A big question mark lingers above the head of Sony's upcoming comic book franchise revamping, The Amazing Spider-Man. Fans seem to either love or be very wary of the idea of a fresh start to the Peter Parker story; unlike many of the other reboots/remakes on the horizon, the Webslinger's tale is especially familiar to moviegoers, seeing how it only unfolded onscreen (in live-action form) for the first time back in 2002.
While the basic crux of Spidey's origin remains intact in Amazing Spider-Man, there are numerous new plot and character elements being incorporated, which were absent from director Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man movie. But will those new ingredients help to produce a tasty, yet somewhat unfamiliar dish - or are they just window dressings being added on to create the illusion that this flick is more than just an unimaginative rehash?
The cast and crew of Amazing Spider-Man have (naturally) been keen to emphasize that the film will bring something genuinely new to the table, be it in the form of vastly different takes on certain characters - or just a tone that's more "realistic" and less reminiscent of a live-action Saturday morning cartoon, a la Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy.
Case in point: Amazing Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, along with producers Avi Arad and Matthew Tolmach, recently attended a Tokyo-based press conference, to promote the film. While there, they dropped some interesting new tidbits of information concerning the differences between this new flick and the previous Spider-Man movies.
Arad had the following to say, with regards to certain character dynamics in The Amazing Spider-Man:
"In our movie, [Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker] finds his true love. Gwen Stacy [Emma Stone] was always the true love of Peter Parker... We found a very, very good story about what makes a human being. About what sets their destiny.
"... We introduce our villain, Dr. Connors [Rhys Ifans], and in the great tradition of Marvel, Dr. Connors is going to be connected to Peter Parker and, in our case even more interesting, to Gwen Stacy. Right there, the challenge of having to deal with a villain who is a mentor and the only one who you can look at and say, 'So what really happened to my dad?' That's a very hard person to fight."
The subplot concerning Peter Parker's parents, which Arad is referencing here, is one of the more significant aspects absent from the Raimi films, but which is being added to the mix in Amazing Spider-Man. In fact, that narrative thread is connected directly to the flick's tagline about how it features "The Untold Story" of Mr. Parker.
Following the screening of new Amazing Spider-Man footage for the Japanese press, Garfield also added the following bit of information, concerning both the overall design of the film - and the physical (rather than emotional) nature of Peter's journey:
"As you can see, a lot of the stunts are practical and grounded in reality. That was something that Marc [Webb], the director, really wanted to make sure happened in this movie to set it apart from previous ones... I would exhaust myself every day and get into near-death experiences every hour on the hour.
"... I collaborated with [the stunt team] not only on the big stunt set-pieces but also on what happens to Peter’s body when he gets bitten. What happens to his DNA and how that effects the way he moves and the way he interacts with objects. The idea that he has spider DNA running in his system. What that will do to his sense of space. What that will do to the sensitivity of his skin. To have an opportunity to play in that forum with creative and talented people was a real opportunity and gift."
Most people will likely recall that Raimi's first Spidey movie brought the newfound arachnid abilities of a young Peter Parker (as played by Tobey Maguire) to life in fairly stylized form. It remains to be seen just how different and down-to-earth Spidey's acrobatic maneuvers and enhanced senses will be in Amazing Spider-Man, by comparison. The choice to have Garfield's version of Mr. Parker use artificial web-shooters, rather than possess the organic ones which Maguire's had, should certainly help, in that respect.
For more about Amazing Spider-Man, including information about Stone's iteration of Gwen Stacy, check out this video recording of the full 50-minute long ASM conference.
The Amazing Spider-Man swings into 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters in the U.S. on July 3rd, 2012.