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On the set of The Amazing Spider-man 2

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Andrew Garfield tells Joe Ellison all on the New York set of The Amazing Spider-Man 2

It’s a T-shirt-sopping summer afternoon on the banks of Manhattan’s East River, and ShortList is watching Spider-Man shoot hoops. This isn’t part of a ‘wacky’ new direction for the sequel – although he’d be a force to be reckoned with on the court. No, it’s merely Andrew Garfield keeping himself busy between takes. However, when we catch up with the British star later, we’re told another sport has played a big part in the shaping of his web-slinging superhero.

“I want Spider-Man to be like Usain Bolt, to have that playful energy,” he tells us. “Minimalism in film is trendy now, and I’m fed up with it. I’ve also been watching a lot of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.”

It shows, too. In the scene we witness – Parker swinging into his high-school graduation, before unmasking and sweeping love interest Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) off her feet – the comedy feels very physical, suggesting more of a slapstick approach. This is accentuated by the inspired casting of Paul Giamatti as bumbling bank robber Rhino, who’s rumoured to feature inthe film’s blow-out opening action sequence.

Other new faces primed to tingle Parker’s senses include potential Green-Goblin-in-waiting Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper), and Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), an Oscorp employee who suffers a work-related accident to become villain Electro.

Unsurprisingly, the film’s appropriately surnamed director Marc Webb tells us what to expect: "Action, and on a much bigger scale than before,” while the stunt team proudly informs us that New Yorkers haven’t witnessed this much car flipping since Roland Emmerich’s various cinematic assaults on the Big Apple. And for our money, that’s no bad thing.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is at cinemas from 18 April

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