Andrew Garfield Talks Spider-Man

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm,

Perhaps even more surprising than Sony choosing to reboot their Spider-Man franchise so soon after it was first launched (less than 10 years ago) was the fact that the studio picked an unlikely candidate to play our favorite web-slinging hero: British actor Andrew Garfield.

He was always in contention for the role of the new Peter Parker, but our Screen Rant poll placed Garfield third-to-last (just ahead of Frank Dillane and Alden Ehrenreich), which didn’t exactly hint that he’s the choice of the fans (at least here at Screen Rant).

However, as time has passed people have begun to get used to the idea of Garfield in the famous red and blue webbed suit, even if we have yet to see him actually wearing it (production doesn’t begin until this December). But set aside what we feel about Garfield taking on the iconic Spidey role – how does the actor himself feel about it?

Risky Business recently caught up with Garfield at the Telluride Film Festival (here’s there for the film Never Let Me Go) and during a Q&A they asked about how Garfield feels about playing the new Peter Parker:

“I have been waiting for this phone call for 24 years, for someone to call me up and say, “Hey, we want you to pretend to be a character that you’ve always wanted to be all your life, and we’re going to do it with cool cameras and cool effects and you’re going to feel like you’re swinging through New York City. Do you want to do that?” [laughs] “Let me just consult with my seven-year old self and see what he thinks…” So my seven-year-old self started screaming in my soul and saying, This is what we’ve been waiting for.

Like every young boy who feels stronger on the inside than they look on the outside, any skinny boy basically who wishes their muscles matched their sense of injustice, God, it’s just the stuff that dreams are made of, for sure. It’s a true honor to be part of this symbol that I actually think is a very important symbol and it’s meant a great deal to me, and it continues to mean something to people. So yeah, I feel like I’ve been preparing for it for a while. Ever since Halloween when I was four years old and I wore my first Spider-Man costume.”

You can read the rest of the Q&A with Garfield over at Risky Business.

Garfield certainly sounds like he’s passionate about playing Spider-Man, which I think is  a critical attitude for an actor who is about to take on such an iconic role. I know every time an actor signs on to play a comic book character they always say that they’re huge fans of the character and have read all the comics and such, but Garfield sounds genuinely enthused.

Despite Garfield being 27 years old when playing a high school-age Peter Parker, I’m really beginning to dig the idea of the actor playing the role. Admittedly he’s still not my first choice (personally I would have liked Logan Lerman out of those that were in the running) but he’s certainly a talented actor (never a bad thing to add real talent to a big-budget franchise) and his passion for the role is extremely encouraging.

We know that Garfield is the new Peter Parker/Spider-Man but what about the all important villain and love-interest? There were rumors that Inglourious Basterds Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz might be the new franchise villain but those rumors were swiftly debunked so the villain role remains unoccupied for the time being.

As for the love interest, we know it will NOT be Mary-Jane (at least in the first film) although who exactly it will be has yet to be revealed (Gwen Stacy? an entirely new character?). However, actresses like Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Lily Collins (Priest) and Emma Roberts (Scream 4) are reportedly being considered.

The Spider-Man reboot (Spider-Man Reborn? Spider-Man Returns?) will start production this December under the direction of Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer). It is tentatively scheduled to swing into 3D and regular theaters on July 3rd, 2012.

Garfield can next be seen in Never Let Me Go which opens in limited release on September 15th, and then in David Fincher’s The Social Network which opens on October 1st.

Source: Risky Business

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  1. “Perhaps even more surprising than Sony choosing to reboot their Spider-Man franchise so soon after it was first launched (less than 10 years ago) was the fact that the studio picked an unlikely candidate to play our favorite web-slinging hero: British actor Andrew Garfield.”

    Hardly any different to the Hulk or FF being rebooted though. Considering how horrendous the first and third installments, with a director who had zero grasp of the character, it’s not in the slightest bit surprising they decided to reboot this franchise.

    I’m just waiting for the backlash to begin, ‘oh no, he’s british how can he possibly ACT the part of an american!’ stuff.

