‘Amazing Spider-Man’: Rhys Ifans Talks The Lizard & Spidey

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm,

So far there’s been a lot more discussion about how The Amazing Spider-Man will differ from Sam Raimi’s movie trilogy about the webslinger – and less about how the two may be alike.

According to Rhys Ifans, who’s playing Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard in the Spidey reboot, one quality the two will share is having a villain who’s less evil incarnate, and more of a flawed character.

Some fans have complained about how Raimi’s Spider-Man flicks never really featured a “pure” villain; instead, the antagonists were always a flawed figure who was corrupted by the darker side of ambition – or whose evil actions were inspired by some tragic event(s) in their past. So there’s been some question as to whether or not Amazing Spider-Man‘s version of The Lizard would be (or not be) more of a black-and-white opponent for Peter Parker.

In an interview with Hero Complex, Ifans had the following to say about his version of Dr. Connors in The Amazing Spider-Man:

“Absolutely, Curt Connors is by no stretch an evil villain. He’s not like the Batman villains, like the Joker, who are the embodiment of evil. Curtis Connors is a great man who makes a bad decision.  That’s the whole magic of the Spider-Man idea. These people are the embodiment of our flaws and our desires that lead to tragedy. Curt Connors is a man with one arm and he wants to grow his arm back. He has access to a science that can enable that. But he has to make a moral decision, an ethical decision, to achieve that. In a story both he and Peter Parker are presented with these amazing abilities, and it’s about this gift that life gives us. More than any other super-hero, Spider-Man presents us with something very local in its ethics. It’s not messianic. It’s far more tangible. He is, again, a working-class hero.”

Those of you who prefer the bad guys in comic book movies to not be of the bleeding heart variety… well, The Amazing Spider-Man probably won’t give you what you’re looking for. Then again, Spider-Man villains in general have a history of being more on the ambiguous side of the moral divide, so this news shouldn’t be all that shocking.

Rhy Ifans talks The Amazing Spider Man Amazing Spider Man: Rhys Ifans Talks The Lizard & Spidey

As mentioned before, the Amazing Spider-Man creative team has gone on before about the film having a more naturalistic tone and being more grounded in style than Raimi’s movies. Ifans once again emphasized that point in his interview as well:

“… Not to be disparaging to the other movies at all but they were kind of going a certain way and ['Amazing Spider-Man' director Marc Webb] has rolled it back to its delicate, human domesticity. Spider-Man is a working-class hero. He’s an everyman. And I think Marc as a director and Andrew [Garfield] in his performances are doing special — we’re reclaiming the poetry of the hero and of the story.”

Spider-Man stories (be they in comic book, cartoon, or live-action film form) have always addressed the struggles of being a masked superhero, while also facing the difficulties of being a teenager making the transition into adulthood. It’s no surprise then that Ifans has confirmed that Amazing Spider-Man won’t break from that tradition:

“… It’s the human condition in flux — in physical flux but in moral and emotional flux as well. The teenage state, interestingly, is a state of flux too, it’s riddled with hormones and change, and Spider-Man more than any other hero is a metaphor for puberty.”

andrew garfield subway spider man 570x329 Amazing Spider Man: Rhys Ifans Talks The Lizard & Spidey

The Amazing Spider-Man was written by James Vanderbilt, Steve Kloves and Alvin Sargent and stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Embeth Davidtz, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan and Chris Zylka.

The Amazing Spider-Man will swing into theaters on July 3rd, 2012.

Source: LA Times

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  1. I for one have always liked the fact that the Spider-Man villians were not always black and white. Leave that for the superheroes like Superman (or if you want to stick with Marvel Captain America). Spider-Man has always been an individual who has been given great power and does his best to use it responsibly. He exhibits the positive characteristics humans should strive for (sense of justice, persistance in the face of adversity, responsible use of what we have been given, moral/ethical decision making etc…).
    In contrast, Spidey’s villians showcase what can happen when humans make poor decisions. We are supposed to look at them (IMO) and be able to see what lead them on the path and see how easy it was to make a few mistakes and end up fighting on the wrong side. Lets face it, our world is not always black and white. There are truly evil characters out there, but we also need to be reminded how close we walk to that line. Thats one of the reasons I like Spider-Man so much.

