The Amazing Spider-Man film series, and Andrew Garfield, has gained a lot of attention in the wake of that universe’s Spidey appearing in current box office juggernaut Spider-Man: No Way Home. Search across social media and YouTube, and you’ll find dozens of people defending the films despite their flaws all these years later, with hopes for an Amazing Spider-Man 3 also being voiced. However, while the series initially received mixed reactions, one common and continued point of praise was the character of Gwen Stacy, played by Andrew Garfield’s then-girlfriend Emma Stone.
Andrew Garfield’s and Emma Stone’s onscreen chemistry was singled out by many as one of the strongest elements of the ill-fated duology and the character of Gwen Stacy was lauded for not being a damsel in distress, but rather a partner or sidekick to Garfield’s Spider-Man. In a recent interview with Variety, Andrew Garfield opened up and discussed Gwen Stacy’s agency within Amazing Spider-Man 2. Have a look:
Andrew Garfield Talks About Gwen Stacy’s Agency
“Oh my god, I don’t even know where to start with that. It’s too big. Gwen had agency. In our film, on her final day, she shows up. I tried to restrain her from showing up to that scene with Electro [Jamie Foxx]. I knew that it was too dangerous, but she chose to be there. She had a hand in her own destiny in that way, and the movie is about fate.”Andrew Garfield | Variety Interview
In case you forgot or haven’t seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in a while, Garfield is referring to the two-pronged climax in which Gwen shows up against Peter’s wishes to assist him in defeating Jamie Foxx’s villainous blue Electro. Throughout the film, Peter and Gwen are at odds with each other about how involved they should be in the other’s lives, having decided before the climax that he will follow her to London as she takes on a scholarship (yes there’s a lot going on in this movie).
What differentiated Gwen from previous love interest Mary Jane Watson in the Sam Raimi films was her agency within the plot and as a character in her own right. We get a sense that Gwen would do well with or without Peter Parker in her life, but she loves him and him her because of their shared interests and desire to do good whenever possible. While Gwen’s decision to join Peter in the fight ultimately contributed to her death (among many other factors), it was still her choice to be there fully aware of the risks.
Especially in a time where love interests in comic book movies were often criticized for just being arm candy or someone to save at the end, Gwen Stacy stood out from the crowd in The Amazing Spider-Man series for being on nearly equal footing as the guy in the tights. Garfield is right to say the film is about fate, as every narrative strand involved in the climax is a culmination of various character journeys throughout the film, all leading to this.
Gwen is killed by the Green Goblin, who only harms her due to her relationship with Peter, and The Goblin only exists because of Peter’s choice to deny him the blood that could have potentially cured him or harmed him further. The most defining moment of TASM 2 is Peter’s inability to save Gwen in time despite his great power, so him saving Holland’s MJ from a nearly identical fate to Gwen is beautifully poetic. While his screentime in No Way Home is limited, both Garfield and the writers convey that Gwen Stacy will always be on Spider-Man’s heart regardless of how long he’s swinging.
As Garfield says in the quote, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is about fate, and while it was unfortunately Gwen’s fate to die, No Way Home showed that the ultimate fate of Garfield’s Peter is still up in the air. Here’s hoping we get an Amazing Spider-Man 3 to answer lingering questions and see Andrew Garfield’s story to its end.
What do you think of Garfield’s quote regarding Gwen Stacy? Did you see The Amazing Spider-Man franchise as it was released? Who’s your favorite out of the 3 cinematic Spider-Man love interests? Who’s your favorite Spider-Man character in comic books, TV, or film? Let us know in the comments below and on our Twitter.