    Give the guy a chance. He can’t be any worse than Maguire

    • The first Spider-Man was horrible? People love that movie. Admittedly not as much as the second but still. And even IF it was, that doesn’t matter to the studio – it’s if it made money or not and the existing Spidey franchise has mad A LOT of dough far, more than both Hulk and Fantastic Four movies combined: the latter four made 1.1 billion combined whereas the three Spidey movies have made 2.5 billion.

      So it is a bit surprising when you consider the money factor (which is, after all, the biggest factor in this business). It’s not as if the Spidey franchise was failing at the box office and they NEED to reboot it.

      I am very optimistic about Garfield even if, as I say, he wouldn’t be my first choice.

      • Yea I’m sure it will be fine but it sounds more and more like the studio got tired of Raimi not being a yes man and said see ya. How is this franchise going to be about Peter in high school when the actor they choose is 27 years old? He is about the same age Tobey was for the first movie when he was in high school and then moved on to college. So basically it’s not taking the franchise to anywhere it hasn’t ALREADY been. But that’s alright, unlike other fans I will probably love this movie. Hell I love Spider-Man 3 and think it’s the best of the trilogy.

    • Drsam I loved the first Spiderman and the second. In my opinion the third was the only bad one. In my opinion both Raimi and Maguire understood the character and did a great job.

      I have no problem with a british actor taking the role, but I don’t like Andrew for this part. He is to old to play high school and even if they switch it to College he doesn’t really look the part at all and from what I’ve seen of him he isn’t impressive as an actor. There were at least 6 or 7 guys I’d of given the part to above him and with a little more research i’m sure I can find at least 10 more.

      I don’t really mind casting British actors though. I mean Bale is british and is Batman. I also wouldn’t throw a fit if Tom Hardy were cast as Superman.

      • Nationality doesn’t/shouldn’t matter when it comes to casting. All that matters is the actor capturing the essence of the character. I do agree that Garfield doesn’t look right for the role, and still say that Logan Lerman would have been perfect. I’ll still give this film a chance, but I won’t be expecting much out of it.

    • Anyone who cries about the fact that Andrew Garfield is British needs to look at other superhero films. Christan Bale is British, and he played Batman. I didn’t even know he was British until after I had seen Batman Begins. And Hugh Jackman is Austrailian, and he played Wolverine and didn’t have a hint of his regular accent.

      So if anyone has a problem with the British thing, just pay attention to past superhero films. Even the guy that playd Reed Richards in the first two Fantastic Four films was British.

      I’ll pass judgement after seeing him in action as Spidey, but I’m not going to be like the Superman “fans” and whine and cry because a new actor is stepping into the tight BEFORE seeing the film itself.

      Hopefully Andrew Garfield gets better treatment than Brandon Routh did. Everyone hated him months before even seeing a teaser trailer for Superman Returns. So hopefully Andrew Garfield is given a chance before people start tearing him apart.

  2. I still think they should of taken this franchise in a new direction spiderman has been done and although many disagree that the films were not very good the origin story has been done as far as I know and not everyone agrees the spidey trilogy was pretty awesome I just think they should of taken spidey to a whole new level and made spiderman 2099 instead of rebooting I’ll be waiting for the first teaser trailer and hope it won’t disapoint

  3. I pray that when they bring MJ’s character in, it’ll be Mary Elizabeth Winstead playing her. :)

  4. I loved the Original Spiderman Trilogy, and when I first heard they were rebooting I was quite disappointed. Now I’m actually happy that they are not going to drag the series on its last legs as long as possible destroying my beloved childhood movies (Superman 3 and 4 being a prime example of what Spiderman could have become), and instead go with a new approach . I’m interested to see what they’ll do with it.

  5. Chris Pine needs to play as Venom in his own film.

  6. I’m hoping for Judi Dench as Mary-Jane when they bring her in.

    • No way Mike…I want Helen Mirren after seeing that RED trailer!! LOL!

  7. Is it just me or does he look alot like Peter from the mainstream 616 universe? Or at least more than Maguire did. I still say Amber Heard would make a decent Gwen Stacy or IF they eventually decide to bring in MJ,I want Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

    • Vancitykid in my opinion it’s just you. To me he looks absolutely nothing like Peter. I think Maguire didn’t look exactly like him, but a lot more than Andrew and I also think that Maguire is a better actor. Honestly to me based on Andrews past and his demeanor I think he is going to play Peter completely wrong. Maguire played peter perfectly a Nerd and he had the perfect voice as far as I’m concerned. Peter Parker is not hip he’s not cool he’s a geek.