  2. Rhys looks a perfect choice for Conners.

  3. Talby, you make an excellent point. A lot of supervillains are more of the literal evil kind, like the Joker, or any number of the other supervillains in comics. But Lex Luthor isn’t just a typical black and while villain (evil for evil’s sake). If you read back into the 1980′s Superman comics, when they retconned the series, Lex is shown as hating Superman for become the new “Favorite Son” of Metropolis, and for taking his place as number one in the hearts of the people. Lex is a perfect example of what jealousy and a massive ego can do when one goes so far as to take whatever steps needed to regain what one has lost.

  4. That last picture of Pete on the ceiling of a train is the kind of gaffe I hope the director corrects before the release date. Spidey has to take off his pedestrian shoes to use his feet. In fact, the whole Spidey boot thing looks bad.. But I’ll close my eyes if I have to because of the Lizard. That’s one strike though.

    • Peter Parker/Spider-Man has not only wall crawling powers, but super strength….that means he doesn’t really HAVE to take off his shoes because his sticky (and SUPER STRONG) hands and arms can do the work if need be. This scene is actually supposed to be one of the first times in the movie Peter using his adhesive-abilities…..i.e. Pre Spider-Man

      The boots do look a little silly but they had to make the suit:

      A. Distinctive from the comics, AND Raimi movies….(I for one DO NOT want to see the same suit again, and again, and again….I’m glad they took some liberty with the design but stayed true to the overall look)

      B. Look like a teenager made it…..in the Raimi movies, Spidey was too poor to buy a $3000 car…..but SOMEHOW, he was able to buy this insanely expensive looking fabric, graft PERFECT (and raised) web designs onto it….AND make white reflective glass eyes, and perfect looking boots and gloves………….you show me a 16 year old boy who can give a professional costume designer a run for their money like that!

      All in all; YES THE SUIT IN AMAZING SPIDER-MAN DOESN’T LOOK PERFECT……but I believe they did that on purpose…..a 16 year old science genius isn’t worrying about being the next superhero fashion statement…..he’s worrying about conceiling his identity……making the suit WORK for his web shooters and powers (a la different gloves design (web-shooters) and silver boot linings (wall crawling)………and kicking crime’s ASS!!!!!!

      • I’m sorry but super strength does not explain being able to support your body EFFORTLESSLY with just your hands (should also be finger tips to match the comics but…) UPSIDE DOWN. Plus it’s obvious (painfully so) that he is using his shoes to miraculously stick to the ceiling. I could possibly buy it if he was scaling a vertical surface but sticking to a ceiling like that goes well beyond suspension of disbelief.

        A) Why does it have to be different from the comics? They go out of their way to bring back the web shooters but then add in silly gold soled boots and gold eyes? Change for the sake of change is meaningless and stupid.

        Plus what’s wrong with “same”? According to your logic our superheroes should also have different powers every reboot because people seeing the same ones all the time is rather redundant and boring…….right?

        B) You do realize that the suit in this movie ALSO doesn’t look like something that a guy made in his bedroom on a shoe string budget right? Have you even SEEN what the costume looks like? It’s a masterpiece of design and materials that even Hollywood’s finest costume designers would be jealous of. So how exactly is this any better?

      • Of course, I could ask you to show me a 16-year old boy (even a science genius) who could invent synthetic webbing, and somehow machine and assemble the tiny mechanics necessary for a “webshooter”, in his bedroom. That makes designing a costume seem like child’s play, no? I’m afraid if we start examining the pieces of this story too carefully, we might come to realize that it’s based on a COMIC BOOK! :)

        • @ mongoose…….uhhh, yea, super strength explains it perfectly….he’s using his feet more for balance, not to actually adhere to the ceiling…..you do understand you’re trying to argue the physics of a SUPER POWER, don’t you? meaning, if you REALLY have to analyze it like that, yea, he can just use his hands….you’re thinking about it way too critically, and not logically…if he has super strength, holding himself up with his two super strong arms is a breeze. Spidey can lift a car…which means his body-weight is like lifting a shoebox to you or me.

          as far as the suit goes, my point wasn’t so much the cost, but the design itself…ultimately the Raimi version of the suit just looked too perfectly assembled, while the Webb version of the suit looks less perfect….the designs for the ASM suit look like he took a bunh of pieces of fabric and spent hours trying to hand-sew them together…..the Raimi version looks like Tobey McGuire realized that great power came with great responsibility, and walked off-camera to ask the lady from The Devil Wears Prada to make him a suit…..

