‘Amazing Spider-Man’ Director on Reinvention, Comic-Con & Raimi’s Films

Published 4 years ago by

marc webb talks amazing spider man comic con and sam raimi films Amazing Spider Man Director on Reinvention, Comic Con & Raimis Films

The Amazing Spider-Man is one of the few superhero blockbusters that’s scheduled to show big at Hall H during this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

As such, expect to see more news and media releases from Sony about the 3D reboot in the coming days, including The Amazing Spider-Man teaser trailer and any number of interviews. Like, for example, the following interview with director Marc Web (500 Days of Summer).

On the issue of adapting a character with such a massive history (courtesy of Geoff Boucher at Hero Complex) Marc Webb said:

“I feel we have certain obligations to the iconography of Spider-Man, which is based mostly in the comics. The other thing is Spider-Man has a lot of different incarnations in the comics. While there are certain mainstays — a kid who gets bitten by a spider, he’s an outsider, the death of his Uncle Ben helps endow [him] with the mentality of a hero — those things remain the same but there’s also room for interpretation. He’s been around since the 1960s. The wealth of material here — whether it’s story or character — is really profound but I also feel it’s my responsibility to reinvent it in some ways.”

When asked about how he went about reinventing the character, Webb said:

“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 the issue of whether or not Andrew Garfield is “bulky” enough to play a superhero:

“Andrew went through an incredibly intense training. When you see the before and then see the after — he is not a weakling. He is a lithe character. We wanted to make it more about agility than this sort of Atlas-like power figure. He’s not Superman. He was a unique figure in Marvel Comics and all of comics. He was this kid, too, and we want to keep that consistent even to some extent when the costume is on. I love a lot of the Ultimate Spider-Man artwork and story lines, there’s a lot more of an adolescent, playful quality.  And I think that’s a big part of Spider-Man universe and hasn’t really been explored cinematically before.”

producer paul dini talks ultimate spider man cartoon Amazing Spider Man Director on Reinvention, Comic Con & Raimis Films

This may be the first time a member of The Amazing Spider-Man crew has officially confirmed that the film is more influenced by the Ultimate Spider-Man series – a resemblance we’ve noted time and again – than the 616 Stan Lee and Steve Ditko version (he does it again more explicitly in the next section).

On the differences between the reboot and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films:

“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 had a really great stunt team, the Armstrongs, who were vigilant in the creation — with Andrew — of a physical language that felt grounded but also extraordinary. 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.”

This would be a major difference from the Raimi versions. While Spiderman 1 and 2 were extremely successful in pretty much every discernable way, no one would ever accuse them of being realistic. They were, in essence, comic books come to cinematic life — fun, over-the-top, melodramatic, and humorous, but never realistic.

sam raimis spider man tobey maguire Amazing Spider Man Director on Reinvention, Comic Con & Raimis Films

When asked about Amazing Spider-Man’s villain, Webb said:

“I have to dodge that question. I can tell you this much — it’s a new villain, something we haven’t seen before and villains help define the story in a very specific way. Marvel villains — and Spider-Man villains in particular– are rich and complicated and interesting and Rhys [Ifans] has done just a fantastic job in translating that and there will be a lot of new things to explore for the fans. They’re tragic in the Greek sense, meaning it’s a competing idea of what’s good. 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]. Tom Stoppard was on Charlie Rose’s show once and he said what makes great drama is competing ideas of what is good, and there’s no better mythological version of that than what you see in Marvel.”

And lastly, on the forthcoming Hall H presentation for The Amazing Spider-Man:

“Legends of Hall H — people should write songs about it. A lot of our credibility is based on fan perception in some way. I’m really excited to connect with the fans. I feel like we’ve been a little bit under the radar in terms of our communication. I think it’s a great way to announce the new qualities that we’re putting out there and just connect with the audience in a way that we haven’t before.”

Remember to check out our coverage of Comic-Con 2011, and the Spider-Man panel, in the coming days.

The Amazing Spider-Man hits theaters July 3rd, 2012. Expect the trailer to drop soon, probably attached to Captain America: The First Avenger.

