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A Bug's Life
What has eight appendages, one web-slinger, and plenty of angst? The sequel to 2002's blockbuster 'Spider-Man.'

By Tom Russo

SPIDER-MAN CENTRAL Spider-Man
• Photos: Spidey 3 Premiere
• Spidey 3 Film Stills
• Spidey 3 Behind-the-Scenes
• Villian Vote!
• Tobey Maguire Feature
• Kirsten Dunst Feature
• Spidey 2 Behind-the-Scenes

Like many a comic-book fan grown to adulthood, director Sam Raimi could sum up his biggest interest in Spider-Man in a single word: angst. So it's entirely by design that Raimi's Spider-Man 2, the sequel to his $404 million-grossing smash, serves up a hearty helping of melodrama, most notably through the continuing frustrated relationship between the hero's alter ego, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), and the girl he loves, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). "Sam wanted to make a movie about 'real' people that extraordinary things happen to," says Maguire. "And I think we achieved that."

Still, one would imagine that the affable Raimi must have felt some angst of his own these last several months — the sort that comes from presiding over a reported $200 million effects extravaganza in which Spidey and classic nemesis Doctor Octopus (Frida's Alfred Molina) make all of New York their personal cage-match venue. One climactic set piece has the two facing off on a forgotten, half-sunken East River pier designed to evoke both Fritz Lang and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari — but which apparently evokes driftwood by the time they get through smashing up the spot. And for a warm-up? "There's a battle atop the New York City overground train, and it gets pretty hairy," Raimi says, admitting with a laugh that one of the challenges of the sequence was that Manhattan hasn't had elevated tracks for decades (aside from a very short stretch). Tweaking transportational reality, the production shot some footage on Chicago's el system and used both computer models and soundstage mock-ups as well. Not that Maguire and Molina got an easy ride: "We had those boys flying around [the stage] on wires at ungodly speeds," Raimi says. "But they just wanted to know, 'What else can we do to sell this moment physically?'"

A Bug's Life

RELATED LINKS
Spider-Man
Kiss of the Spider-Man
Alfred Molina: Summer All-Star
Spider-Man's Kirsten Dunst
Spider-Man 2
A Bug's Life
Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man Unmasked
Scene Stealer: Alfred Molina


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