Yo yo ladies and gents of the world and welcome to another instalment of Films I’m Looking Forward to in 2012. Today I just thought I’d share with you my thoughts on the upcoming Spider-Man film reboot entitled The Amazing Spider-Man.
Now if you are like me then you love Spider-Man, I think he is the best superhero in the world. While loads of other comic book fans would say the Batman or Superman, Spidey is the one for me. It’s been that way ever since I was a kid and it’s just my personal preference. And if you’re like me then you would have liked the Sam Raimi Spider-Man film trilogy. Granted that there were a good number of changed to the origin story, characters, costumes and some terrible choices made in the third film… But regardless of those factors Spider-Man 1 & 2 are still great films by most live-action superhero film standards, they helped build the basic formula for superhero films and they actually made them cool to watch. I loved the first to Sam Raimi films, with Tobey Maguire giving a great performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, along with other great actors and actresses like Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, William Dafoe, Alfred Molina, JK Simmons, Bryce Dallas Howard and Elizabeth Banks to name a few. I think the films did a great job of capture the life and times of Peter Parker through all the ups and downs, juggling his double life and trying to safe the world, The films really were fabulous with some great storylines, amazing fight sequences, wonderful characters with great development. Obviously the films unfortunately took a turn for the worst when Spider-Man 3 came out and through in too many stories, characters, butchered Eddie Brock/Venom and Gwen Stacy too. So this series did end on a slightly weak note, but before this reboot came along I think most people were in agreement; that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films besides number 3 were great… That was until this reboot thing came into play.
The Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, it really wasn’t that bad especially with the brilliance that is Spider-Man 2. Still one of the most highly regarded comic book films in existence.
So obviously after a while it was confirmed that Sony were gonna go ahead and attempt to redeem themselves with Spider-Man 4 with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire as Spidey again against John Malkovich as The Vulture. It sounded great, however the plug was pulled on that project by Sony and then they decided to go for the reboot option instead. Some fans were completely outraged, while a surprising amount of people supported the idea. To be honest I thought that there was many other film series of Marvel characters that needed to be rebooted more than Spider-Man. Fantastic Four, Daredevil or Ghost Rider anybody? But it went ahead anyway and the announcements were made. Firstly Sony said that the film would be directed by Marc Webb, director of 500 Days of Summer and they also gave a date for the reboot which was July 3rd 2012. Then we found out about the plot, hearing that Peter Parker would be heading back to high school, again. Except this film would focusing specifically on that part of his life as a young Parker as he discovers his powers similar to the story that got told in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. Also there would be another aspect taken into play which hadn’t been covered before; Parker’s parents and the mystery surrounding their lives. Over the latter half of 2010 we got our new cast for the film with british actor Andrew Garfield taking on the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, we had the lovely Emma Stone originally thought to be Mary Jane Watson, then confirmed to be Gwen Stacy and we had Rhys Ifans as the new Dr. Curt Connors/the Lizard.
Now let’s talk about Andrew Garfield. He’s a british actor of a fairly high-caliber and done a lot of good work in films like Lions for Lambs, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Boy A and Never Let Me Go. However as good as those films were if you were outside of the UK then chances are you wouldn’t see them so you couldn’t judge his acting skills unless you searched him out. I don’t think it was until The Social Network came out that people started to pay attention to Garfield and while that’s pretty bad, that’s the way it happened for a lot of people. Luckily he was bloody brilliant as Eduardo Saverin, he gave a very convincing american accent and gave a wonderful performance in the film. I think after that point no one was worried about him playing Parker in the new film.
Before any images of this reboot film came out everybody never wanted this film to happen, most people either wanted Spider-Man 4 or just wanted the film series to die. But slowly after filming started and the interviews started coming in the new film started winning people over with great casting for the main and supporting cast, a much more promising story which is closer to the source material and a good few pictures and videos from the filming on-set. And speaking of pictures let’s look att he first official one that came out in January 2011.
This was the official picture for the new Spider-Man film and this was the defining feature at the time that would determine how the film was going and whether you personally would approve of it or not. Most people I saw from forum to forum to any other place on the internet where you could leave a comment hated the costume. A lot of people complained about the tampering oft he original style of the costume or some complained that Garfield’s Spidey was too skinny and so on and so forth. Though there were many who liked the new style of this new costume commenting on the new material on the red and blue areas and liked the sleek, rough-cut and edgy new design. I have to say I was apprehensive about the progress of this film at first with all of the changes that were made to the costume and the choice of casting for Peter Parker, but the more I looked at it I started to like it. Though when I saw some of the set photos that came out and saw the costume in full I was like “What the hell is this? Where’s the belt area on the costume? And why does his shoes have this stupid silvery metal bits on the bottom?” Many complaints were fired at the costume, but eventually the fans calmed down, well the sensible ones at lease haha.
