The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit U.S. theaters this weekend and despite mixed reviews, the film does one thing incredibly well – it surprises fans. (MAJOR SPOILERS)
There had been rumors for nearly a year that Emma Stone’s character Gwen Stacy would be dying in the sequel, but no one believed that Sony would allow Emma Stone to be killed off so early in their new franchise.
With Spider-Man films planned until 2018 and beyond, killing off one of the biggest draws to your film isn’t exactly something we’ve ever seen before.
When some images were leaked which showed Gwen wearing clothes that she wore in the comic when she was killed by Spider-Man, the internet was buzzing with rumors that she could actually be killed off.
But the buzz died down quickly because nearly everyone agreed that since Shailene Woodley had been cut from the film, Emma Stone would be appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man 3. That won’t be the case, at least not in any physical form.
As seen in the sequel, Peter was seeing visions of Gwen’s father constantly as he struggled to deal with the fact that he was breaking the promise he had made to stay away from Gwen due to the dangers that she could be involved in due to her relationship with Spider-Man.
And Gwen’s father was right, as Spider-Man struggles during his final battle with actor Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin, he throws one last web down to catch Gwen in slow motion and she’s stopped suddenly as she hits the ground.
Gwen dies in the arms of Peter, in what may be one of the most memorable moments in comic book movie history.
Tears and sniffles were heard in the theater, grown men, sniffling as Gwen lay lifeless in Peter’s arms as he’s just witnessed the person he cares for more than anyone else in the world die an awful death.
It’s almost ironic, considering we knew this was a possibility all along, but seeing Emma Stone suddenly jerk as the web caught her and her head hits the ground, it was just so final and brutal.
Director Marc Webb did an excellent job making us believe she had made it out alive after Electro is defeated, even including Gwen in the villain’s defeat, but then we hear the cackle of the Green Goblin as he swoops in to start battle number two.
We have to imagine it was insanely difficult for Marc Webb to convince Sony that this was the right way to go with the film. Studios don’t particularly enjoy losing half of the reason most people go see a massive franchise like Spider-Man.
Never once did we think that Mary Jane would actually die in the original trilogy, she was just shoved into these sticky situations that we knew Spider-Man would get her out of but not this time. A hugely popular character (and actor) is killed and not by a villain, but by Spider-Man himself.
The accident that had comic book fans tearing up back when it was seen on the page back in 1973 has finally come to the big screen and it was even more emotional than we expected.
We think it packed even more of a punch because of the real life relationship that Andrew and Emma share. Their chemistry is so electric on screen due to their actual relationship and that sudden death was simply shocking.
Gwen doesn’t move, her eyes don’t flutter as she passes away, Spider-Man’s web snaps her up as her head hits and she dies instantly.
Gone in the prime of her life as well, when she was headed to study at Oxford, making the loss of such an incredible person even more heart wrenching.
Not often are film deaths so intense and it’s because films have become quite predictable due to the public knowledge of future contracts and sequels, but despite all the warning signs and rumors, we just didn’t think they would go through with it, and that’s what has made this such an incredible moment.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has done something so daring that not many other franchises have ever been willing to do: They’ve killed off one of the lead characters who is played by a very popular actor, and oddly that’s something they should be proud of.
They didn’t let things end happily ever after, and while Spider-Man does gain his confidence back months later, the loss is massive, and we imagine it will haunt Peter for the rest of his days.
We’ll miss Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and we look forward to finding out if Shailene Woodley will return as Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, which will hit theaters June 10, 2016.
Let us know what you thought of Gwen Stacy’s death in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and if you were able to keep from being spoiled prior to seeing the film.
Editor’s note: There’s a debate as to whether it was the web snapping Gwen Stacy’s neck that killed her (as was assumed in the comic) or her head hitting the ground. We heard a snap in the film, but blood coming from her nose would seem to hint more towards head trauma. Either way we believe Spider-Man indirectly caused Gwen’s death by continuing his relationship with her against her father’s wishes due to the dangers of Spider-Man’s enemies.
Update: Director Marc Webb has revealed that Gwen’s head hitting the ground was the intended cause of death: “The other thing I had to adjust: he webs her and, originally, she didn’t hit the ground. She just bounced and her neck was supposed to break. But, what was interesting was people, when they watched that, the web represents salvation to people. They did not understand or believe or were not willing to accept that she had died — which is how it was done in the comics. So, we had to add a moment where there’s an impact wound.”