          ALSO, since you wanted to be a smart allic, they ARE changing abilities in the ne movie…..(organic webbing vs. web-shooters)

          sooooo yea

          @ max- ha, that’s funny dude. i agree

  5. I just hope I wake up in time for the Lizard scenes, I may fall asleep during the entire origin part of the movie

  6. “there’s been a lot more discussion about how The Amazing Spider-Man will differ from Sam Raimi​’s movie trilogy about the webslinger – and less about how the two may be alike.”

    It’s natural that the media would endeavor to do that since so much has been written negatively from the fan point of view about the all too recent retreading of the origin story. I understand it could be very short and sweet in areas where the two overlap but it would never the less hurt the flow of the movie to people like me that see the origin idea as too soon since Raimi’s 2002 release. I think Sony has made a mistake continuing to market Raimi’s version in the store outlets with this version so close to being released. You can even still rent it in some Redbox machines. This can very well be a no win scenario because I realize just the opposite has been done as well like in Bond movies #6 and 7. Having went through that historically it had a definite effect, sitting in the theater it took me right out of movie #7 for a few minutes. So not rebooting carries some of the same risks…

  7. Dang I really wanted there to be less ambiguity on whether the villain was tragic or really just a villain. It seems like in all these films the villain gets into terrible circumstances and then later kills themselves. The only real villain in the Spider-Man movies I can think of was Venom. And not only did he have a terrible amount of screentime, he KILLED himself.

    With this new series they have a chance to start over. Show that the man was really good. Then turned really bad. No moral ambiguity at the end. No killing himself. The lizard should be evil at the end, and after actions thats he has done, I don’t want to end up feeling sorry for him. Thats about all I can rant now..

    • There is ambiguity in the Marvel story lines concerning the Lizard to start with. Many of us want The Lizard to become something like a hero with his own comic, but the basic premise was Dr. Connors is a good guy, The Lizard is wholly evil (at least where humanity stands); a true Jekyll and Hyde storyline. If Connors receives a sudden adrenaline rush, he becomes Lizard.. I am not exactly sure of how The Lizard reverts to Connors — don’t think Marvel ever addressed that. Ask Stan the Man.

      • You are right but it wasn’t adrenaline rushes. It was more of a mental battle like Dr jekyll and Mr Hyde. The two personalities fight for control. At a moment of weakness the lizard would take over. He would revert back to Connors after spider injects him with Connors’ gene purification formula that spider planned on using on himself.

  8. A wide angle shot of new York we see spidey web slinging the camera closes in (spidey sings) its my life and its now or never, I ain’t gonna live forever,I just wanna live while I’m alive (spider-sense tingling )then suddenly an explosion (spidey mimics a phone ringing) what its for me disaster is calling a hero’s work is never done time to go save the day spidey style

  9. so um… does sticky spider feet transfer… through shoes????

  10. there is little to no interest in this reboot-hope it bombs

  11. let me guess how this movie plays out, curt connors grows an arm back, complications ensue and he becomes the lizard. crime. crime. finally meets spiderman. action. action. after more action in the intense climactic battle in the end, spiderman talks the lizard back to morality. the end. same old shift.

    unless spiderman was dead all along, and after unmasking him… kevin spacey. boom! headshot!

  12. the funny thing is if the rights reverted to marvel and marvel rebooted spider man no one would be complaining

  13. Sounds great. They just need to fix Andrew Garfield’s hair and add more POV shots in 3D and this will be awesome.

  14. am a great fan of spiderman 4rm d comic on set.way,way back.anyway lyk i notice 4rm way back spider man shud nt climb walls wit his boots on & d mighty front page picture of spiderman 1,his was on a glass,a top buildin glass.stan spider slip wen dey are on top of a glass sideways.order dan dat mistakes had been made, so lets pls correct dem dis tym on dis new spiderman movie.(great kip up d good work).

  15. I’m actually looking forward to seeing Garfield as Spiderman.
    Ifans…. not so much. I watched some interviews with him at Comic Con and quite frankly he came across as a jerk. I don’t know if he is that good of an actor to be able to cover that up.

    • well he was wasted at comicon so his actions werent really in control

  16. i heard this will differ from the orginal trilogy becuase it is like batman begins a dark intersting story. the orginal was a heroic story now we get to see a dark version of spidey witch is cool fingers crossed hope its true