Director Marc Webb Discusses How The Amazing Spider-Man Will Differ from the Spider-Man Trilogy
07.19.11 by Ryan
So far, not much has been revealed about how director The Amazing Spider-Man different from the trilogy of movies that Sam Raimi directed. With no trailer released yet, anxious fans were recently treated to the first official photos outside of January's first official look at Andrew Garfield in his Spider-Man costume and February's look of Spidey about to use his webshooters.
Of course, there have been plenty of "spy pics" from the Amazing Spider-Man set, some of which just show Spidey running across the street, while others were more revealing. Some May spy photos confirmed that Rhys Ifans was going to play Dr. Curt Connors, a.k.a. the Lizard, a fact that Sony was trying to keep very close to the vest.
Both The Amazing Spider-Man and 2002's Spider-Man cover the character's origin story, which is how the movies will be similar, though Amazing Spider-Man has Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) as Peter Parker's love interest and not Mary Jane, which is more in keeping with the comic book origin. In an interview with The LA Times, Webb says that another difference between his and Raimi's Spider-Man movies is that being a nerd is much different than when the character was first created in 1962.
Peter Parker is a science whiz. If you look back to the early Stan Lee and Steve Ditko comics, he’s a nerd with big glasses. The idea of what a nerd is has changed in 40 or 50 years. Nerds are running the world. Andrew Garfield made a movie about it [The Social Network]. Nerds are no longer pariahs and knowing how to write computer code is longer a [mocked] quality. What was important in those early comics was this notion that Peter Parker is an outsider and how we define that in a contemporary context. That, I think, was one of the challenges for us — getting Peter Parker’s outsider status to be current. Peter Parker is a real kid. He’s not a billionaire. He’s not an alien. He’s a kid who gets picked on and gets shoved to the outside. The 90-pound weakling, that’s who Spider-Man is when he gets bit. So much of the DNA of the character is the fact that he was a kid when he got bit. He is imperfect, he is immature and has a bit of a punk rock instinct. In his soul he’s still a 90-pound weakling even after [the transformative bite].
Amazing Spider-Man will also have some technical differences, with Webb saying that his version will have less CGI scenes of a web-swinging Spider-Man (also previously revealed in set photos).
One of the things we tried to do was keep the stunts more grounded physically and that was a huge challenge because you have a character whose abilities are superhuman. How do you do that in a way that’s convincing and real? We had a really great stunt team, the Armstrongs, who were vigilant in the creation — with Andrew — of a physical language that felt grounded but also extraordinary. We spent months and months and months developing rigs so he could swing in a way that wasn’t computer-generated. Obviously there’s going to be enhancements and CG [sequences], but it’s based in a physical reality and that’s a new technique [for this film brand]. When you walk out of the theater, I want the world you see to resemble what you saw on the screen. Part of the joy of cinema [is that] you make the impossible look real. I wanted it to be more grounded and more realistic and that went for the emotion of the scenes, the physical action and wardrobe. It’s less based in Steve Ditko's world and probably closer visually and more influenced by Ultimate Spider-Man but it is also very much a world of our own devising.
Amzing Spider-Man will also feature a "new villain" (for the movies, anyway) which the director still won't exactly say is the Lizard (even though everyone knows at this point).
I can tell you this much — it’s a new villain, something we haven’t seen before and villains help define the story in a very specific way. Marvel villains — and Spider-Man villains in particular — are rich and complicated and interesting and Rhys has done just a fantastic job in translating that and there will be a lot of new things to explore for the fans. They’re tragic in the Greek sense, meaning it’s a competing idea of what’s good. They’re not just guys, they’re people trying to do good or to do the right thing and on that journey that effort becomes subverted or manipulated or it sours. It makes for a much more compelling adversary. In the Marvel Universe, traditionally, the villains have more texture. This is open to interpretation because there are so many incarnations of the villains over the years and it varies, but the [tradition is there].
Amazing Spider-Man was adapted by James Vanderbilt, with rewrites by Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves. The movie co-stars Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Peter Parker's Uncle Ben and Aunt May, respectively; Campbell Scott and Julianne Nicholson as Peter's parents, Richard and Mary Parker; Irrfan Khan as Van Atter; Denis Leary as Gwen's father, Capt. George Stacy; C. Thomas Howell as Ray, a character that is possibly new; and Chris Zylka as Flash Thompson, the bully who made Parker's life hell in high school.