At this point, I’m sure that we are all very well aware of the happs when it comes to The Amazing Spider-Man: it’s a reboot, Marc Webb is directing, Andrew Garfield is Spidey, and the teaser trailer was recently leaked. Now that we’re all on the same page, we can get to the good stuff!
Director Marc Webb spoke with the LA Times about his approach to the Spiderman reboot, and his intention to “reinvent” the superhero. From what he’s said, it appears that he plans to really go back to Peter Parker’s roots and to emulate everything about the character (his geeky gawkishness, for instance) in a way that fits the modern day context, rather than glorifying him and glossing over the things that make him a relatable human being. Basically, it appears that we’re going back to basics and revisiting the Peter Parker that was present back in 1960 when the comic series began and really making use of the decades upon decades of information we have on the guy.
Hit the jump for snippets from the LA Times interview.
On the reinvention:
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 [called “The Social Network“] about it. 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].
On making the stunts as realistic as possible:
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 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 world and probably closer visually and more influenced by “Ultimate Spider-Man” but it is also very much a world of our own devising.
On villains actually having dimension!
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].
Reading this interview is actually making me excited for the movie; I’ve been skeptical, but Marc Webb is extremely talented and he seems to have his shit together. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product for these stunts, and it’s definitely refreshing to have a villain that isn’t entirely two-dimensional; I find that black-and-white bad guy vs. good guy stuff gets boring very quickly.