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Sean O'Connell (Managing Editor of Cinemablend) Part 2

What inspired you to write your upcoming book, "With Great Power, an in-depth retelling of Spider-Man's History in Hollywood'?

Well, I am a life-long Spider-Man fan, having grown up collecting his comics. But as a movie lover, I’ve also been fascinated with his journey to the big screen: the ups, the downs, and the lessons that were learned by each filmmaker who took a crack at telling a Spider-Man story.

There were so many fascinating stories that I had heard regarding directors like James Cameron trying to make a Spider-Man movie, to the time Tom Holland convinced Disney to keep sharing Spider-Man with Sony. I wanted to collect them all together into one book.

Do you consider the next book as a natural progression from your first one, "Release the Snyder Cut"? What did you learn from the first book that you applied to the new one?

This is definitely a progression, as I feel like I had a much better understanding of how to tackle the sheer amount of material in WITH GREAT POWER. The Snyder Cut story was constantly evolving. With Spider-Man, most of the history already existed, so it was a matter of researching all of it, and collecting the interviews I knew I would need. Although, thanks to NO WAY HOME, there was still a decent amount of up-to-the-minute reporting to complete this book.

What is your writing process like for this book?

I divided Spidey’s filmography into sections.

Everything before the Raimi trilogy, the Sam Raimi films, the Marc Webb films, the MCU Spider-Man saga, and Sony’s universe outside of the MCU.

Then, inside of those segments, I came up with the stories that I wanted to tell, and set about interviewing as many important people as I could to capture their unique stories.

As your books are geared towards non-fiction, can you share any of your favorite non-fiction books or books in general that serves as an inspiration when writing your own?

I wish I could, but when you are writing your book, the last thing you want to do is read someone else’s work!

What special knowledge or research was required to write this book?

Having been obsessed with Spider-Man and the Spider-Man films helped me to know the stories that I would want to read about, which I think informs a lot of the choices that went into creating WITH GREAT POWER.

I was always curious about James Cameron’s effort to make a Spider-Man movie. I wondered what really happened with Shailene Woodley on The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Those stories – and fascinating ones that are similar to those – can all be found in the book.

Which chapter in the book is your favorite? Why?

I wrote a chapter about the sequels to Sam Raimi’s movie that I’m proud of. Because not only do I cover Spider-Man 2 and the controversies regarding Spider-Man 3, I dug up a LOT of information on what Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 would have been, as well as the story behind the David Koepp script that was written for Spider-Man 2, and how different that might have made Raimi’s trilogy if the director stayed with his original screenwriter.

Does this book have a soundtrack? A playlist that inspired you while writing it?

The soundtrack to basically everything that I do includes Blink 182, Angels and Airwaves, +44, Box Car Racer, Neck Deep, State Champs and as many pop-punk bands as you can think of….

What aspect of writing have you most improved in over time? What resources helped you most in this area?

I think, going into this book, I better understood the way to structure a book. With RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, I knew the outline I was going to follow. But WITH GREAT POWER has a tighter framework, with lots of room for fascinating story details. Knowing exactly where you are going before you even start writing the book can make for a much more enjoyable experience.

What do you hope readers will take away from your upcoming book?

I hope they learn a lot of extremely interesting behind the scenes information about several movies they’ve likely loved over the years. Spider-Man is a Hollywood sensation for a number of incredible reasons, and WITH GREAT POWER captures just about all of them.


- Ask your follow-up questions below, subject for editor approval. 
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