Another fan favorite, Gwen Stacy, makes her film debut in Spider-Man™ 3. Well known to fans of the comic books, Gwen made her first appearance in December 1965 (The Amazing Spider-Man #31) and quickly became Peter Parker’s first love. In Spider-Man™ 3, Gwen is a beautiful classmate who’s developed a crush on Spider-Man. Her presence brings a new dynamic to his relationship with his true love, M.J. Gwen is also the object of desire for Eddie Brock, who mistakes her casual friendliness for romantic interest.
Bryce Dallas Howard takes on the role. She says that despite the differences between the comic book and screen versions of her character, Howard was able to use the comic book as inspiration in bringing Gwen Stacy to life. “There was a very deep relationship built into the comic books – that became my foundation,” says the actress.
“Gwen is a supporting character in this film, but there are nuances and subtext built into Gwen’s scenes with Peter. She’s not a mere distraction for Peter Parker. This is a person who, had things been different, could have been a good mate for him. Because her father is a police captain, she’s accustomed to someone leaving and putting his life in jeopardy every day and loving him unconditionally. I was able to build on that, to play the character that was written in the comic book.”
Producer Laura Ziskin notes that Howard was particularly excited to perform her own stunts and game for anything that Raimi threw her way. “Bryce just knocked us out when she came in to read with Tobey for the part of Gwen Stacy,” recalls Ziskin. “She had this kind of sunshine in the midst of a lot of darkness and drama in the story. She was such a trooper, too. Anything we asked her to do – whether it be hanging from a building several stories up or soaring in the air with Spider-Man – she was spectacular.”
Oscar® nominee James Cromwell plays Gwen’s father, NYPD Captain George Stacy, who shares with Peter disturbing new information about the death of Uncle Ben, and who becomes concerned with Eddie Brock’s intense interest in his daughter. Theresa Russell plays Emma Marko, Flint Marko’s estranged wife.
“It’s wonderful to bring new actors into the series because, although you have an existing set of rules and storylines you want to adhere to, at the same time you need to shake it up, bringing new voices and energies to the film that we haven’t experienced before,” notes Raimi. “It gives the audience a new experience, with the characters they love, but with a new energy dynamic with those new faces on screen with them.”