It's become clear that the main aesthetic driving the Amazing Spider-Man films is 'changing our mind and redoing the whole film in the editing room,' as both movies' marketing campaigns include peeks into massive subplots utterly excised from the final films. In the first it was all the stuff about Peter's parents having a secret - I spelled it out for you in this article. This year the big missing element is Oscorp tracking Peter; the ads and trailers made a big deal out of this, and even made it seem as if Harry Osborn had put two and two together and knew that Peter was Spider-Man (his reasoning in the movie is so awful - that because Peter took A picture of Spider-Man he must know Spider-Man - that we would be thankful to learn this was a last minute change). The whole dynamic of that relationship seems to be different.
But that isn't the only change made during the course of making/editing the movie. One change that I've heard whispered about is actually kind of big, and I don't know why it was altered, as it would have fixed some problems with the first movie: in the original script Donald Mencken, the Colm Feore character who is an asshole at Oscorp and who fires Harry Osborn, was Mr. Ratha. You remember him - the character played by Irrfan Khan who disappears in The Amazing Spider-Man but who, according to the trailers and released photos, was probably killed by the Lizard in a deleted scene. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 feels like a sequel to a movie that isn't The Amazing Spider-Man, and having Ratha show up and continue his asshole ways would have gone a long way to solve that. It also would have made a dent in the big wall of white guys.
One element that made it all the way to shooting, and screenshots of it have somehow made their way online. It was to be a post-credits tag, and it was to be when Mr. Fiers (give me a fucking break) is in the Oscorp lab, setting up the Sinister Six. One of the rooms has a head in a jar - Norman Osborn's head. "Time to wake up, old friend," Fiers says, and then the final credits roll.
Is that particularly good? Not really, but it certainly beats a guy in a hat walking in front of Doc Ock's tentacles. And it makes the appearance of Chris Cooper in the movie feel like it had some, I don't know, point? I'm glad Cooper got a paycheck, but he's playing one of the single most pointless roles I have ever seen in a major film, one that exists simply because the character was a big deal in the comics.
Are these the only changes made to the film? Is The Amazing Spider-Man 2, like The Amazing Spider-Man, a victim of visionless leaders being pushed around by marketing types (both films scored dismally in early tests, I understand)? Will the next film have that same feeling of figuring it out as they go along, and not telling the marketing people what they cut?