      • I gave it a good thought and I take it back, he doesnt look like Pete.I have not seen anything that Garfield has starred in so I can’t judge his acting ability but to me he’s an unknown and it seems you know more about him than I do so I’ll take your word for it. I just want Marvel to cast an actor who actually somewhat resembles the character they are playing.

      • With all due respect Daniel

        Tobey Maguire acted nothing like the Peter Parker / Spiderman of the comic books. He has been quoted as never having read a Spiderman comic book ever in his life, nor was he ever interested in them growing up, so his own interpretation was a fairly dead pan one to say the least.

        He was just going through the motions of acting to a script having no real knowledge of the character at all, i.e. the true and real essence of a character that can only be gained through familiarization of the books.

        You need to remember or take hold of the fact that Steve Ditko drew Peter the most nerdy and that’s where Sam Raimi drew inspiration from for Tobey’s look. In fact Raimi’s version of Spiderman really appears to be based on the very early “Amazing Spiderman” books.

        When John Romita took over from Steve Ditko in 1966 he drew Peter slightly more mature and handsome and certainly NOT as goofy or as nerdy. Peter had graduated High School and moved into College leaving some of those nerdy and geeky traits behind.

        The other thing about Tobey was he was too short and displayed NONE of Spidey’s wise cracking humor. WOW, one of the key components of the character missing.

        Both the Director and actor NOT doing their research. Not very outstanding as far as I’m concerned.

        Raimi had a great supporting cast but overall it was an overblown big budget cartoon rather than a mature adaptation of the “Amazing Spiderman” comic book, MARVEL’S flagship title that has been displaying stories about Peter Parker the MAN and his alter ego Spider MAN since the mid sixties.

        • “The other thing about Tobey was he was too short and displayed NONE of Spidey’s wise cracking humor. WOW, one of the key components of the character missing.”

          Not defending him all together but if the wise cracks are not written into the film/script how can you blame Tobey?

          • OK fair point. There’s no reason to blame Tobey since he wasn’t familiar with the character but you would think Sam Raimi who claimed to be a fan would’ve known better.

            Researching that part of Spiderman’s character is relatively easy and is also a well known fact.

            • Garfield seems perfectly capable of pulling off nerdy, Daniel. If you ever seen the short film “I’m Here” by Spike Jonze (Best short film I’ve seen in a long while) he was a very quirky and uncomfortable nerdy robot. So that’s one more scratch off from the list of worries.

  8. I’m curious to see how long it takes for the release date to be pushed back to fall 2012, there is no way fox is really going to try and release a Budget restricted Reboot against a budget busting Juggernaut like Avengers within a month of one another…

    Is it bad I half want this to fail and for Fox to give in and sell the rights back to Marvel so that I can get excited about something awesome!

    A lot of people beeched and moaned when Maguire first signed on until they saw him actually on screen I will reserve judgment until Garfield has a chance to prove himself.

  9. There will be no Mary-Jane in the new film, Peter Parker will have a new love interest. So for anyone vying for Mary Elizabeth Winstead for MJ, shut up.

    After seeing Garfield in Boy A and the Red Riding Hood Trilogy I’m excited to see what he can do. I think he’ll play a perfect Peter Parker.

    • Andrew, they’ll be no Mary Jane in part 1 of this new film, most likely because the love interest will be Gwen. When the time comes for them to introduce MJ, the people that’ll want MEW for MJ could still happen, so no, we don’t have to shut up and I’m not just saying it for myself but for others as well. It’s obvious the character of MJ will be in the reboot just at a later time.

  10. I disagree Magnetic. What I got from your comment was not that Tobey looked nothing like Peter but instead that he looked nothing like the Peter that you wanted to see. You admited that he was based off of Steves early work just because you wanted a more modern Slidey doesn’t mean he looked nothing like the character it was simply not the one you wanted. Peter usually in every comic I have read has be portrayed as nerdy. If he wasn’t it wouldn’t make sense for the cartoon. Are the new incarnations a little more handsom than Tobey ? Sure but I have a penis so I won’t complain about how attractive Tobey isn’t. He looked like the Peter Parker that was drawn in the early years.

