got a hold of a copy, you see.