The shooting permits, posted days in advance on light poles, said London Calling, the name of a fake movie intended to throw fans off the scent. So did the production assistants when passersby asked what they were setting up for. But after Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone arrived—not to mention a massive crew and a blue, glow-in-the-dark Jamie Foxx—only the most gullible out-of-towners could have mistaken the set of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (due next summer) for anything else.
Foxx’s scene, shot in and around Times Square the night of April 15, drew a crowd of hundreds that didn’t disperse until filming wrapped at 6:30 a.m. As the villain Electro, who’d been transformed by a lightning strike into a human superconductor, Foxx “was glowing and staggering down the street, bumping into extras near Motown: The Musical,” says New York photographer Mark Peterson. “There was a whole block of cars, and when he would touch one, all the energy would drain from it.” The following night in Union Square, Garfield and Stone (as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy) attracted an audience with only their superhuman ability to remember their dialogue, most of the time. “It was a very long scene. They walked through a market in what had to be a one-minute take,” says Peterson. “They ran it at least seven or eight times, then again at a different angle, and only once did he say ‘Ugh!’ like he’d forgotten a line. It wasn’t quite Heaven’s Gate, but it seemed like a lot of takes.”
*This article originally appeared in the May 6, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.