Source: Hero Complex

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

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  1. The webshooters should have been a genetic mutation…that was one of the best changes in the comics in recent years. This is really driving me crazy here.

    Also the suit, not loving it

    I think that it will be good, but ultimately fans will be let down when comparing it with Raimi’s first Spidey flick

    • i agree with the web shooters – his dna gets changed and enhanced. now we will have the cliche – i just ran out of web cartridges – oh no im falling – oh wait – is that a canopy that can break my fall? keeping the supposed real environment would have had to have the webbing from his wrists – not home made. peter parker a teenager? ah, garfield is 27. and looks 27. whatever – 500 days of summer was horrible. suk it web (oh the irony)

  2. Meh

  3. @ tasouli – I’m with you on the shooters – even being a fan for such a long time – the Spidey the web shooters switch to the genetic mutation gave it a more “real” approach a bit more creditability to the character. Not just a kid with spider everything, else except webbing – LOL As for the suit – I can do with or with out, will have to see it on the screen – but it could sell well.

  4. I think Garfield will be great.

  5. What is with the idea that Garfield had to “bulk up” for the role? Since when was Spidey ever overly muscular?

  6. I actually like the suit, and the web-shooters because they were in the original comics, but like the Avengers and the Dark Knight Rises, it unfortunately doesn’t come out for awhile

  7. Not sure why they are retreading the origin story. The problem with movies is that the actors age too fast. Garfield is already 27, he can’t pull off “high school student” forever. At least a reboot may give them the chance to do Venom right, and at least we won’t be getting the Vulture in this one.

  8. http://klaq.com/the-leaked-the-amazing-spiderman-trailer-video/

    nothing to see here folks…. nothing to see at all
    *walks away humming*

  9. This movie is gonna be like X-Men First Class, a reboot and prequel. I like were this is going but Sony seemed to rush a little bit. Hopefully this turns out well.

  10. ” This would be a major difference from the Raimi versions. While Spiderman 1 and 2 were extremely successful in pretty much every discernable way, no one would ever accuse them of being realistic. They were, in essence, comic books come to cinematic life — fun, over-the-top, melodramatic, and humorous, but never realistic.”

    Could you please expand on that statement..I’m just wondering how Webb is supposed to make a story of a science geek whose imbued with the powers of a spider from the venom of a radiated spider, who sticks to walls and has the proportional strength of a spider, more realistic than Raimi’s versions? It will always be over-the-top no matter who directs or makes a spiderman film..realistic it won’t be because it can’t happen in real life..I think Raini’s versions were as good as we will ever see especially 1 & 2..I HATE ot draw Nolans Batman films into this..and I do mean HATE…but Batman has no powers just tech and equipment so that at least can be seen as more realistic which the Batman films are to a point..

    Costume looks bad..at least that image above..I have liked other shots of the costume but not this one.

    • I agree, no matter HOW you try to package it, Spiderman is an “over the top” superhero. The only way to make it realistic would be to have a kid invent an exoskeleton that can stick to walls, give him strength and shoot webs, so Batman without the billions to spend on research.

      They can blather on and on about it’s unique angles but it is nothing more than a cash grab to keep the lawyers happy with the licensing agreement.

    • My impression from that quote wasn’t that he meant the Spider-man character itself should seem realistic. I took it that he was just referring to the actual stunts and effects. Which sounds good to me, because there were some really jarring computer effects in the Raimi movies. Anytime Spider-man was swinging through the city, and most of the times that he was fighting – especially the big Doctor Octopus fight – I felt like I was suddenly watching a cartoon. If Webb wants to improve on that, then I applaud him. (I can’t wait for the day somebody finally puts Batman in a scene where he’s swinging through Gotham, with his cape flowing in the breeze instead of turning into a hang glider. Or does he even do that anymore? Maybe I’m too out of date.)

      Ultimately, I’m probably still going to pass on this one because I’m tired of reboots. If it does well, maybe I’ll go to the sequel, when they’ll likely have something new to offer. But if I have to sit through Parker getting bit by a spider again, and sit through Uncle Ben dying again, I’ll wait for this one to come to HBO.