    Not sure what films you were watching but I heard wise cracks. One scene really stands out from the first film. When I saw it I thought to my self they nailed Spidey. When Goblin is in JJs office and Spidey is like “Hang on a second Sport the adults are talking” or something like that. Spider man was lesser but I already stated I hated that one.

    • Daniel

      I actually said “ACTED nothing like Peter/Spidey” not LOOKED.

      I already made clear that Sam Raimi had based his movies on those very early “Amazing Spiderman” books which were illustrated by Steve Ditko and therfore Tobey’s looks were very influenced by that early period.

      I own every single issue of “Amazing Spiderman” right up to issue #640 even if the first seveteen issues are black and white reprints.

      The modern Spidey I talked about has been around since the mid sixties.
      Peter graduated high school, went to college and entered into adulthood leaving SOME, NOT ALL of those nerdy and geeky traits behind.

      They are NOT new incarnations, unless you count “Ultimate Spiderman” which is a throwback to a teenage Spiderman and a second rate series I care nothing about.

      I’m a lot more interested in the ORIGINAL mainstream and still best selling flagship title “Amazing Spiderman”

      Why are we still meandering around in a vacuum with the high school nerd concept?

  11. Wow Adam I never heard anyone say SM3 was the best of the trilligy. That’s shocking. I’m shocked enough anyone liked it let alone thought it was the best. I felt it was not only the worst but one of the worst comic films ever in general. I’d rather go see Superman Returns or Wolverine than SM3.

    Anyway back to the new film I honestly have no hope for it. An actor that is mediocre, to old for the part and doesn’t at all look the part. A director who lacks experience and while he’s made good films none of them are action and he seems to of only gotten the job because his name is Webb. No Mary Jane. Focusing on him in school with the franchise and the rumored low budget. Yikes. So far I have not heard one single piece of good news from this. It looks as if it will be at best about the same as SM3.

    SM 3 was very very cheesy and insulting. Peter never seemed to get darker from the suit he just got lamer and enjoyed to dance more including street disco shutter at the thought. James Franci never was good in the franchise but he just phoned it in when it came to third film. Venom had what 5 mins of screen time before death?

    SM3 had one good thing. Visually the Sandman transformation scene was beautiful.

    • How much of Andrew Garfields acting have you seen to say hes mediocre? I have no idea if he will be good as the film could be anything at thi stage, but some of his past pefromances i have seen have been fantastic. He was really quite good in The Red Riding Trilogy and he played a very emotional and absorbing portryal of character (claimed fictional) but clearly based on one of the James Bulger killers (one of the uk’s most infamous murder cases)in BOY A. I also thought he was good in the short Im here also. and having seen him on stage can also say he is able to bring genuine acting ability to a live peformance. He may still Fail in the next spiderman nothings gauranteed but I think he is capable of doing a good if not great job, Mediocre actor is not a realisitc view of his talent in my opinion

      • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – He wasn’t great but wasn’t awful just ok very mediocre though at some points through out the film I was thinking he was bad, but the majority of the time he was ok.

        Lions for Lambs – He was awful in this movie. I was embarrassed for him.

        I’m Here – Another meh performance nothing impressive, but it wasn’t bad. Once again just mediocre.

        Tried to watch Boy A and Red Riding, but both just looked really dumb to me and I couldn’t get interested enough.

  12. Actually I’m really excited about this movie. I can buy Garfield as Peter Parker. And anyone who says he isn’t a good actor hasn’t seen his films. Watch Boy A and tell me he can’t act or wouldn’t make a good Peter Parker. The Spider Man origin story is my favorite, so I have no problem seeing another version of it. For whatever reason, I have a feeling Webb is going to bring something interesting to this story. Though I liked the Raimi Spider Man origin story, there is always a chance that the Webb version could tell it much better. I also like the fact that this will focus on Peter Parker has a high school-aged hero, a period that was only briefly touched on by Raimi.

