The trailer (debuting tonight) and a sizzle reel for “The Amazing Spider-Man” were previewed for select audiences around the world this weekend giving the select few a sneak peek at the upcoming movie reboot of the Marvel comic. In addition, the movie’s director and stars – Marc Webb in L.A, Emma Stone and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach in Rio, Rhys Ifans in London and Andrew Garfield in New York – were beamed in from cities around the world to answer some questions for a live simulcast. Funny, informative stuff ensued!
Here’s The Hollywood Reporter‘s low-down on the footage shown and fan questions asked :
It helps that the trailer, shown in 3D, more than delivers. Ditto for the extended scenes, which were shown in 2D. Some stuff fans may have seen at last year’s Comic-Con and there were a couple of shots that were still in the animatic stage, but the new footage showed a lot of Ifans as Dr. Curtis Connors and his evolution into the classic Spider villain the Lizard. In fact, it shows that Peter Parker has a hand in creating the amphibious freak.
Among the other scenes was one of Spidey vs. the NYPD, conducting a manhunt led by Captain Stacy (Denis Leary), the father of love interest Gwen Stacy (Stone). Stacy the policeman even unmasks our hero (I won’t tell you what happens after.)
What is amazing about the footage is how it manages to be deeply intimate and personal while also big; it makes the old Sam Raimi movies look fake and quaint. The relationships between Parker and Gwen Stacy, Parker and his aunt and uncle, Parker and Captain Stacy, Parker and Connors, all show different facets of a teen who not only is picked on and given powers but more interestingly an orphan who finds emotional chords connecting him to his missing father.
Webb, in between the trailer and the sizzle reel, said one of this focuses in the new movie was to explore Parker’s life in the context of being an orphan, and said the movie starts with territory not normally ventured in, his parents. “I wanted to treat Peter Parker in a more naturalistic way,” he said.
Speaking from Rio, Stone was asked how is her character different than that of Mary Jane, played by Kirsten Dunst in the Raimi movies. “Gwen is the yin to Mary Jane’s yang,” she said. “Gwen is falling in love with Peter Parker and Mary Jane falls in live with Spider-Man, which I think is different.”
Sony couldn’t have a better Parker/Spidey in Garfield, who comes off as humble, a nervousness “I can’t believe I’m here” current running through him, and respectful and deferential to the geek crowd.
The character “belongs to everyone in this room,” Garfield said from New York. “It doesn’t belong to me. I really mean it. The more of these events I go to the more I realize…it’s overwhelming to be representing this symbol. ‘Cuz that’s all I am. I’m the guy in the suit. It could be anyone in the suit. It happen to be me this time, before that it was Tobey (Maguire) and next time hopefully it will be a half Hispanic-half African American actor.”
ComicBookMovie says :
”As if it couldn’t get any better, Marc Webb then revealed that he had one more surprise for those lucky enough to be in attendance. A reel of footage (in 2D due to the fact that they’re still working on it) which would feature a handful of unfinished scenes, but plenty of other never before seen moments too. It played very much like a trailer and started with Flash Thompson beating up a kid and telling Peter to take a photo of it. He refuses and receives a beating for his troubles (to which he has a witty comeback – “I’m still not taking that picture”). The next scene was the one shown at last year’s San Diego Comic Con, an exchange between Peter, Uncle Ben and Gwen in which the chemistry between the three in their respective scenes with one another is clear. We also saw an extended version of the scene in the car, this time featuring Spider-Man getting on his knees and begging the thug not to use his knife on him. What happens next? He uses his webbing to make a fool of the guy, pretending to sneeze at one point and throwing it like a baseball only seconds later. This was very, very funny and while some fans may think this sounds as if Peter is being portrayed as arrogant while in costume, I assure you that it doesn’t come across that way. A motorcycle cop pulls up behind him as the scene moved on and he fires off a couple of shots before Spidey dodges them with ease and jumps over him. We also see Peter testing his powers out in an abandoned warehouse, struggling at first and later perfecting them as he skateboards through the city. There were a lot of negative comments from fans when Garfield was spotted with a board but it works very well here and is a fun way of showing off his new powers. This footage also confirmed that it is Captain Stacy who unmasks Spider-Man (part of this IS shown in the trailer but it isn’t quite so clear) and that he is handcuffed when it happens. Moments before a helicopter shoots something which seemingly immobilizes him, thereby allowing this to happen. He escapes, fighting off the police despite literally having both hands tied behind his back. Later on, a confrontation between Spider-Man and the Lizard reveals via voice over that Peter may have helped create him by assisting Connors with the experiment to regain his arm (removed convincingly by CGI and then growing back again). One of the unfinished sequences saw the Lizard attack Van Atter’s car, only to be thwarted by Spider-Man who saves several of the vehicles from being thrown from the bridge. It was at this later point in the reel of footage that we were shown a facial shot of the Lizard as he climbed up the top of a building in pursuit of Spider-Man and he looks EXACTLY like the Pez dispensers, concept art and various toys we’ve seen. Whether he had a snout wasn’t clear (more on that below) but it looked to me like a regular humanoid face and not the animalistic version associated with artists such as Todd McFarlane. ”
Collider have a good summary of the Q&A :
When asked what the untold story is, Marc Webb said that it’s about exploring Peter Parker and his relationship with his parents. And that the Gwen Stacy story has “more magic.” He also said that he wants to treat Peter Parker in a “more naturalistic and realistic way.”
Emma Stone, happy to be asked about the differences between Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, said that Gwen “is a yin to Mary Jane’s Yang. Gwen’s a valedictorian, and has a great relationship with her father. Gwen falls in love with Peter Parker while MJ falls in love with Spider-Man.
When asked how The Lizard is different from other Spider-Man villains Ifans said “They’re all human, and flawed like Peter Parker, but what makes my character have an emotional presence is his relationship with Peter Parker’s Dad.
Garfield, when asked what made him want to play Spider-Man, responded: “Because I’m not an idiot.”
Garfield sees Spidey as a symbol. “Hopefully next time it will be someone half-Hispanic and half African-American.” The role gives him “reverential terror.”
Screen Junkies says :
It looks great. Webb stressed the use of 3D cameras in filming, not the “bullshit” conversion technique. Much has been made of the use of 3D as Spider-Man wings through New York, and the footage lives up to the hype. The action feels made for IMAX.
A big element of the trailer was a bombastic, epic score that made even these three minutes feel important. I felt that the original three films never hoped to be more than “cute,” and while this one appears very heartfelt (an awkward interaction early on between Peter and Stacy shows a soul that eludes most superhero films), it also feels like this is a story that’s asking to be told, rather than one that’s created.
While Columbia certainly wants to put its best foot forward with the trailer, including all the “money shots” that make the 3D seem worthwhile, it’s the more low-key moments that left me wanting more. In the theater lobby after the viewing, Sony execs were loudly celebrating a tweet from the audience that read something along the lines of “(Christopher) Nolan has found a rival in Webb.” While I don’t expect a rivalry or feud to break out any time soon, and I don’t think that Webb has the same resume that Nolan does yet, I understand the Tweeter’s excitement in seeing a filmmaker hit the mark in such a huge fashion.
And there’s plenty of other POSITIVE reviews around the net, too.
Did Sony and Marvel maybe make the right decision in rebooting the “Spider-Man” series after all?