  11. Wow, I saw the bootleg. I gotta admit that POV scene looks f’ing amazing. If it really is attached with Cap. I can’t wait!!!

  12. How come since pictures and more info on the reboot have been coming out people all of a sudden have started trashing the original Raimi films? Stop trashing a perfectly good series just to make the reboot look good, because the fact is it doesnt(in my opinion) i hate the design of the suit and none of the pictures have impressed me

    • in all fairness, the third film was HORRIBLE, absolutely 100% horrible.
      but, loved the first two

  13. the marketing for this had better be on point. otherwise, I fear that this could bomb. i love superhero films but for the most part (IMO), theyve become kinda pointless. Few really shine. They all seem to be about a singular hero who stumbles upon a unique power and fights a counterparting villain. Cue explosions, angst-ridden love interests, and nerdy comic relief friends who dont get laid. However, there are a few exceptions (Dark Knight, XMFC, Iron Man). Nowadays it not the story we focus on. Its the suit, CG, boobs (which are always nice), gimmick fighting style and shiny cinematography. However flawed continuity-wise, XMFC was a good movie with an interesting story that was executed well. I just dont see the need for another Spiderman 1. …that’s my two cents.

  14. none of us have to worry about this franchise looking good anytime soon, an 80 million dollar budget and a british spiderman…. it was bad enough that dunst and macguire influenced the some of the story in the last silly spiderman movie… i thought james vanderbilt was going to do something monumental like set the trilogy 10 years after the first trilogy with a more mature parker and mary jane (bonafide older actors)
    and not having to reboot it. i was never impressed with sam raimis power ranger version anyway, but now this new spiderman trilogy is just plain old garbage..

  15. Wow, everyone seems pretty negative today.

    I am really pumped for this movie. I think the suit looks great. Thank god it doesn’t have that horrible raised silver webbing all over it. It actually shows off Spider-mans body shape better, and in a smoother way. I like the texture too, it makes it more interesting when lit in certain ways.

    I love the photos of spidey on his trademark crouched poses. That was the way he was always shown in the comics and I feel the Raimi films missed out on Spider-man’s dynamics a lot. Also he was miserable and didn’t do any wise-cracking. The Raimi films were great for their time, but missed a lot of chances for me. I think raimi would have been better suited if they had set it in the 60′s.

  16. oh my god!


    quick, before it gets taken down!

  17. So it seems that trailer description from last week was off. Unless there are two trailers out there. This leaked one is over two minutes long. Solid though. Love the inclusion of his parents and the POV shot at the end.

  18. I also saw the leaked trailer, and as an extremely picky fan and movie enthusiast, I have to say that it “looks” incredible. The tone is also fantastic. I hope it’s indicative of a truly great film. But wow, I can’t wait to see it on the big screen with Captain America.

    To address an earlier question:
    Making the film more realistic is kind of an art that the creators of these kinds of movies have been engaging in as early as Batman Begins. You take material that is farfetched, but you treat it as though it isn’t. Raimi’s films had this way of winking at the audience, almost as though he wanted us to know he was having fun in a fantasy world. Consider the “raindrops” scene in Spider-man 2, or the crazy violin lady. Or in Spider-man 3 where we had the jazz dancing scene, and the eccentric french waiter. Those types of things, which characterized the Raimi series will likely be absent from this one in place of what Steve Kloves likes to call more “naturalistic” humor. Think humor along the lines of…(500) Days of Summer… that’s my best guess.

  19. I think there should be a 10 year time limit before you are allowed to reboot something. Seriously Spider-Man 3 only came out 2 years ago…

    • Spider-Man 3 came out in ’07, man…

  20. Come on guys…this movie isnt going to suck because of webshooters or a costume (at least its not a CG costume, *cough *cough). The big concern for me with this film is that they decided to rehash an origin story we’ve already seen. The lizard, gwen stacy, and peters parents are going to have to bring some significant differences rather than just acting as stand-ins for MJ and Osborn from the first film, and so far, I dont see it.