  13. I still have no interest in the SONY SPIDER
    Rami and Sony butted heads to no end until SM3 when Rami said fine here you want this so bad here it is he put in the film everything sony wanted, and look how it turned out, now Sony’s gonna have full control over this one.
    Let the train wreck begin

  14. Hopefully they will get the entire origin over and done with in the first 10 minutes, or just do it over the opening credits.

    This film has the potential to be good. I want a wise cracking Spidey.

  15. Raimi always claimed to be a fan but after watching the trilogy, I can only take that statement as an utter lie.

    He couldn’t grasp the character, the universe or the themes of Spidey. Good riddance to him and let’s see what the new kids bring us.

  16. Spiderman 1 & 2 were amoung the best films ever made in the comic book genre..Hands down!! SM3 wasn’t great but except for the emo Peter and the Stayin ALive routine there in the club I think the film was decent..I’ve watched it four times and I’d watch it again…I have no time for this reboot and I will NEVER pay my money to watch/rent/buy this movie..They rebooted a successful franchise because they wanted a director they could control (SONY) and that is what they have…I consider SM2 to be THE Spiderman movie I waited for for 35 years and this team WILL NOT make a movie of that caliber(mark my words)…

    In the theme of the original 67 theme song

    Spiderman, Spiderman
    They’re making a movie for Twilight fans
    How will it be I don’t know
    Chances are I won’t go
    Look out if your a Spiderfan…

    • That was a pretty good crack GK. Good one:)

      • Thanks! :) My wife was reading over my shoulder and she was like “you are a knob” but lovingly of course..I think..

    • omg GK….thank you for a honest laugh!!!!

  17. Greenknight
    OMG i have to give u props for that song well done man that made me crack up!!! 😉

  18. Magnetic I still see a pretty nerdy Peter even in Todays comics.

    Honestly I believe nerdy is the only way to do it. Non nerdy Peter is not Peter to me. It’s a slap in the face though when they take or further and cast someone who could easily be in Twilight as your run of the mill tool Vampire boy. This guy look alot like Pattinson to me and he isn’t really much better at acting either.

    Although I agree he shouldn’t be in high school I have no interest in a high school Spiderman.

    • Yeah look Daniel I agree I’m not at all keen on the Twilight angle either and I did stress, since graduating high school, college and entering adulthood Peter did leave some but not all of those nerdy traits behind.

      So yes it is still an integral part of his personality but nowhere near the same extent as it was in his high school days. :-)

      • Mag Eye….your Steve Ditko comment is spot on. Sony is all over the board with film right now, with a huge bomb coming in January 2011. I can see them ( Sony execs)pandering the sell out factor in regard to the Twi-tripe. I man my God…look what they have done to the Hornet. To me you know our Spidey well and have done a great job in backing up your comments. Great work!

        • Why thankyou kind Tacoscat. I’m lost for words. :-)

  19. I actually think Garfield looks more like Peter Parker than Maguire did, but I won’t be seeing this movie. It feels too much like a “lite Spider-Man” in production right now, too rushed.

  20. Unless Webb’s goal is to make spiderman look like kermit the frog, I think that Andrew Garfield is too pansy looking to be spidey. So I guess he has the nerdy look but not the BA look of spidey.

    And honestly….logan lermin? The kid looks like justin bieber….nuff said

    All in all, I am going to give Andrew Garfield a chance but I’m not super enthusiastic about him or any of the other actors that were considered for the role.

  21. What, no Mary Jane? I really wanted Mary Elizabeth Winstead for that role. I’m very happy Garfield won this role. He grew on me in a second.

  22. okay this is not meant to hurt the fanboys and Girls of Mr Andrew Garfield but Hell no to him Being Spiderman as Topher Grace basically is like Peter Parker aka Spiderman Due To his Character of Eric Forman on That 70’s Show so maybe if Topher bulked up and got a phone call addressed to him being Spiderman in the Reboot and he Happly accepts that would be fantastic and secondly The Second Chioce is Joseph Gordon-Levitt Due to the fact that they can use CGI to change his age and appearence to that of Peter Parker in order for Joseph to be Spiderman of course in The Spiderman Reboot.