At least once a week someone – usually someone outside of the film industry – asks me if I’ve heard ‘that they’re remaking Spider-Man’?
And yes, I have. And yes, being that it only feels like yesterday I attended Sony’s media screening for the Sam Raimi directed “Spider-Man” (2001), it does make me feel both a little resentful and ostensibly old.
But according to “The Amazing Spider-Man” director Marc Webb, this “remake” isn’t so much.. a remake.
Speaking to Empire Magazine (via Comic Book Movie), the “(500) Days of Summer” director says his version of “Spider-Man” takes place in “a different universe and a different story with different characters” and encompass a whole other tone to Raimi’s “Spider-Man” film.
“I don’t have a problem saying that word,” says director Marc Webb. “It’s not a remake, we’re not making Sam’s movie again. It’s a different universe and a different story with different characters. There are certain mythological obligations people have in any story, but it’s so radically different in terms of tone and what Peter Parker experiences that I’m very comfortable with the movie occupying a different space.”
“I wanted to start from a place where it felt like, if you walked into the theatre, that it was the same universe you lived in,” says the director. “Which is difficult when you have a giant lizard running down the street…”
“He’s the literal embodiment of the theme of the movie, which is we all have a missing piece,” says Webb. “He has no arm. Peter has no parents, and he fills that void with Spider-Man. Curt is not as strong as Spider-Man on the inside, but he wants to get back his arm and fill that void, and essentially he becomes a big bully.”
Empire also got to see a couple of scenes from the movie, which isn’t due in theaters until next May.
The movie starts off pretty small and gradually merges into something that’s more fantastic and vibrant and filled with scope,” he says, and by way of illustration, runs three scenes in which we see Spider-Man swing. The first is entirely practical, with Garfield – in Parker duds – swinging around inside a disused warehouse, with the giant wired rig to which the whooping actor is attached yet to be deleted via CGI.
The second, from a little later in the film, is the only sequence Empire sees that is even somewhat redolent of Raimi-vision, as Spider-Man swings giddily along a bridge in pursuit of something, even running briefly on the side of a passing truck.
The third one, though, shows that Webb hasn’t abandoned CG. Far from it. The sequence – which is from the third act so we’ll be sure to tread carefully – features Spider-Man in pursuit of The Lizard (here seen just once, in very rough animatic form, from a distance as he scales a building), while being pursued himself by cops. Following an excellently staged fight with the cops, and an emotionally charged confrontation with, erm, A Major Character, the sequence follows a wounded Spider-Man as he tries desperately to swing across New York in order to save the day.
One thing’s for sure – Twilight it ain’t. “I haven’t seen a Twilight movie, so i don’t know how to comment on that,” says Webb. “People may assume because it’s me doing Spider-Man, it’s more intimate. And it is, but one of the reasons I wanted to do it was to [frick]ing blow shit up, swing through the air and kick some ass.”
It’s also confirmed that J.J Jonah Jameson and the newspaper editor’s iconic print media outlet won’t be seen in this film. Apparently the Daily Bugle won’t make an appearance until the sequel.