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Local Pol Implores 'Spider-Man' to 'Pass Over' Passover Shoot

By Meredith Hoffman | March 15, 2013 2:53pm

WILLIAMSBURG — He has battled the Green Goblin, the Lizard, Venom and Sandman — and now Spider-Man better pull out his superpowers for his latest foe.

Williamsburg Council Member Stephen Levin is demanding that "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" reschedule a film shoot that would close off South Williamsburg streets during Passover, after DNAinfo.com reported Hasidic leaders' outrage at the "culturally insensitive" plan.

The shoot "would be a plague on the streets of South Williamsburg during the sacred holiday, creating a parking struggle of biblical proportions,” Levin said in an impassioned email announcement. "Spider-Man is spinning a web of problems for the community."

The film company, which currently plans to close streets around the Marcy Armory from March 22-27, should "pass over" its shooting plan, Levin said, since Passover begins March 25.

"Columbia Pictures should live by the motto that led Spider-Man to use his abilities to fight crime," he said, "and respect the observance of Passover by moving up their shooting.”

Levin's plea echoed the concerns of Hasidic leaders like Gary Schlesinger, who said the sacred time would be disrupted by street closures.

"When they schedule films like this, they should look at the calendar," Schlesinger said. "If it falls on a holiday such as Passover, it's not culturally sensitive to book a film and to close down parking that week, when everybody is staying home and enjoying their families."

A spokeswoman from Columbia Pictures did not immediately respond to Levin's comments, but she previously said the company is "working to minimize any impact on the neighborhood."

"We're doing our best to be good neighbors," said the spokeswoman Julie Kuehndorf.

The city has not yet granted parking permits to the company, officials said.

Levin said he knew "Spider-Man is not the menace some people believe him to be," but he warned of the superhero's potential damage.

"We are asking Columbia Pictures to honor the spirit of the holiday," he said, "and not cause an exodus of vehicles from the Jewish neighborhood to accommodate the production.”