    • I agree

      • Definitely agree

  21. Ugh. That leaked trailer is a complete rip-off of the Mirror’s Edge trailer. Seriously, running across the rooftops, sliding under pipes, even swinging into a glass window giving us our first look at the protagonist. Seen it all before, Sony. I hope someone sues.

    • I was thinking it was was like Shattered dimensions which gave you the POV of Spidey. Oh and be serious, you can’t sue someone for a POV..

      • No, you can’t. But the idea is exactly the same. I just saw the Mirror’s Edge trailer and they did rip it off. Big time.

        On the other hand, I can’t believe it’s another damn origin story. What a waste. We’re just gonna be sitting in the theater for the first 40 minutes waiting for him to get bitten by the spider and for Uncle Ben to be shot. Bad idea. Also, Garfield looks NOTHING like Peter Parker should look like.

        I’m trying to give this movie the benefit of the doubt but after seeing the trailer my hopes went down a big percentage. I’m still holding on… still holding on.

        • Have you read the comics recently? Garfield looks a LOT like the current Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire ever will.

          • Well, Maguire looked exactly like the 60′s Spider-Man, actually. And yeah, I’ve read the Ultimate Spider-Man and the recent Spider-Man and all kinds of Spider-Men to know that, in MY opinion, Garfield looks nothing like him. I’ll still watch the movie and I hope his acting shuts me up. But, going from the trailer alone, I’m not liking the look.

    • Actually, it’s not.

      That POV scene has been in a draft version of the script (Raimi’s Spider-Man) from 2000.

      Do your research before you start spouting crap.Ta

      • The POV might’ve been in the old script but he’s saying that the “look” is a rip-off. And it is, check it out. The hands coming in and out of view in the exact same way, him walking sideways on a wall is the same shot, the climbing is eerily similar. Just weirdly coincidental, that’s all.

        • Worse than being weirdly coincidental, it just doesn’t look good.

  22. Just because something has been done before, it doesn’t mean that everything similar following it is a copycat. There’s also nothing wrong with pulling inspiration from other things.

    This is something that should have been done in a Spider-man film a long time ago. Raimi messed around with the first person perspective a little in his movies, but nothing to the extent of what we’ve just seen. The movie still has a year before its release date, so the VFX should be polished up by then.

  23. Oops, I forgot to mention that the trailer definately doesn’t feel like rehash. He gets bitten by the Spider, but the dynamic between Gwen and Peter promises to be different. Steve Kloves’ favorite character to write for was Gwen, which has to mean something. She’s also an intern, like Peter, so they have the science thing in common. At the very least, we have a more meaningful relationship between Peter and Gwen in this series. As much as I defend Kirsten Dunst for her Spider-man run, her character was never expanded as much as it could have been.

  24. i hope the web shooters are there to help his organic webbing, and hope doc ock has a cameo and is a major threat in the sequel.

    • he doesnt have organic webbing they made that up for the first movie

  25. As much as I previously believed this to be a simple cash-in I now look forward to seeing the final product.

  26. I don’t like this reboot because 1. We’ve seen it all before already. Peter in High school. 2. No Mary-Jane Watson. 3. The costume suck. Everytime I look at it, it doesn’t look like Spider-man in my eyes, at least not “my” spider-man.
    Why didn’t they just make “Ultimate Spider-man instead, at least it will be new & different.

    • lol he was in high school for like 10 minutes in the first one what are you talking about?

  27. So he’s admittedly poor and it’s “realistic” but yet he can manage to create a costume that even the likes of Hollywood’s best costume designers would envy? What a load of crap.

    • thats one thing i hated about the first movie and will probably groan at this one but (with the exception of the mask)the costume looks good

  28. can someone please remind why we are such a huge fan of films with realities of natural objects+beings that do not exist in the real world? Is it affordable to spend the energy/time on films that are not worth watching, which could be used on dealing with the debt, economic, and/or many other areas of problems america is dealing with?

    • come on man? are you for serious? why not just watch the news then and be done with the entire film industry?