Andrew Garfield Says Working On ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Was ‘Heartbreaking’

Following the cancellation of Sam Rami’s Spider-Man 4 in January 2010, Sony was quick to get a new director and Spidey established. When The Amazing Spider-Man began filming later that year with rising star Andrew Garfield attached to the project, Garfield was 28 years old, fresh off critically-praised films like The Social Network and Never Let Me Go, and, as it turns out, not quite prepared him for what working on the big-budget superhero film might mean.

While Garfield has previously addressed the stress of working on The Amazing Spider-Man, calling the process similar to “canning coke” in an interview back in 2015, the actor is now opening up a bit more about the process and how it broke his heart. In an interview with The Guardian (via The Wrap), Garfield told the outlet that while he went into the film with “clear eyes and a full heart,” it was ultimately “a big awakening” and “hurt.”

“I went from being a naïve boy to growing up. How could I ever imagine that it was going to be a pure experience?” It’s at this point that The Guardian interviewer notes Garfield let out a “dry, joyless” laugh and added, “There are millions of dollars at stake and that’s what guides the ship. It was a big awakening and it hurt.

While the first film in The Amazing Spider-Man series was a relative success, grossing $750 million and pushing the studio to greenlight a sequel quickly, it’s no secret The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did not do so well for the studio. Created by Sony in an effort to inspire spin-offs and create an entire Spider-Man universe, the sequel was panned for being more set-up than movie and was considered a flop despite grossing $709 million worldwide. Garfield said the studio’s focus on expanding the property and money ultimately hurt both the movie and his spirit and is leading to the “ecological collapse that we are all about to die under.”

“Comic-Con in San Diego is full of grown men and women still in touch with that pure thing the character meant to them,” Garfield told The Guardian. “[But] you add in market forces and test groups and suddenly the focus is less on the soul of it and more on ensuring we make as much money as possible. And I found that – find that – heartbreaking in all matters of the culture. Money is the thing that has corrupted all of us and led to the terrible ecological collapse that we are all about to die under”

Since The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Garfield has steered clear of major franchises, choosing instead to work on more intimate projects. While there have certainly been rumors the actor will be returning to the Spider-Man series in the multiverse-loaded Spider-Man: No Way Home, the actor has not confirmed the rumors and even told the press he “didn’t get the call” to come back earlier this year.