The film eventually adopted the name “The Amazing Spider-Man” as its official title and that was appropriate as it was in line with the title of the original ongoing comic books series. It was a smart move as it again established its closer connection to the source material especially to the Stan Lee & Steve Ditko era of the Spidey stories. Over the course of 2011 we learnt a lot about the film, from the story direction to the characters that were going to be used and how they would interact with each other. We also learnt that the film was being film in 3D because Marc Webb described that the film was going to fully immerse you in the vision of Spider-Man and that the 3D would enhance the film rather than take away from it. We also learnt that Peter Parker would return to using his web shooters rather than his organic webbing he got in the Raimi films. Marc Webb went with this choice to showcase Parker’s level of scientific intellect. From set pictures we learnt that Oscorp would be involved in the film and so would the Daily Bugle, but J. Jonah Jameson wouldn’t be involved in the film and Peter wouldn’t have his normal job at the Bugle just yet. As I said before there was a loads of photos and videos from around the late point of 2010 when principal photography started, there was a great number of pictures of Andrew Garfield in and out of the suit and we learnt that this version of Parker has been modernised with the choice of clothing and especially with the skateboard he carries around. We also saw many pictures of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy in many different locations and we also got to see shots of Rhys Ifans as Curt Connors. But fans were really interested in were the set photos of Garfield in the costume. We saw shots of him fighting criminals in very strange positions to swinging the very impressive physical web-slinging which again reinforced what Marc Webb said about trying to create a more realistic Spider-Man film saying that CGI would only be used for visual enhancements.
So after a good number pictures and videos we got our first trailer for the film in July 2011 after it was leaked online and aired at San Diego’s Comic-Con International. What we got from the trailer was a really massive teaser trailer, though it did establish the tone, atmosphere and style of this upcoming film which felt completely different from the Sam Raimi films. In that trailer there was a great emphasis on Parker’s parents and the fact that he was a loner and had no one that he knew friend-wise besides Gwen. We see a different take on how he got his abilities and then we were treated to a fist-person perspective as Spider-Man running along the rooftops of New York which looked very much like the game Mirror’s Edge. While it was a neat thing to add into the trailer it did kind of feel like a gimmick for the 3D aspect of the film. Though it was a decent trailer, fans demanded more, though it was clear from the amount of stuff we saw that there was still a great deal of work and post-production touch-ups that needed to be implemented and expecting a lot while the film was still being made was a bit of a long shot. Overall the first trailer got us all talking, while it wasn’t a the best trailer ever and a lot of fans wanted a lot more from the trailer, it did grab our attention. Watch it here:
So then we came into 2012 and the information for this film just keeps coming from each comic related event. With loads of official new pictures from the film and we even got the official plot synopsis:
“The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.”
It sounded all too interesting but at the same tine it wasn’t anything we hadn’t read about before. Along with this plot synopsis we finally got full-on looks at the Lizard and his more humanoid form very much similar to the original comics and less like the later versions with the long snout which is the fan favourite. Many don’t like the look of this Lizard, while others have learned to accept what they’re given. Either way I don’t think it was until this second official trailer came out that The Amazing Spider-Man became an actual contender for a good summer film. Check it out here:
I already did a video on this trailer a little while ago when it came out in last month but needless to say it looks miles better than the last trailer in every way shape and form. It’s dark, its serious and it packs a lot of weight into everything that you see from the scenes of action to the conversations between the main characters. It also seems like there is proper connection between Connors and Parker, not only from Peter’s parents but also what happens to Connors to turn him into the Lizard. The use of location in this film is so diversion and the use of lighting colour really gives off and realistic tone to the movie. The Spider-Man in this trailer looks like the coolest guy ever. I mean Spidey’s web-slinging is very fluid and a lot faster than the previous films, plus he looks so badass throwing down against his enemies and throwing web in such a fancy fashion. It also seems like this version of Spidey is even more agile, flexible and moves around a lot more when it comes to combat and evasion. And finally, finally, finally he has his trademark humour back in place. We can see that the police will have a greater role in this film with Captain George Stacy ordering an arrest for Spider-Man so that should be interesting also. If this isn’t a good indication of good stuff to come then I dunno what is.
In conclusion I’m hopeful for The Amazing Spider-Man, the film went from being something I’d watch because I felt it was mandatory to something I am genuinely interested in watching. I’m hyped. There is a lot to like about this new take on Spider-Man, the filmmakers are bringing back Gwen Stacy and the Lizard, plus the Spidey’s trademark humour, the web shooters, they’re doing physical stunt work for web slinging too. Along with a gritty and darker tone than before and more involving character story Spider-Man’s return to the big screen this summer could be pretty badass. What I’m properly interested in is the way in which they tackled the characters because it’s been said in many interviews with the director and the actors that the characters are key to this film and that they happen to be the driving force of this film, especially the relationship between Peter and Gwen. I hope that materialised in this film and it translates well and that the filmmakers can do Spidey justice. Let’s hope Marvel don’t let us down. BRING IT ON!!!