'Amazing Spider-Man' Character Concept Art; Rhys Ifans Talks Playing a CGI Lizard Man

Amazing Spider-Man Alternate Lizard Design

One of the biggest hurdles facing the Amazing Spider-Man was the question of how to give movie audiences a new version of Spider-Man, without straying too far away from the comic book source material. While trying to walk the tightrope between the classically familiar and the refreshingly modern, there were a lot of designs tossed around for the characters featured in the film - most notably those of Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) and his reptilian foe, The Lizard (Rhys Ifans).

If you want to know how the filmmakers did with the hard task handed to them, read our official Amazing Spider-Man review; but if you're curious about what could've been, then check out the gallery of concept art below.

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As you can see above, there was a lot of deliberation about which direction to take the hero and villain of the story. If you want to see even more variations (or cool artwork) of Amazing Spider-Man designs, you should check the websites of artists  Aaron Sims, Eddie Yang and George Hull.


Rhys Ifans Talks About The Lizard

Amazing Spider-Man - The Lizard Close-Up

Besides the Spider-Man costume, the design of The Lizard has been one of the more heavily-debated aspects of this film. During The Amazing Spider-Man press junket in NYC, actor Rhys Ifans - who plays scientist Curt Connors and his alter-ego, The Lizard - addressed the topic of the Lizard's look, and what it was like playing a character who would largely be created through CGI.

On the topic of how early on in production he was able to see The Lizard designs:

Like really early on - way before we started. I was kind of bombarded with visual stimuli throughout, which was really useful.

About the motivation for taking on the role:

Well it's Spider-Man, right? You don't say know to that [Laughter]. I was on a little island in the Meditterianian when a bit of the script came. I obviously knew Sony was behind it, and it was kind of a big deal, and then I heard that Marc  Webb was the director. I had seen '(500) Days of Summer' and thought that was a beautiful, beautiful film, and just thought that was a brave, interesting, fantastic choice for a director. So once I knew Marc was onboard - I din't know him but I knew his work - and I thought 'maybe there's a chance here, maybe they can go at this from a different kind of place. And then I flew and met with Marc and [producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach], read and kind of lost my mind in the office where I met them, and got the gig.

Amazing Spider-Man - The Lizard Chemical Attack

What fascinated me about the character - I was aware of Dr. Curtis Connors before, obviously - was that unlike a villain just brought in to spar with Spider-Man, he has a very real kind of emotional connection with him - particularly Peter's father. And that he is a very intelligent scientist who wants to genuinely benefit and change and help the lives of millions of humans - limbless humans in this case. We're living in a world now where on a daily basis you see young men return limbless from warzones and civilians who are land-mine victims - so this science or technology would be of huge benefit to millions of people.

I was interested to see how [Connors'] hunger for the advancement of that science is done, and his moral conflict with the corporation that he works for - a corporation that obviously wants to benefit financially from this technology and also benefit its owner, Norman Osborn - at the expense of unwitting New Yorkers. And Connors, even to the end, is morally repelled by that decision they make, and tries to become his own lab rat - which of course allows him to re-grow his limb - but he doesn't figure on what that cold-blooded, reptilian, super-powerful, glistening-in-the-sun sense of hubris does to a compassionate human mind.

About Playing a character who is realized through a combination of heavy makeup and CGI:

Well of course the CGI part was taken care of by a lot of very clever men... with laptops and such - but I was always aware of that and was quite participant in that technological journey. Then there was also the transitional moments for Connors where he's becoming reptilian or becoming human - coming up or coming down as I call it - and those would entail me sitting in a makeup chair for 7-8 hours with four makeup artists - and I emphasize the word artists - working on various parts of my body, applying these silicone pieces and painting each scale individually.

On paper it might sound excruciating, but it was actually fascinating... just to see how these people worked - but also really informative for my character, because it basically allowed me to observe what would happen in half an hour of real-time [compared to] film where he changes from human to reptilian; I was able to view over a period of seven hours this very dramatic physical change. And you know, after seven hours in a chair with not enough cigarettes, I was kind of in the right mental state to play a man who was about to transform into a 9-foot Lizard with a dangerous tail.


The Amazing Spider-Man is now theaters. Check back for more of our Interviews with the cast.

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