I recently received an invitation to take a glimpse into “The Untold Story” of Spider-Man, and now that I’ve returned from the event I have a good idea of what it seems ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ will be like. As such, I feel confident in offering up some observations to you all. First, a quick rundown of the event (I only was invited a few days ago to attend, so it all went down very quickly). This went down all around the world, and at my New York event we were treated to some time with Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker), while Los Angeles got director Marc Webb, Rio de Janeiro had Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), and London was treated to Rhys Ifans (Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard). After a bit of small talk, the latest trailer was unveiled, followed by some more chatter and then an extended sizzle reel. The material consisted of some of the things talked about at Comic-Con last year, but a lot of it was new stuff. The new trailer was impressive and in 3D, while the clips were in 2D and some of the effects were still unfinished. I’ll get into the specifics in a moment below, but just so it’s out on front street…if you were worried about this reboot…don’t be. This is good stuff and likely going to be a supremely entertaining superhero flick.
What I saw at the event suggested both a darker and more humorous take on the material, but one that takes the character elements as seriously as the action. The footage appeared to be from all 3 acts, but a lot of it seemed from the end of the first/beginning of the second acts, in case you were wondering. As for the footage itself, there’s plenty to be excited about. In scenes both as Peter Parker and Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield was able to do a lot to make you believe this is what a high schooler with these abilities would do. He’s still awkward in school, especially with mutual crush Gwen Stacy (their interactions are very realistic and feel like those of teenagers in love), but sarcastic when in the costume. A gangly yet cute scene of Peter and Gwen setting a date after Martin Sheen’s Uncle Ben disciplines him captures the perfect tone. Having Marc Webb in the director’s chair paid off then. As for the action, it seems about on par with Sam Raimi’s films, if slightly darker and more in your face. It seems to be a very nice balance. I wasn’t ever too worried about this project, but I know that a lot of you were and plenty still are, so allow me to ease your fears a bit. You’re not going to be disappointed by Webb’s take on things, and Garfield is exactly what Peter Parker should be. So what else can you expect? Well, here are 5 main things that I took away from the event and think you might find of some note:
1. This is a different origin for Peter– ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ offers a much different look on how Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man. Those of you who are worried this is a waste of time can rest easy. The looks that we got of Peter gaining these abilities strikes a slightly different tone and should play quite well to audiences. The same principles are still being adhered to, but in a unique enough way to never seem unnecessary.
2. Peter’s father is going to be a big presence– While Uncle Ben still seems to be a strong factor for Peter, we didn’t see too much of Aunt Mae (Sally Field). There was a lot mentioned of Peter’s father though, and his connection to Dr. Connors. This appears to be a more layered take on the material and suggest a complex relationship between all of these characters in this new universe.
3. The Lizard is a suitable villain for the material– I’m not sure all of the creature effects were done, but what we saw of The Lizard was creepy but still effective. I wasn’t sure if this was going to look like a giant alligator on screen or some goofy green version of Rhys Ifans, but what I took a gander at seems to be a nice middle ground. We were teased with some of their fights, but most of that is going to be saved for July I guess.
4. Expect a cross between Raimi’s Spidey and The Dark Knight Returns– This seems to be a little more grounded of a film than the previous webslinger trilogy, but not as dark and gritty as Christopher Nolan’s trio of Batman film. I think the final product will be very pleasing for both fans of Raimi’s take and those who wish someone like David Fincher was behind the camera. Marc Webb has delivered.
5. The 3D is shaping up quite nicely– The trailer showed just how much better it is to shoot in 3D as opposed to simply doing the post conversion process. Nothing seemed gimmicky, but we got a rather immersive experience. While I have no doubt the extra dimension was decided upon for a bigger box office haul, the film itself looks like it’ll benefit from the actual 3D camera being used. This may not quite be ‘Avatar’ or ‘Hugo’, but it’s not going to be anything like ‘Clash of the Titans’ or ‘The Last Airbender’ was.
Those are just a few of the observations that I had, but I expect the hype for the film to increase a lot after this (I’d imagine the trailer will hit the web soon…no pun intended). If nothing else, it should keep the doubters from ruling the conversation. I have a lot of confidence in this turning out to be a great flick. The acting looks strong, the visuals are stunning, and the tone is right on. There’s ton of potential here. I liked what I saw a lot and can’t wait to see more! What do you all think about this…are you potential fears eased at all? Are you still skeptical? Let us know!
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